VA Loans

What Are the Advantages of VA Loans?

What are the main advantages of VA loans in 2024, and how can you leverage them to your benefit? Continue reading to learn more.

The path to homeownership in the US is paved with various mortgage options, each one of them with its unique characteristics and advantages. If you are a qualified veteran or an active duty in any branch of the military, you have the opportunity to access one of the most beneficial mortgage options on the market: VA loans.

Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), this government-backed loan is characterized by competitive interest rates, no down payment needed, as well as lack of loan limits for first-time users.

If you are in the market for purchasing a home as a veteran or a surviving spouse, VA loans can be a great option to get affordable long-term financing – in this article, we will discuss all the advantages of VA loans in 2024.

What Are VA loans?

Before we dive into the advantages of VA loans, it’s important to get a clear understanding of exactly what VA loans are, and how they differ from other types of loans.

As we just mentioned, VA loans are a type of mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and it’s available to veterans, active-duty service members, certain members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as surviving spouses of service members (provided that they do not remarry).

VA loans are issued by private lenders such as Jet Direct Mortgage, but they are guaranteed by the government – because of this additional layer of security against defaulting, lenders can offer more favorable terms to borrowers who qualify.

As opposed to other types of mortgages, VA loans don’t require a down payment nor Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), and competitive rates tend to be lower than those of conventional loans. In addition, there are no VA loan limits for borrowers with full VA loan entitlement, and closing costs and fees are lower as well

What Is The Eligibility Criteria of VA Loans?

In order to reap the advantages of VA loans, it is important to make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for applying – here is a quick overview:

  • Service members and veterans – having served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, or 181 days of active service during peacetime; alternatively, having served more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves.
  • Active duty service members – having served for 90 consecutive days of active service.
  • National Guard and Reserve Members – eligible after 6 years of service, but those who have served 90 days of active duty during wartime can qualify sooner.
  • Surviving spouses – if you are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability, you are also eligible for a VA loan.

It is important to keep in mind that you may have to provide a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) through the VA to officially determine your eligibility for a VA loan. You can apply here.

In addition, in order to leverage the advantages of VA loans, you should have been discharged under the right conditions – you may not be eligible if the conditions under which you were discharged were dishonorable.

While the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs doesn’t set a minimum credit score, private lenders may have their own criteria, which includes a minimum credit score of 620 or higher. You should also be able to demonstrate sufficient income to cover your payments.

What Are The Advantages of VA Loans?

If you are wondering, “is a VA loan right for me?”, we have compiled a list of the biggest advantages of VA loans to prove to you that it is among the most beneficial mortgage options for borrowers that qualify.

Let’s take a look:

1. No Down Payment

Undoubtedly, one of the main advantages of VA loans is the ability to finance 100% of the home’s purchase price without the need for a down payment. This benefit gives you the opportunity to buy your home without having to save up a substantial amount of money, which is a significant barrier to homeownership for many Americans.

The lack of down payment not only allows you to enter the housing market sooner and become a homeowner immediately, but you will gain more purchasing power while preserving your savings for other purposes.

Keep in mind that some lenders may require a down payment as a security deposit to ensure that the borrower doesn’t default on their loan; despite that, VA loans offer little risk to the lender when it comes to repayment.

2. No Prepayment Penalty

Speaking of the key advantages of VA loans, another benefit of this type of loan is that there is no prepayment penalty – in other words, you can pay off your mortgage early (by refinancing, selling, or making extra payments towards the principal), without extra charges.

In contrast, a lot of conventional mortgage loans tend to have prepayment penalties, which are calculated on the percentage of the loan amount, or on the amount of interest the lender will miss out on. In some cases, lenders may charge a fixed fee.

By saving on potential prepayment penalties, you will have more financial flexibility to adjust your payment strategy depending on your financial situation. You can also benefit from higher interest savings, faster equity buildup, and increased homeownership security.

3. Competitive Interest Rates

One of the most sought-after advantages of VA loans is the competitive interest rates that this type of mortgage offers.

Because it’s backed by the government, lenders get an additional layer of security against defaulting, and they are willing to offer lower interest rates compared to conventional loans (in which they assume more risk).

In addition, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers competitive rates as a way of encouraging veteran homeownership, providing benefits to veterans and service members as a way of thanking them for their service.

4. No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

When you apply for a conventional mortgage, lenders will often require you to get a Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for extra protection in case you default on the loan. PMI rates can vary, but they typically range from 0.3% to 1.5% of the original loan amount per year, adding to your monthly expenses.

However, one of the main advantages of VA loans is that you don’t need to pay PMI for this type of mortgage, allowing you to save a significant amount of money each month. On a $200,000 loan, this could mean a savings of $50 to $250 per month.

5. No Loan Limits for Qualified Borrowers

One of the most recently implemented advantages of VA loans is the fact that there are no loan limits for qualified borrowers under the VA loan program.

Prior to 2020, VA loans were subject to county-by-county loan limits that capped the amount veterans could borrow without needing a down payment. They were tied to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) conforming loan limits, which vary by county and reflect the cost of housing in different areas.

As of January 1, 2020, the VA no longer imposes loan limits, allowing you to finance 100% of your home’s purchase price regardless of the cost. This gives you greater flexibility when it comes to choosing the home of your dreams, and makes you more competitive in areas where real estate prices are high.

Read more about VA loan income limit requirements.

6. Assistance with Financial Hardship

One of the most underestimated advantages of VA loans is assistance with financial hardship. The VA loan is committed to supporting veterans and service members during times of need, providing assistance in multiple ways, including:

  • Employing loan technicians to work directly with borrowers so they can offer personalized relief options based on their financial situation
  • Providing more flexibility when it comes to repayment plans, arranging a repayment schedule to catch up on missed payments over time
  • Modifying the structure of the loan terms to reduce monthly payment to a more manageable amount, including extending the term or reducing the interest rate
  • Negotiating a temporary suspension of reduction of payments on behalf of the borrower, ideal for veterans experiencing temporary financial setbacks.
  • Offering refinancing options through the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), allowing you to refinance your existing VA loan to a lower rate
  • Letting borrowers refinance their VA loan and take cash out from their home equity, for example if they need to consolidate debt or make home improvements.

The main goal of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is to avoid foreclosure to the biggest extent possible, making its assistance with financial hardship one of the main advantages of VA loans.

7. Limited Closing Costs

Last on our list of advantages of VA loans – but not the least important, are limited closing costs. As opposed to conventional mortgages, the VA program limits the amount of closing costs that lenders can charge you, including:

  • Origination fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Title searches
  • Title insurance
  • Taxes

As well as other expenses. This allows you to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, making homeownership significantly more accessible. Keep in mind that you may still have to pay certain fees and charges, including compliance inspections, recording fees, credit report fees, and prepaid items.

How to Apply for a VA loan

If you are meeting the VA criteria and are ready to reap the advantages of VA loans, you can easily apply for your mortgage with Jet Direct Mortgage. Apply now to jump-start your process to your dream home.

About Jet Direct Mortgage

If you are ready to buy the property of your dreams, Jet Direct Mortgage can help you find the perfect loan fit for your needs and goals. Our mission is to set a high standard in the mortgage industry through unmatched customer service, from the application process to the post-closing stage.

Our team of experienced professionals will guide you through the home loan process step by step, so you feel confident in your knowledge and make a well-informed decision on the best mortgage for you.

Are you ready to get started? Apply now for your VA loan!


What can a VA loan be used for?

VA loans can be used to buy, build, or improve a home, refinance a mortgage, or buy a manufactured home or lot. They’re for primary residences only, offering veterans flexible options to achieve homeownership or improve their current home.

Is there a minimum credit score for a VA loan?

The VA doesn’t set a minimum credit score for VA loans, but lenders typically do. Most lenders require a credit score of 620 or higher. However, some may accept lower scores with compensating factors, such as a larger down payment or a history of stable income, offering flexibility to veterans.

Can VA loans be used to buy investment properties?

No, VA loans cannot be used to buy investment properties. They are designed exclusively for primary residences, ensuring veterans have access to homeownership for their own use and benefit, not for rental or commercial purposes.

Can VA loans be refinanced?

Yes, VA loans can be refinanced through two main options: the VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) for existing VA loans to lower interest rates or change loan terms, and the VA Cash-Out Refinance, allowing borrowers to refinance a non-VA loan into a VA loan and take cash out from home equity.

Can I use a VA loan more than once?

Yes, you can use your VA loan benefits multiple times. After paying off a VA loan, you can have your entitlement restored to use it again for another home purchase. However, you must occupy the new home as your primary residence. This reuse of benefits offers great flexibility for veterans over their lifetime.