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Homefront: VA-backed loans help veterans afford homes

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Posted at 10:07 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 01:51:38-05

In an era where home ownership among young people has fallen dramatically, Navy veteran Bradley Holcomb has a leg up: A Department of Veterans Affairs-backed home loan.

“The VA took care of me more than I thought they would when it comes to the financial aspect of it,” he said. “They gave me the ability to get more than what I figured I was going to be able to. A blessing.”

Many veterans in good standing are eligible to receive a loan in exchange for their service, but loan officer Trey Budke said not enough know it.

Holcomb didn’t. When he and his fiancee started their search for a place to live, they learned about the program through other veterans at his workplace.

"I had no idea what I was diving into,” he said. ”Thankfully, through the VA and stuff like that, with the loans they’re giving me, a lot of that worry has been taken away because they got a really good program and they’re taking care of me.”

The criteria for a VA-backed home loan include being a veteran in good standing with the Armed Forces, meeting certain income requirements decided by their lender, passing a credit check and — in some cases — being able to pay at least 2.3% of the loan total up front. (This funding fee can be rolled into the loan and may not be required for all veterans.)

If those requirements are met, there’s no upper limit to the loan amount.

“Right now, if you have full eligibility, there is no limit to the purchase limit on your VA loan,” Budke said. “You could essentially buy a million-dollar house, if eligible under the VA loan, with no down payment.”

Holcomb doesn’t plan on buying a million-dollar house, but he said he’s grateful he and his fiancee will have help settling down.

“The money we are saving using the VA loan, (we’ll) put it back into the home, make it better for us because we're planning on starting our life together,” he said.

Anyone interested in learning more about applying for a VA-backed home loan can do so here.

If you have a veteran story to tell in your community, email homefront@wcpo.com. You also can join the Homefront Facebook group, follow Craig McKee on Facebook and find more Homefront stories here.

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