Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the various mortgage loan types? Or were you unaware that there are many different types of loans meant to address specific borrower needs? Just as no two borrowers are exactly alike, no two loan programs are set up precisely the same way.

One of the most common loan types available is the VA loan.

What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a type of mortgage loan that is secured by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). These types of loans are available to individuals who are either currently serving or have served in the United States armed forces, as well as their eligible surviving spouses. While the loans are offered by private lenders, a portion of the loan is guaranteed by the VA.

VA Guidelines and Requirements

As with any loan product, there are a variety of factors that must be met when applying for a VA loan. A few of those requirements are as follows:

  • Service Members and their Spouses – VA loans are only available to individuals who are serving, or who have served, in the U.S. armed forces. Surviving spouses of veterans may also be eligible.
  • Service Type – Length and type of service may impact the type of VA loan an individual can obtain.
  • No Down Payment – VA loans require no down payment, although additional loan expenses, such as closing costs, may still apply.
  • No Mortgage Insurance – No monthly mortgage insurance is required.
  • Funding Fee – A funding fee may be required to help defer some of the loan’s cost to taxpayers, which is a percentage of the loan amount and varies depending on the type of loan and military category of the borrower.
  • Loan Limits – While the VA does not put a cap on how much an individual can borrow to finance a home, there are limits to the amount of liability the VA can take on, which may impact how much a person can borrow without making a down payment.

More information regarding VA loans can be found here.

Is a VA loan the right loan for me?

So how do you know which type of loan is right for you? That’s where it helps to have a knowledgeable loan officer by your side. A good loan officer will listen to your needs, evaluate your specific situation, educate you on different loan products and help you select the right loan for you.


Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC® (NMLS #1251) is a leading independent mortgage lender headquartered in Draper, Utah, with locations across the United States.

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Information contained in this this Blog does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice or services and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. The purpose of the Blog is to provide Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC’s opinions and general guidance on certain matters related to mortgages. The reader accepts full responsibility for use of the information contained herein.