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What Should You Expect from Your First Conversation with a VA Home Loans Lender?

If you’re an active service member or military veteran interested in starting the process of buying a home with your VA benefits, one of the very first steps involves meeting with one or more lenders who can perhaps provide you with the funding you need. Below, you can learn more about what to expect from this first conversation, what to bring with you, and what kind of questions you might choose to ask.

Setting Up the First Meeting

The first time you meet with a VA home loan lender, you may meet in person in the lender’s office, or you may even have a meeting via the phone depending on your unique preferences and needs. This is typically a “discovery” meeting that gives you and the lender the opportunity to learn more about each other. The lender will ask you about your goals, your income, and questions that help them determine your ability to repay the loan. You, on the other hand, can also ask various questions about the lending process to help things go more smoothly.

Scheduling a meeting is often as easy as calling the lender or sending an email. Though you may be able to get an impromptu meeting with a lender, it’s typically better to schedule them so that you don’t find yourself waiting.

What Should You Bring?

When you go to your very first meeting, it may be helpful to bring a few documents with you just to help get the process started. For example, you should always have a Certificate of Eligibility that proves you have access to VA loans, but you might also want to consider bringing things like bank statements and pay stubs for the last three to six months and perhaps even the last couple of years of tax returns. These help the lender get a better idea of your income and job stability, which can play crucial roles in getting you qualified.

What Questions Should You Ask?

If this is your first time buying a home, or if it is even your first time utilizing your VA benefits, you may have several questions for your lender. Some that you may want to ask include:

  • Do you require a down payment? Though the VA does not require a down payment as part of your benefit terms, individual lenders may – especially if the price of the home you want to buy exceeds that home’s assessed value.
  • What kind of fees can I expect? The VA limits fees under your benefit, which prevents you from being overcharged. Nevertheless, different lenders do have different fees, and it never hurts to learn more about these before the process starts.
  • How much can I qualify for? It’s important to remember that you can get an approval fairly quickly, and as part of that approval, your lender should be able to provide you with a dollar amount. In other words, you might be able to find out how much you can spend on your house before you leave.

Your first conversation with a VA home loan lender is an exciting time in your life, and it’s one that you should celebrate. After all, it’s the first step toward your dream home, and that’s something to be excited about. Remember to ask any questions you might have during this meeting and don’t hesitate to call back or send an email later if you forget one. Your lender should stand beside you through each step, from that first meeting until your closing date.

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