The New VA Guidelines
There are more than 1.5 million veterans in the state of Texas, many of whom take advantage of the VA Home Loan program. Right now, veteran loan program mortgage rates are currently as much as 50 basis points lower than those available for conventional mortgage loans. However, many Texans are unaware that these benefits can also apply to surviving spouses, or that these spousal benefits were recently expanded.
If you're looking for a primer on how surviving military spouses can benefit from the new VA guidelines, here are some opportunities to be aware of.
Enhanced VA Home Loan Eligibility For Surviving Spouses
Previously, surviving spouses were only eligible to receive coverage if their spouse's death was directly military-related. Now, spouses are eligible even if the veteran's death was not directly connected to their military service.
The new law H.R. 1627, officially called the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, finally makes these VA home loans available to more spouses. Of course, there are still some VA loan requirements. For instance, the deceased must have been prior to their passing.
Specifically, the expansion mandates that the veteran must have fallen into one of the categories below:
- Full disability for at least 10 years before death
- Full disability for a minimum of five years from discharge date
- Full disability for at least one year before death of a POW that died after September 30, 1999
Although many military widows will still not meet the new VA guidelines, the new law is a significant expansion for thousands of families.
Military Widow Benefits
For those that do qualify for VA home loans, there are a number of major benefits. Surviving spouses who meet the expanded home loan requirements will have the ability to receive mortgages backed by the government, making them an extremely affordable option for home purchasing and financing. There's no fee for VA funding, and widows can get up 100% value for refinancing appraisals. On top of that, you'll have no monthly mortgage insurance premiums.
Ultimately, these new VA guidelines will give many surviving spouses financial opportunities that they may not have had previously. For more information about VA home loan requirements in Texas, contact Texas Veterans Home Loans.