VA extends access to mortgages to falsely dismissed LGBTQ vets – Forbes Advisor


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Thousands of LGBTQ veterans who were released because of their sexual orientation under a now repealed discriminatory policy called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) receive more support from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) . Part of this support includes expanding eligibility to veterans who were previously ineligible for a VA loan.

In today’s housing market where house prices are rising rapidly resulting in higher down payments, a VA loan can provide significant relief to borrowers as it has lower down payment and credit requirements than a typical conventional loan.

As part of the 10th anniversary of the repeal of the DADT, the VA released a policy clarification that will make it easier for LGBTQ veterans who have not been honorably released to access their benefits, including a loan. mortgage.

Best VA Mortgage Lenders of 2021

What’s in the VA guide

The policy contains two main elements that the VA clarified on Monday. First, it requires VA arbitrators (the people responsible for making decisions about VA disputes or appeals) to grant eligibility for VA benefits to all service members who have been fired because of sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

These VA benefits include:

  • Certificate of eligibility for VA home loans
  • GI Bill
  • Veterans Preparation and Employment Benefits (VR&E)
  • Life insurance
  • Pension
  • Funeral benefits
  • Health care
  • Roaming programs

Second, all cases of a discharge character will benefit from a “second review” before any action is taken. This is important because any discharge other than honorable may mean that veterans are not eligible for certain benefits. For example, in order to receive VA home loan benefits, the character of the discharge must be something other than dishonorable terms, such as honorable, honorable terms, or general discharge.

“Given that a large number of LGBTQ + veterans who have been affected by previous homophobic and transphobic policies have not requested a landfill upgrade due to the perception that the process could be onerous, we hope that this policy statement encourages more of them to contact VA to determine their eligibility for care and services, ”the VA said in a blog post.

Over 14,346 qualified military personnel were terminated due to their sexual orientation between 1993 and 2011 under the DADT policy. And some 4,000 more did not re-enlist each year during this time because of politics, according to the Center for American Progress.

How to Apply for a VA Home Loan

A VA home loan can be a big plus for homebuyers who may not have a large down payment or who do not meet the minimum credit requirements for other loans. Although VA loans are not granted by the VA, they are guaranteed by the government, which is a great incentive for private lenders as it reduces their risk, especially compared to conventional mortgages.

Obtain a certificate of eligibility

The first step in obtaining a VA loan is to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The required documents you need depend on your status, but here are some examples.

Veterans, active or former member of the National Guard or the Reserve: Copy of your output or separation papers (DD214)

Active service member: Declaration of service signed by your commanding officer, warrant officer or personnel officer. It must include all of the following personal information:

  • Last name and first name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of your assumption of duty
  • Duration of any lost time
  • Name of the command providing the information

Current member of the National Guard or the Reserve, and never been activated: Declaration of service signed by your commanding officer, warrant officer or personnel officer. It must include all of the following personal information:

  • Last name and first name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of your assumption of duty
  • Duration of any lost time

Demobilized member of the National Guard who has never been activated: Separation report and record of service (Form NGB 22) for each period of service in the National Guard, your statement of retirement points (Form NGB 23) and proof of the nature of service.

Licensed member of the Reserve who has never been activated: A copy of your last annual retirement points and proof of your honorable service.

Surviving spouse eligible for mortgage loan benefits: Your spouse’s discharge documents

Once you have the documents you need, you can download the application, available on the VA website, and mail the application with your documents to the address listed on the application, or you can request a COE by line.

Compare the prices

After getting your COE, it’s time to look for a lender who offers VA loans.

If you have all the rights, you don’t have to pay any money. The VA guarantees to pay back 25% of the loan amount if you default on a mortgage over $ 144,000.

VA borrowers have full entitlement if they meet the following criteria:

  • You have never used your mortgage allowance, or
  • A previous VA loan was fully repaid and you sold the property (in which case you would have restored all of your rights), or
  • You had a foreclosure or claim in compromise (also known as a short sale) and paid off the entire VA loan

Be sure to compare the rates of various lenders and products such as conventional loans to make sure you get the best deal.

Best VA Mortgage Lenders of 2021

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