VA loans started as part of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, signed into law on June 22nd, 1944 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since their creation, they have helped more than 22 million Veterans become homeowners. However, VA loans did not start off as the premier home loans that they are today. Modern VA loans are a result of several years of changes and upgrades, which expanded and improved who is <a href=”https://www.vahomeloancenters.org/va-home-loan-eligibility/”>eligible</a> and what benefits they get to enjoy.
Brief VA Loan Benefits History
The first of these changes was the signing of the Veterans Housing Act of 1970. This law saw the removal of termination dates, a set expiration time for Veterans to enjoy their benefits. These were usually set at two years after military service. The removal of these limits was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on October 23rd, 1970, and allowed Veterans to use their home loan benefits whenever they wanted to.
Eight years later, President Jimmy Carter signed the Veteran’s Housing Benefits Improvement Act on October 18th, 1970. This law saw the expansion of coverage for Veterans who served after January 3rd, 1955. This change was significant because initially, Veterans who served after 1955 did not receive any kind of VA home loan benefit. The signing of this law saw a vast increase in Veterans who could use their VA loan to purchase a home.
Twenty-two years after the signing of the Veteran’s Housing Benefits Improvement Act, President George H.W. Bush signed the Veteran Home Loan Program Amendments. This new law saw the expansion of VA home loan benefits to members of the National Guard and military reservists. As a result, there was an increase in eligible applicants who qualified for VA home loans.
Updates to VA home loans did not stop there. Seventy-Five years after their creation, VA home loans saw another major update to their home loan program. This was due to the Bluewater Navy Veterans Act’s signing, which further improved an already great Government home loan program.
Bluewater Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019
This new law was signed three days after the seventy-fifth anniversary of the creation of VA home loans. It expanded medical treatment benefits to Vietnam War Veterans exposed to the dangerous Agent Orange chemical during their Vietnam and Korea deployment. In addition, this new law saw the removal of loan limits for first time VA home loan borrowers, which took effect on January 1st, 2020.
- VA Loan Limit Removal
The removal of loan limits increased the amount of and price of homes that eligible applicants could apply for. The only limitation that borrowers have to deal with now is how much they can afford to pay. One thing about the removal of loan limits is that it is exclusive to first-time borrowers. Therefore, borrowers with more than one active VA home loan must adhere to loan limits based on the county where the property is located.
Loan limits all around the country were also increased at the beginning of the year 2020. Most counties went from $484,350 to $510,400. At the same time, counties with higher initial loan limits also saw their loan limit increase.
The removal of loan limits was also expanded to Native American Veterans. Meaning that they are no longer required to adhere to loan limits when using their VA loan to purchase or build a home on Federal Trust Land.
Additionally, the passing of this new law means that borrowers who get their loan through <a href=”https://www.vahomeloancenters.org/va-hlc-home-loan-info/”>VA Home Loan Centers</a> can take out as much as $5 million for no money down. The only requirement is that they have the income necessary to afford their monthly mortgage payments.
- VA Funding Fee Changes
The new law also brought about temporary changes to the VA funding fee, a fee mandated by congress. The changes brought by this new law meant a decrease for members of the National Guard and military reserves, and an increase for Active Duty Service Members.
Servicemembers who received a Purple Heart can have their funding fee waived as long as they close on their new property while still in active duty. Veterans who were already exempt from paying the funding fee were not affected by this new law and can keep their exempt status.
The many changes and upgrades that VA home loans have gone through have made them some of the best home loans available in the country. These changes are by no means the last ones, and we will most likely keep seeing significant improvements being made to VA loans for years to come.
Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loans Centers, a Government-sponsored brokerage specializing in VA home loans. He has been practicing real estate for more than 22 years professionally. To apply for a VA loan, <a href=”https://www.vahomeloancenters.org/apply-for-a-va-home-loan/”>click here</a>.