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Changes to VA-guaranteed home loans to take effect Jan. 1

Airmen salute during a retreat ceremony

Members of the 374th Communications Squadron salute during a retreat ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 18, 2019. The retreat ceremony serves as a way to pay respect to the flag and signals the end of the official duty day with the playing of the U.S. national anthem while lowering and folding the flag. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Beginning January 1, 2020, the VA Funding Fee will increase for some Veterans, however, the effective 'cap' on VA no-down payment loans will be eliminated, according to the Veterans Affairs website.

Signed into law in June 2019, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 provides service-connected disability benefits to many Veterans who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam, and in some cases their surviving family members.  Blue Water Navy Veterans are now eligible for many VA disability benefits due to their exposure to a multitude of herbicides during their service during the Vietnam War.

In addition, as part of the Blue Water Navy legislation, Congress also authorized the following changes to the VA Home Loan benefit beginning on January 1, 2020 for ALL eligible Veterans:

  • VA-guaranteed home loans will no longer be limited to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (Federally-established) Confirming Loan Limits. Veterans will now be able to obtain a no-down payment home loan in all areas, regardless of loan amount.
     
  • The law exempts Purple Heart recipients currently serving on active duty from the VA Home Loan funding fee.
     
  • VA removed the loan limit for Native American Veterans seeking to build or purchase a home on Federal Trust Land.
     
  • At this time, there is a temporary change to the VA Funding Fee, which is a congressionally mandated fee associated with the VA Home Loan. Veterans and service members will see a slight increase of 0.15 to 0.30% in their funding fee (currently for two years), while National Guard and Reserve members will see a slight decrease in their fee to align with the fee paid by 'Regular Military' borrowers (permanent). Veterans with service-connected disabilities, some surviving spouses, and other potential borrowers are exempt from the VA loan funding fee and will not be impacted by this change.
     
  • Veterans paying a funding fee AND making a down payment should consider the costs associated with their situation.  It may be advantageous to wait to buy or refinance a home until after the law takes effect on January 1, 2020.
     

    Veterans with questions about benefits or filing a claim can visit the VA Agent Orange website and Compensation for Surviving Spouse and Dependents (DIC) website. They can also call 1-800-749-8387.

    (Information for this article was taken from the Department of Affairs website)