Recession and the VA Loan

According to data by expert economists, America is in a recession. In economic terms, a recession happens when the gross domestic product (GDP) shrinks for at least two consecutive quarters.

By definition, U.S. economy has been in a recession since December 2007. So, what does that mean for VA loans? Is the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program resilient in an economic slump? And, like conventional loans, are there fewer VA loans now or more? Because the Program is resilient, there are more VA loans being made now.

In fact, there are several factors that have helped keep VA loans strong even in this recession: recent improvements in veterans’ benefits, the VA outreach program, and the abilities of private mortgage lenders to implement the VA benefits in a down economy.

Since the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 was passed into law in October 2008, the guidelines under which VA-eligible borrowers can obtain a home refinance loan are more attractive than ever. First, the maximum guaranty for cash-out refinance loans has been made the same as that for purchase loans. Qualified veterans can now refinance up to 100% of appraised property value. And, the ceiling has been raised for VA’s refinance loan up to $729,750; provided that the loan does not exceed the maximum county limits established. Also, the VA’s authority to guaranty ARMs and Hybrid ARMs has been extended to September 30, 2012.

To protect the Federal Government’s guaranty, the VA has counselors to help veterans keep their homes even in the toughest economic situations. The VA’s outreach program focuses on two groups: those who use the VA loan guaranty program and those who don’t. The purpose of this outreach is to keep veterans in their homes. VA counselors can assist people with VA-guarantied loans to avoid foreclosure. And, they can advise VA-eligible borrowers with other types of loans about the benefits of refinancing to safer and more affordable loan terms associated with VA loans.

Are the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program’s improved benefits and counseling enough to stand up to a recession? A VA home loan is originated and funded by a VA-approved private lender. It’s up to the lender to establish its requirements for making a loan. Lenders must comply with VA income and credit standards when considering a VA home loan application; however, lenders may establish more conservative lending policies. That said, a VA home loan is still one of the only options left for zero-down, 100% refinancing.

Because VA loans are backed by the Federal Government, a VA-approved lender can make VA home loans to VA-eligible borrowers even in the worst of times. VA loan limit guidelines help VA-approved lending institutions determine how much a qualifying veteran can borrow.

In a recession, the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program can be resistant to many factors that drag the economy down. So, those VA-eligible borrowers (who may be in financial trouble due to their current high-rate mortgages) may qualify for VA refinance loans with safer more affordable VA terms.

Because of their recession-resistant traits, VA home loans may be on the rise. The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program can make it very possible for VA-eligible borrowers to emerge from even the worst economic stench smelling like a rose.

About the Author
Eric Kandell has helped thousands of U.S. Veterans get approved for California and Texas VA Loans. Hopefully the article above provides you some insights that help you take advantage of the Veteran Benefits you are entitled to because of your service in the United States Military.

DISCLAIMER: Neither Indiana VA Mortgages ( nor NEO Home Loans is affiliated with any government agencies, including the VA.