United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Cleveland Regional Loan Center

  • Program participants and others may use our Loan Production Contacts Page to get the most recent Loan Production employee phone listings. That page also has usable e-mail links and case assignment designations for VA Cleveland Loan Production employees.
  • Steps to a VA Loan


    Determining Eligibility
    Viewing and Inspecting the Home
    Requesting the Loan
    Appraising the Property
    Closing the Sale
    Closing Costs for VA Home Loans
    Prequalifying Worksheet


    For training opportunities related to processing, underwriting, and closing a VA home loan, please click here: Cleveland RLC Training

     

    For more general information see the National Home Loan Guaranty Site

     

     Determining Eligibility

    • VA guaranteed home loans benefit Veterans because they do not need to make a down payment and there is no upper limit or required cap on the income of the borrower.  Without a down payment as security against foreclosure, lenders receive a certificate of guaranty from VA.  In essence, as gratitude for honorable military service, the government is vouching for the Veteran's trustworthiness to repay his/her debt.  
    • To determine eligibility, a military Veteran, active duty person, or a member of the National Guard or selected Reserves, must submit a VA Form 26-1880 (2 pages) (Form is now in a FILLABLE format), along with proof of service (DD Form 214, a statement of active duty, or proof of participation in the National Guard or Reserves) to the VA Eligibility Center, P.O. Box 100034, Attn. COE (262), Decatur, GA 30331.  Based on the applicant's length and type of service, VA issues a certificate for each person determined eligible to apply for a VA guaranteed home loan.  Check the status after ten days by calling 1 (888) 768-2132, option 1, between 8:00 - 4:00 Eastern time.

    Viewing and Inspecting the Home

    • Home buyers usually use the services of state-licensed real estate agents to: determine an affordable price range, suggest certain home features suitable for the buyer, schedule home tours, negotiate sales contacts and hold earnest money deposits.  State-licensed real estate professional can explain the legal requirements for buyers and sellers, and can refer buyers to local lenders and certified home inspectors.  Buyers should accompany their preferred home inspector during the inspection of the property to ask questions about the home's systems.  
    Requesting the Loan
    • Home buyers may want to contact a lender even before they sign a contract for a home, so that they can be pre-approved to determine their maximum mortgage amount.  Home buyers who wish to obtain a VA guaranteed loan should make sure that the sales contract includes a phrase, sometimes called a financing contingency, making the contract subject to approval for a VA guaranteed loan.  Lenders verify and review past and present job and credit history of home applicants, and compare it with VA loan approval guidelines.  If the documents with the loan request cannot be approved, then additional written information must be presented to the lender or the VA for further consideration.
    • VA Lender Appraisal Processing Program (LAPP) lenders can process loans faster than other lenders. VA LAPP lenders do not need to send any paperwork to VA until after the home sale is closed. VA's long-standing policy is not to recommend any specific lender.
    • VA recommends that buyers compare lending terms among several lenders in order to find the best combination of interest rates, discount points, and other negotiable costs for a VA guaranteed loan.
    Appraising the Property
    • When an eligible Veteran contacts a lender to request a VA guaranteed loan, the lender obtains a VA number for the request via the Internet.  The lender uses the VA number to monitor progress of the appraisal and loan application.  The lender also sends a VA form to a state-licensed real estate appraiser who will visit the home to give the lender and VA an opinion of the market value of the property.  The appraisal tells the lender and VA whether the property is expected to be adequate collateral for the requested loan.  Neither the appraisal of the home nor the VA guaranty is a warranty from constructional defects and their resulting repair costs.  Builders and brokers can issue warranties for the condition of the home's structure and systems.
    Closing the Sale
    • If the loan and home are approved, the buyer needs to contact a state-licensed insurance agent who will provide homeowner coverage to protect the owner and lender from property damage and loss.  Title to the home is usually examined and insured by a title insurance company that may also prepare closing documents and enter them into public records after the closing. After the home is purchased and the loan is originated, the lender usually sells the active loan to another company which will receive the loan payments and pay the real estate taxes and insurance premiums. 

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    Closing Costs for VA Home Loans
    • VA regulates the closing costs that a Veteran can be charged when obtaining a VA home loan. The closing cost regulation is designed to keep lenders from charging Veterans those closing costs that VA has determined as being beneficial to the lender and not necessarily beneficial to the Veteran. For a list of allowable and unallowable closing costs, please follow the link below.

      A List of Allowable and Unallowable VA Closing Costs.    
    Prequalifying Worksheet
    • The Prequalifying Worksheet will give you a general idea of what you can afford, and whether you are within VA underwriting guidelines for approval.  This Prequalifying Worksheet is not a commitment to lend, nor can it be used to determine whether a lender will approve the VA loan.   Please note, the Prequalifying Worksheet is in Excel format.    Prequalifying Worksheet    

        

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    Contact the Cleveland Regional Loan Center:
    1(800)729-5772
    Benefits email: vahomesite@va.gov
    Cleveland Webmaster email: cleveland.query@va.gov