VA Loan Process  

Buying a home is a complex process, and getting a VA-backed loan is only one small step.

Stay on track by following the steps below.

Steps to starting the process and finding a home  

1. Apply for your VA-backed home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) 

You’ll need to show your COE to your lender as proof that you qualify for the home loan benefit.
Find out if you qualify for a COE
Apply for your COE now

2. Look at your current finances 

Go over your credit report, income, expenses, and monthly budget to make sure you’re ready to buy a home. Decide how much you want to spend on a mortgage. Be sure to include estimated taxes and insurance.

3. Choose a lender and get pre-qualified. 

Remember, you’ll go through a private bank, mortgage company, or credit union to obtain a mortgage. Be prepared to pay lender fees. Many lenders charge Veterans using VA-backed home loans a 1% flat fee. Lenders may also charge you additional fees. If you don’t know what a fee is for, ask the lender. In some cases, lender fees are negotiable.

Learn more about fees and closing costs.

Find an approved VA lender.

4. Choose a real estate agent 

Get recommendations for potential real estate agents online or from relatives, friends, or your chosen lender.

5. Shop for a home 

Look at houses in your price range until you find one that works for you. When comparing homes, be sure to consider what factors are most important to you and your family. These may include factors like how far you’ll need to commute to work and the quality of local schools.  

6. Sign a contract.

Be sure the sales contract includes the “VA escape clause” or “VA option clause.” This provides an option to void the contract if the property doesn’t appraise for the contract price.

7. Have the house inspected.

Although optional, a home inspection is recommended. The inspector will check for any major defects before you purchase your home which may affect what you’re willing to pay.

8. Submit your loan for approval. 

Your lender will submit your purchase contract, COE, and various other documents for approval.

Find an approved VA lender.

9. Close on your new house. 

  1. Be prepared to sign a lot of documents. You'll get your new house keys when its over. 

Last updated September 23, 2020