Congress has passed the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act."
The President is expected to sign H.R. 299, the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act." The positive side of this:
This legislation includes language which will eliminate the cap on the VA home loan guarantee. Veterans, under this legislation, will be able to purchase any home they qualify for using the VA home loan (with zero down payment). What does this mean for you, Vets? Prior to this legislation, the VA Guaranteed Loan Program set limits on how expensive a home you could buy with zero down payment. This might have been okay in cities and towns where housing was affordable; but when you are looking at the housing prices around Boston, that loan amount ceiling just didn't cut it. So, in prior years and areas you might have been able to buy a home as long as it didn't cost more than $485,000. But, as soon as the President signs the new bill, you can buy any house that you can afford with zero down payment!
There are two way in which you must qualify:
- Like buying with any other mortgage program, you must have enough income and good credit for the loan amount you need.
- You must be an eligible Vet. VA eligibility is earned through service to our country. Active duty (Title 10) members can become eligible after 90 straight days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime. If not called to active duty, regular military members need to serve two continuous years, and Reservists and Guard members must serve six years. The VA loan benefits are available to most Veterans who served prior to the early 1980s as long as they have 90 total days of active military duty during WWII, Korea War or Vietnam War, or 181 continuous days of active duty between these conflicts. This is just a summary of the eligibility guidelines. Regardless of when you served, the VA has a rule regarding honorable discharge. To be eligible for VA home loans, a Veteran, if separated from the military, must have done so for reasons other than dishonorable discharge. Also, if your service was shortened due to an injury, illness, reduction in force or some other qualifying reason, the VA may still award home loan benefits in some cases even if you do not meet the minimum service duration requirements.
The negative side of this:
As introduced, the legislation would slightly increase some of the guarantee fees for all veterans using the VA loan program, in order to pay for the healthcare component.