CALVET LOAN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What are the loan amount limits for a CalVet loan?
- What is CalVet’s rate lock policy?
- What is an impound account?
- Does CalVet have mortgage insurance or a funding fee?
- What are the eligibility requirements for a CalVet loan?
- Can I use my CalVet loan eligibility more than once?
- What homeowners insurance protection programs does CalVet offer?
- What are the down payment requirements for a CalVet loan?
- What are CalVet’s credit history requirements?
- Does CalVet lend on manufactured homes (mobile homes) on land or in rental parks?
- Can I refinance my current mortgage into a CalVet loan?
- What documentation do I need to get pre-approved for a CalVet loan?
- The base loan limit for CalVet is $638,000. In some high-cost counties the loan limit can be as high as $957,000.
- The loan limit for CalVet manufactured home loans in rental parks is $175,000.
- CalVet Home Loans are available for up to $957,000 with no down payment if you are eligible for a loan guaranty from the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet/VA), or with a down payment of just 3% of the purchase price for the CalVet97 program.
- First-time homebuyer loan programs have lower purchase price limits in some counties.
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2. What is CalVet’s rate lock policy?
Because interest rates on most loan programs change on a daily basis, a lender requires you to lock or commit to a specific interest rate prior to closing your loan. Rate locks can vary between 15 and 60 days for most lenders. CalVet locks your interest rate once your loan application and purchase contract are submitted. CalVet reserves your interest rate until loan closing and if CalVet lowers their interest rate in the interim, you will receive the lower rate.
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3. What is an impound account?
An impound account (sometimes referred to as an escrow account) is an account setup by a lender to pay the property taxes, homeowners insurance premiums and mortgage insurance premiums (if applicable) when they are due. The borrower will pay the property taxes and homeowners insurance each month (prorated over 12 months) instead of paying each item in full when they are due. Government insured loans such as VA, FHA and CalVet loans, all require borrowers to have impound accounts with their loans.
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4. Does CalVet have mortgage insurance or a funding fee?
Maybe. CalVet loans don’t have monthly mortgage insurance premiums but the loan may require a one-time funding fee. With the CalVet/VA loan, the loan guaranty is obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a funding fee of between 1.40% and 3.60% of the loan amount will be charged, unless the veteran has VA disability rating of 10% or more. This is a one-time fee and will not affect your interest rate or monthly payment unless it is financed in the loan.
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5. What are the eligibility requirements for a CalVet loan?
Most veterans planning to purchase a home in California are eligible and there is no prior residency requirement. All veterans who served on active duty a minimum of 90 days (except for active duty for training purposes), whether during wartime or peacetime periods are eligible. National Guard or Reservists who have been ordered to active duty, including Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) duty are eligible. Veterans must have received a discharge under honorable conditions and provide a copy of their DD-214 to document their release from active duty. If you are currently serving on active duty, you can provide a Statement of Service to verify your qualifying dates and character of service.
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6. Can I use my CalVet loan eligibility more than once?
Yes. You may obtain a new CalVet loan each time you decide to purchase a home and it may be used again and again. Once the previous loan has been paid off, you may obtain a new CalVet loan subject to eligibility and financial qualification.
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7. What homeowners insurance protection programs does CalVet offer?
CalVet loans provide comprehensive homeowner’s insurance protection for the property you are buying. No other loan program offers you better protection against natural disasters like the CalVet loan disaster indemnity insurance program. CalVet loan holders have full guaranteed replacement cost coverage for their home’s structure against disasters such as brush fires, earthquakes, flooding and mudslides. CalVet’s low deductibles and inclusive insurance coverage protect you from any unforeseen natural disaster that might damage or destroy your home.
With the CalVet loan you and your spouse also have the option to purchase life insurance in an amount needed to pay off your CalVet loan. Applicants must be under the age of 62 when their loan is funded and be approved for coverage by the insurance carrier. Coverage will cease when the contract holder reaches age 70.
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8. What are the down payment requirements for a CalVet loan?
Down payment requirements for a CalVet loan range from zero to 3% down. If you use your VA entitlement you can go zero down with a CalVet/VA loan. If you do not use your VA entitlement, the minimum down payment for the CalVet97 loan program is 3% of the purchase price.
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9. What are CalVet’s credit history requirements?
CalVet requires that your credit history be relatively good the last year to two years. They look for a minimum 600 credit score to qualify and all outstanding collection accounts and/or charge-off accounts are paid in full. Any past bankruptcies, foreclosures and short sales need to be at least two years old to qualify. If you have any questions regarding your specific credit history please give us a call at (800) 734-3772.
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10. Does CalVet lend on manufactured homes (mobile homes) on land or in rental parks?
Yes. You can use the CalVet loan program to purchase a manufactured home on land or in a rental park. If the manufactured home is in a rental park, the maximum loan amount is $175,000 and the minimum down payment requirements are 10-15% depending on the age of the home. If the home is on land and affixed to a permanent foundation then the CalVet standard loan requirements apply. Please give us a call at (800) 734-3772 with any questions regarding the manufactured home loan requirements.
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11. Can I refinance my current mortgage into a CalVet loan?
No. CalVet does not offer refinancing at this time. Please check out our VA loans which can be used to refinance your current mortgage.
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12. What documentation do I need to get pre-approved for a CalVet loan?
You will need a copy of your DD-214 (Release from Active Duty) to confirm that you have qualifying service. If you do not have a copy, there are a few options available to you.
Once you have searched your personal records and determine that you no longer have a copy there are several things you can do. In the past, veterans were advised to have their DD-214 recorded in the county they went home to after their release from active duty. If you did that, contact the county recorder’s office and you should be able to obtain a copy there. If you used a DD-214 to apply for other benefits in the past, such as educational or medical, that agency may be able to provide a copy.
If neither of these alternatives work, the fastest way to obtain a copy is through the National Archives, National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) on their website at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/. They are the records custodian for most discharged and retired members of all branches of military service. Expect a two to three week wait period to receive your record, but ordering directly online may speed up the process.
If you are currently serving on active duty you are also eligible after you meet the 90 day service requirement. You can obtain a Statement of Service from your Commanding Officer, Adjutant or Personnel Officer.
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