The following blog was written by Chad Bowman, an Austin mortgage banker and Austin VA loan specialist:

The Texas Veterans Land Board (TVLB) offers many benefits to our proud Texas Veterans including a home purchase program known as the Veterans Housing Assistance Program or “VHAP”.  The VHAP provides financing up to $325,000 toward the purchase of a home to eligible and qualified Texas veterans.  The VHAP cannot be used for refinancing.  It can only be used to obtain a purchase money loan on a property you intend to owner-occupy as your primary residence

There are two big pieces to the puzzle:  eligibility and qualification.  Eligibility refers to you meeting the requirements of the program based on your residency status, military service, and previous TLVB payment history.  Qualification refers to you being able to afford your new mortgage payment and therefore qualify for the loan with a lender who participates in this program.

Are You Eligibile For a TVLB Loan?

Let’s start with eligibility.  Are you a Texas Veteran?  The answer is YES if your “Home of Record” on your DD-214 is Texas and you currently reside in Texas OR you have lived in Texas for the last 12 months OR you are currently on active duty in Texas and changed your residency to Texas.  The military service requirement is at least 90 days of active duty and anything but a dishonorable discharge.  It is also required that you have successfully repaid any previous TVLB loans and are current on any open TVLB loans.  Provide a copy of your DD-214 or other discharge papers to your lender to confirm you are eligible.   

How To Qualify For a VHAP Loan

Qualification is the other important piece and is best answered by your lender.  The VHAP loan must be originated in conjunction with VA, FHA, or conventional financing and with a TVLB-Participating Lender.   It is a matter of analyzing your credit, income, debts, assets, etc. based on the standard requirements for the underlying mortgage program.  The vast majority of the time, the VHAP is used with VA financing since you typically get VA financing for 100% of the sales price (no down payment) and have no mortgage insurance.  The best way to confirm you qualify for a VHAP loan is to get pre-approved with a TVLB-Participating Lender. 

So, you’re eligible and qualified: now what?  The whole reason behind using the VHAP program is for potentially below-market interest rates.  It is a matter of comparing to other programs at the time you are locking your interest rate.  There are, however, two times in particular that this program is especially beneficial.  The first is if you have a 30% or greater VA disability rating.  If so, you are likely eligible for a full ½ percent discount off of the base rate.  The other special situation is for someone currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves.  If, after funding your VHAP loan, you receive activation orders for the War on Terror, you MAY BE eligible to have your interest rate reduced to zero during your time of activation, plus one year after you return. 

Rates are updated after business hours every Friday and posted at www.texasveterans.com.  You can also follow @TexasVATeam on Twitter and get the rates sent to you each week.  Now you know how Texas Veterans buy their homesteads at potentially below-market interest rates!

Chad Bowman is a proud Marine Corps Veteran, VA Home Loan Specialist, and licensed Texas Mortgage Banker in Austin, Texas.  He is a TVLB-Participating Lender who can originate VHAP loans anywhere in the State of Texas.  Find more information on his website at www.theVAteam.com.

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