How to take advantage of VA home loans and why many vets do not

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When members of the military return home, there are more than just friends and families waiting for them. There are also numerous financial benefits.

But Scottsdale mortgage broker Jimmy Vercellino says many in the military don't take full advantage of those benefits.

“It's like something you know exists, but you don't really know how to access it,” he said.

And he would know. Vercellino is a veteran himself who now earns a living helping other vets and active military members understand the VA home loan process.

He says VA home loans allow military members to get an even better deal on a home than already low civilian rates.

Still, he says VA home loans are a rarely used benefit.

“One of the common misconceptions about a VA home loan is that it is very hard to do,” Vercellino explained.

All you have to do to qualify is show two pieces of documentation: Your DD-214, which is your discharge paperwork, and your certificate of eligibility. (Active military members will not have, and do not need, a DD-214 to qualify.)

“Your certificate of eligibility is one of the greatest questions that veterans have. How do I obtain this document?” Vercellino said.

You obtain it by logging on to VA.gov and simply requesting it.

Getting an answer in the mail can take up to three weeks.

“Or, they can follow up with a direct-endorsed lender by VA, such as myself, and get it in about five to 10 minutes,” he said. “It’s a pretty easy process.”

From then on, Vercellino says getting approved for a VA home loan is just like getting a regular home loan.

And what kind of deal can all this get you?

“The greatest thing about the VA home loan is that the veteran can obtain a $417,000 home loan with no down payment, and it’s the only loan on the market today that will allow you to do that,” Vercellino explained.

You can also take advantage of a VA home loan as many times as you want, and have more than one VA loan out at a time.

Financial opportunities for those who have served our country and the loved ones who say having them home is priceless.