Home and Auto Financing for Veterans and Military Personnel

Home and auto financing options for veterans and military personnel include VA loans, FHA loans, IRRRL, NADL, and traditional financing options through your preferred lender. Many banks and lenders offer military loan programs to honor service members, and vehicle manufacturers also offer discounts to military members to help them finance the vehicles. Learn more in our free guide below.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: Nov 23, 2021

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There are home and automotive financing options available exclusively to veterans, military personnel, and in some cases their family members as well. These programs generally offer better rates or discounts and have easier qualifications when compared to traditional options.

Home Financing Options

Before purchasing a home, look into the following options to help with financing:

VA Mortgage Guarantee Program – These loans are made by private lenders, but they are backed by the Veterans Administration and come with a competitive interest rate. The VA can guarantee up to $417,000 of the total loan, which is a higher amount than you can get with most traditional loans. If you are refinancing an existing loan, you can either refinance it to reduce your interest rates, or you can take as much as $144,000 out as equity. In addition, there is no reason to worry about having a down payment with a VA mortgage. However, you may still need to pay various closing fees out of pocket.

You can use your VA loan to:

  • Buy a standard or manufactured home
  • Buy a manufactured home lot
  • Improve a manufactured home lot
  • Build a home
  • Improve a home
  • Refinance a home
  • Refinance a VA loan
  • Install solar panels or a cooling system
  • Purchase a home and make it more energy efficient

Resources:

  • US Department of Veterans Affairs: VA home loans
  • Cornell University: VA housing: Guaranteed loans, direct loans, and specially adapted housing grants

FHA loans – These Federal Housing Administration loans are available to veterans as well as other citizens. They come with a mortgage guarantee like a VA loan but do not offer a no-down-payment option. They do, however, allow for a lower credit score than many VA lenders are willing to accept. They tend to come with more out of pocket expenses than VA loans but may be preferable in some cases.

Resources:

IRRRLThe Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan is a Veterans Administration loan that does not require an appraisal or a credit underwriting package. It does, however, require that you are using it to refinance an already existing VA loan. It can be done with no out of pocket money by including the coast in the loan or by making the interest rate higher. There is the risk of the interest rate increasing when applying for this type of loan.

Resources:

NADL – You may qualify for this direct loan if you are a Native American veteran or married to a Native American veteran. In order to qualify, your tribal government must have an agreement with the Veterans Administration. In addition, you must have a valid VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE), meet credit standards, and have proof that you have enough income to cover the mortgage as well as your expenses.

This loan does not require a down payment in most cases. You will not need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), there will be limited closing costs, you will be able to use the loan again in the future for another home, and there will be a low-interest 30-year fixed mortgage.

Resources:

Traditional FinancingConventional loans do not come with a government mortgage guarantee and generally require a down payment. In addition, the interest rates may be higher than with the previous options, and the credit requirements may be higher as well.

Resources:

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Auto Financing Options

Do you need a new vehicle? Consider the following options before going with a traditional car loan:

Military Loan ProgramsMilitary car loans are available to active duty military or retirees who have served 20 or more years in the military. They have lower interest rates than the majority of other car loan options. They also offer a low down payment and easier approval than other automotive loans. In addition, the repayment period may be longer than with other loans, resulting in a lower monthly payment. Some lenders may be able to offer additional incentives as well.

Resources:

Manufacturer Discounts If you are in the United States, there are a number of vehicle manufacturers that offer discounts to military service members.

  • Acura will give you $750 towards the purchase of a new vehicle.
  • Ford has been known to offer $500 in bonus cash for military members and their families when you buy a new vehicle.
  • General Motors offers various incentives. They offer an additional one for Military Appreciation Month, which they extend to all retired and veteran service members.
  • Harley Davidson offers a discount that includes no down payment, reduced rates, and flexible terms for active duty military.
  • Honda has been known to offer $500 towards the purchase or lease of a new vehicle.
  • Hyundai has also given $500 towards the purchase of a new vehicle.
  • Kia has offered a $400 incentive for the purchase of one of their new vehicles.
  • Nissan has the Nissan Military program, which can save you between $500 and $1000. It is available to active duty military, reservists, retired military, and veterans who have been on active duty in the previous 12 months.
  • Toyota offers a $500 rebate to active duty military, reservists, retired military, and veterans who have been on active duty in the previous 12 months.
  • If you are looking for parts for a vehicle, O’Reilly Auto PartsAdvance Auto Parts, and Pep Boys offer military discounts on purchases.
  • If you are overseas, look into the discount programs made available by Military Outsource, BMW, and Volvo.

Resources:

Sales tax exemption – Some states offer an exemption from payment of sales tax to members of the US military. Check your state to see if they are one that does.

Resources:

Additional Resources

Are you still looking for additional resources to help with expenses? Try the following links:

Military Consumer discusses quick ways to access cash.

Consumer Finance discusses your rights when it comes to military lending.

The U.S. Department of Education can help with grants and scholarships for higher education.

Military One Source discusses personal finance.

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