VA loans could be opened to more surviving spouses

Hundred dollar bill folded in shape of a house

Widows of disabled military veterans might soon be able to get a no-down-payment VA home loan even if their spouse’s death is not connected to his or her service.

The Disabled Veterans’ Surviving Spouses Home Loans Act fixes a flaw in the VA home loan system that keeps widows of permanently disabled veterans from using the program unless their spouse’s death was linked to their service.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives this month and was sent to a Senate committee.

"I’m concerned that some families of veterans were being excluded from benefits that common sense would dictate they be eligible for," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).

The bill gives surviving spouses access to VA loans as long as their spouse was totally disabled for the 10 years preceding his or her death.

Most surviving spouses of veterans whose deaths were not service-connected but who had permanent, service-connected disabilities are eligible to receive monthly compensation payments from the VA. These same spouses cannot, however, qualify for a VA home loan.

Mortgages backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs are the most generous home loans available.

You don't need a down payment, there is no mortgage insurance requirement and you can qualify even if you have damaged credit.

On top of that, the rates are as favorable as those given to people with stellar credit scores in non-VA loans.

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