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Getting Pre-Approved for a VA Loan in California

Are you eligible for a California VA home loan? Do you plan to buy a home in the near future? If so, it would be wise to get pre-approved for a VA mortgage loan before you start shopping for a house.

This article explains the VA loan pre-approval process in California, and how it benefits you as a home buyer about to enter the real estate market.

California VA Loan Pre-Approval at a Glance

What is mortgage pre-approval, exactly? Basically, it’s when you work with a California VA lender before shopping for a home, to find out how much you are able to borrow.

The mortgage company will review your financial situation, to include your income, debts, and credit history. They’ll also request certain documents to verify these aspects of your financial picture.

The pre-approval process helps determine two things:

  1. if you’re a good candidate for a VA home loan, and…
  2. how much you are able to borrow toward a home purchase.

To begin the California VA loan pre-approval process, you’ll want to speak to a mortgage lender that is approved to offer these loans — like us! Bridgepoint Funding is proud to participate in the California VA home loan program. So feel free to contact us with your questions, or to start the process.

How It Benefits You as a Home Buyer

The mortgage pre-approval process benefits you, the home buyer, in several ways. Here are the primary benefits of getting pre-approved for a California VA loan:

A more efficient home search: How much of a house can you afford? To answer this, you need to know how much you are able to borrow. And this can be learned during the VA mortgage pre-approval process. With a maximum price range in mind, you’ll be able to narrow your search to the kinds of homes you can actually afford. This can save you time and energy.

Identifying and resolving issues: Some borrowers sail through the mortgage process without a hitch. Others encounter certain issues that have to be resolved before they can close on their homes. Which camp do you fall into? This is another benefit of California VA loan pre-approval. It helps you identify and resolve potential roadblocks to financing.

Making a stronger offer: When you make an offer on a house, the seller will want to know if you have your financing lined up yet. If you’re a cash buyer, they’ll want to see bank statements verifying that you have the funds. If you’re using a mortgage, they’ll probably ask to see a pre-approval letter. Getting pre-approved for a California VA loan before entering the real estate market will increase the likelihood of your offer being accepted.

VA mortgage pre-approval is a logical first step in the home buying process. It helps you identify your target price range and makes you more competitive as a buyer.

Related: California VA loan eligibility

Documents Needed to Get Pre-Approved

When you get pre-approved for a mortgage loan (whether it’s VA, FHA or conventional), you’ll be asked for a variety of documents. Most of these documents relate to your finances, for obvious reasons. The documents needed for California VA loan pre-approval will vary slightly from one lender to the next.

They typically include the following:

  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is a standardized document provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs that tells the mortgage lender you are eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. You can request this document online, or we can help you.
  • Federal tax returns for the last couple of years.
  • W-2 statements for the last two years.
  • Recent banks statements.
  • Recent pay stubs.
  • Most recent retirement account statement, if applicable.

This is a partial list of the most commonly requested documents. You might have to provide additional items not listed above.

Have questions? At Bridgepoint Funding, we are passionate about the VA loan program because it rewards California’s brave men and women in uniform. Please contact us if you have questions about the program, or if you’d like to start the pre-approval process.

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