The year was 1944. FDR was President, the Allies had invaded France, and the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs was launching a program that would reward the country’s most sacrificial citizens with assistance in the area of homeownership. 73 years later, not only have the the VA’s little-known mortgage benefits not expired, but record-low interest rates have made them more valuable than ever.
If you took out a 30-year mortgage on your home, you’re not alone. And you could be paying tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest over the course of your loan. But not to worry. The VA’s Refinance program is designed to empower Veteran homeowners with a better mortgage.
A 15-year mortgage crushes a 30-year mortgage on two overlapping fronts: interest over time, and interest rates. A 15-year mortgage has lower interest rates than a 30-year and cuts the length of the interest’s growth in half. The bottom line: MorningFinance found that 72% of an employee's monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage was pure interest. When a member of the Morning Finance team plugged his information into LendingTree’s secure platform, he was shocked by the result. By switching from a 30- to a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, he unlocked $159,447.09 in savings.
A typical homeowner with less than 20% equity would be required to pay for PMI, but there’s one exclusion: veterans. Through the VA’s refinance program, no PMI is required. That factor alone could put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket each month.
When you switch from a 30- to a 15-year mortgage, you’ll receive a refund of any escrow you’ve accumulated. For our colleague, he received $1777 in a cash escrow refund and was allowed two payment-free months of blissful homeownership.