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FAQ

Can a veteran buy a home using VA loan with bad credit?
You don’t specify what you consider “bad,” but the credit standards for VA loans are quite forgiving. Although VA doesn’t have a specified minimum for approval, most companies allow a FICO score as low as 580. The rate for someone with a 580 score will be about .625% higher than for someone with a 740 score.In order to have a score of 580, there must be some combination of the following reported on the credit report:Recent history (within 2 years) of late paymentsAccounts that are currently delinquent or in collectionPublic record items: liens, judgments, bankruptcy or foreclosureHigh or over-limit credit card balances. By “high,” I mean significantly over 30% of the credit limit.Some of these items would have to be resolved before any lender will fund a loan. Collection accounts will have to be settled in some manner. Currently delinquent accounts will have to be brought current. Liens and judgments will have to be paid, although tax liens can subordinate to a new first mortgage without being paid off. The borrower would have to have an installment agreement with the taxing authority, however.Ironically, almost any of these necessary actions will raise the credit scores—in some cases, dramatically.I hope this is helpfu.
Why should you use VA loan?
A VA-backed loan is one of the few mortgage products that allow the borrower full leverage -- that is, the ability to finance 100 percent of the purchase price (no money down).  Especially in places where home prices are rising quickly, this can be a huge benefit. Trying to amass a downpayment of 5 or 10 percent as home prices are rising by 5 percent or more is a process of chasing ever-moving goal posts, but a no money down opportunity allows you to make a purchase now.  While there is no mortgage insurance, you will be required to pay a loan funding fee; essentially, this is a one-time MI premium. The amount you are charged can vary, ranging from a low of 1.25 percent (with a 10 percent down payment) to as high as 3.3 percent of the loan amount. Factors influencing MI include: the loan size, down payment amount (if any), whether or not a borrower has had a previous VA loan, and the borrower’s military category. With the most common VA loan -- the no-money-down option -- the VA Funding Fee for regular military is 2.15 percent and the fee is 2.4 percent for those in the Reserves or National Guard. Another very valuable feature of VA-backed mortgages is that lenders do not use risk-based pricing. This means that even if your credit isn't all that high up the scale you won't see a higher interest rate or fees than someone who is closer to perfect. This is a considerable advantage when compared against conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed loans, where a FICO score of 620 means several percentage points in additional fees to obtain the same rate as a borrower with a FICO 740. If you can meet eligibility, a VA-backed loan can be a good way to purchase or refinance a home.
How can a veteran with bad credit get a home loan?
Credit Score is normally a secondary eligibility criteria for home loan. Other eligibility factors matter more. And these factors are as follows:Employment Stability: It is one of the important aspect to be taken into consideration by the lenders before providing home loan.Age Criteria: Generally the individuals in between the age group of 20–60 years and are working professionals are more likely to get home loans easily by the banks or NBFCS. However for self-employed this will change to 24 to 65 years.Credit Rating: Since home loan is a secured loan, credit score below 750 is also acceptable by the lenders based upon your creditworthiness.Employer: The credibility for getting a home loan also enhances with type of profession or work you have opted or pursuing.Financial Situation: The lenders check your past, and present financial history.The Eligibility criteria are as follow:Source: FinBudHowever, you can apply for a home loan online with NBFCs, they follow the entire process online and offer quick disbursal of the loan amount.
Should the VA be merged into the Department of Defense to prmilitary members with recruitment-to-grave continuity of service?
That’s how it used to be done, and there was very good reason why the functions are now distinct and separate. I can’t think of a single efficiency that would be gained by going backwards.This isn’t me being a precious VA employee who wants to protect my old stomping grounds. This is me being a bureaucrat who’s seen the innards of the two largest bureaucracies in government - VA and DoD - and is telling you, in as direct a way as possible, why you do not want to combine those sausages.Let’s start from the beginning. Like, the beginning-beginning.Veterans‡ compensation in the United States literally goes back to the Pilgrims. The Plymouth Colony determined in 1636 that those who were disabled in their fight with the Pequot Indians should receive regular compensation for their service.Flash forward 150 years, and Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays, angry that he was still owed compensation for his service (as were basically all veterans), took up arms against the Massachusetts government in a rebellion that literally shaped the nation as we know it today[1].The first Congress under the Constitution established a pension for veterans as one of its first acts, and so began the bureaucratic nightmare.The pension program (and its growth with various amendments) was run by the War Department until 1849, when it grew too large and was moved into the newly formed Department of the Interior.Any health care for veterans, meanwhile, remained principally a state responsibility until the end of the Civil War, when the influx of disabled veterans was too great for the patchwork of Soldiers‡ Homes (some of which were Federal) to manage. In 1865, as the Civil War was coming to a close, the government formally established a network of facilities to prlong-term care for severely disabled veterans.Over time, Congress expanded the eligibility criteria for admission into these homes; and in so doing, they gradually transformed to being able to prhospital level care.America’s entry into WWI had, perhaps, the longest repercussions for veterans‡ care and benefits.The number of disabled veterans overwhelmed both military hospitals (where many were undergoing long-term recovery) and the Soldiers‡ Homes network. In 1919, broad responsibility for veterans‡ health care spun off to the Public Health Service and contracted private hospitals; and in 1921, Congress authorized the construction of hospitals specifically for veterans‡ care.Also in 1921, Congress attempted to consolidate the various veterans‡ programs under a single umbrella (the Veterans‡ Bureau), but their efforts were incomplete. While the Veterans‡ Bureau took on responsibility for insurance, outpatient care, and education benefits, the Bureau of Pensions (Department of Interior) still had responsibility for, um, pensions, and the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers remained a separate entity.In 1930, Congress tried again, and so created the Veterans‡ Administration to consolidate the Veterans‡ Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions, and the National Homes.For the first time, the Federal government assumed, under a single organization, total health and compensation responsibility for veterans and their dependents.Between the influx of WWI veterans and the retirement of Spanish-American War veterans, spending on veterans‡ services shot up through the 1920s. Moreover, Congress continued to expand eligibility requirements and levels of compensation. This led to a fateful decision in 1924 to authorize bonus payments to WWI veterans, payable beginning in 1944.When the Great Depression hit, many veterans found themselves out of work with the rest of the population. In the spirit of Daniel Shays almost 150 years before - but much, much less violently - veterans marched on Washington to demand that their compensation be cashed out so that they could support their families.Congress said, “No,” and the Hoover Administration responded by sending in the military to disperse the encamped veterans and their families at bayonet point[2].So that was a great episode in American history (and in 1936, Congress relented and authorized early payment).But the trauma of the Bonus Army and the general experience of WWI veterans during the Great Depression spurred Congress to make significant reforms to veterans‡ compensation and care leading up to and during WWII. This included wide expansion of education benefits, home loan assistance, and unemployment compensation.However, as with WWI, the rapid demobilization at the end of WWII caught VA under-prepared. By the end of 1947, it had doubled its staff to operate 126 hospitals and 721 offices to manage care and process claims. The Korean War further expanded VA’s operational capacity.To get ahead of the problems encountered with rapid demobilization of forces abroad (and, if you’re wondering, I’m now starting to get to the crux of the question), VA in 1967 sent field officers to Vietnam to educate soon-to-separate servicemembers on their entitlements as veterans. This was the forerunner what’s now codified as the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).What was then a loose affiliation between the Department of Defense and Veterans‡ Administration is now a statutory, funded program that includes DoD, VA, the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security, and the Small Business Administration. Attending the program - which not only covers veterans‡ benefits but includes financial literacy and general career advice - is mandatory for separating servicemembers.The VA’s on-the-ground assistance to returning Vietnam veterans made it clear that many of them would need long-term assistance readjusting to civilian life. This spawned the establishment of the Readjustment Counseling Service (ie, the Vet Center program) to prongoing services to combat veterans who may be having difficulty making the transition back to civilian life - and, uniquely, the services are run by counselors who themselves are combat veterans.But the influx of veterans from Vietnam put strains on a system that hadn’t seen significant investment in physical infrastructure since the end of WWII. VA’s medical budget tripled between 1967 and 1977, and its rehabilitation and education spending increased ten-fold.In 1977, the Veterans‡ Administration commissioned the creation of an electronic health record that could be used across its hospitals, as veterans‡ paper-based records were too prone to being lost or inadvertently destroyed[3][4]. This was America’s first electronic health record, and for a long time the only one of its scale anywhere in the world. It was designed to have a core architecture that could be modded by individual hospitals to meet their own needs.It was so successful - and free to the public, having been created by the US government - that in 1988 the Department of Defense awarded a $1 billion contract (~$2.1 billion today) to copy the system for its own purposes, and make that copy totally proprietary.…Yes, you are reading that correctly. DoD paid $1 billion to take a perfectly functioning, free electronic health records system that was already US government property to make a private copy.Oh, and they managed to make it worse in the process[5].That created a decades long tech schism that defied both Congress and successive Presidents to resolve. It’s even spawned its own, little bridge bureaucracy[6].So now, with DoD and VA having failed to get along (and even failing to make use of the Bridge Bureaucracy[7]), both Departments‡ records systems are being put in the hands of a single, private provider[8] (and lots of other happy tech vendors[9]).Because in no way, shape, or form will entrusting the private sector to reform the largest electronic health records systems, arguably, in the world lead to any kind of cost overruns[10] or become an attractive target for ne’er-do-wells[11].Nope.Anyway, how does all this support my position that merging DoD and VA is a bad idea to ensure continuity of care?A major takeaway from the experience of Vietnam veterans‡ return to the US is, to be quite blunt, that the military gives very few shits about its people once they’re no longer connected to military operations.The Department of Defense and the services have one overarching goal: combat readiness - to train and support war fighters. Once they’re no longer in or supporting combat operations, then as far as Defense is concerned, you’re no longer their issue[12] .Going back to TAP, the law requires that DoD ensure that all servicemembers complete the course more than 90 days before they separate. This is because servicemembers often complained that, frequently, they weren’t made to take TAP courses until their very last two days in the service - the two days that their minds were very much elsewhere.However, despite both the legal requirement and the length of time afforded to separating servicemembers to complete the training, more than half of servicemembers don’t complete the training until their last 90 days, with DoD doing the baremost to monitor compliance[13] .And going back to the (ongoing) debacle of VA-DoD records inter-operability, a major issue was that VA didn’t have the political clout to go toe-to-toe with DoD on the issue.The Veterans Administration did not become the Cabinet-level, Department of Veterans‡ Affairs until 1989[14] [15]. And while the previous Administrator position still required Senate confirmation, it didn’t share anywhere near the prestige (which, in Washington, equals power) as a Secretary appointment.If you were to fold the Department of Veterans‡ Affairs into the Department of Defense, well, you can’t have co-Secretaries; and given that DoD has higher precedence than VA, VA would be bumped down the chain. You would be organizationally sending the message that veterans are less important than the active Armed Forces.And if there were ever a conflict between the Secretary of Defense and the now-Under Secretary of Veterans‡ Affairs, the Under Secretary would basically be stuffed. They wouldn’t have direct access to the President or Congress to get their point of view across without being seen as undermining their boss.VA and DoD don’t need to be under the same umbrella to prlifetime continuity of care. They just need to be on the same page when it comes to collecting and sharing data on servicemembers‡ health history (which they mostly are[16]), at which point the VA can take over and focus on long-term care while DoD concerns itself with readiness.And if the assumption is that having everyone in the same organization will break down silos and improve the flow of data, well, that’s not grounded in the reality of the inner workings of America’s largest bureaucracies[17] [18].Of all the possible ways I could think to reform VA and DoD to improve information sharing and continuity of services, merging the two Departments would be an act of desperation at the bottom of the list.Footnotes[1] Carter Moore's answer to What was Shays' Rebellion?[2] Carter Moore's answer to How disastrous to the US would it be if all war veterans benefits got slashed to zero?[3] The 1973 Fire, National Personnel Records Center[4] A 40-year 'conspiracy' at the VA[5] AHLTA users sound off about military EHR system[6] VA Information Technology[7] EHR interoperability for VA and DoD, who’s responsible? Lawmakers, officials can't agree[8] VA picks Cerner to replace VistA; Trump says EHR will fix agency's data sharing 'once and for all'[9] Cerner reveals long list of VA EHR modernization partners[10] DoD raises budget on Leidos contract for Cerner EHR project by $1.2 billion[11] U.S. data breaches and exposed records 2021 | Statistic[12] 126,000 service members in crosshairs for separation as DoD’s ‘deploy or get out‡ policy takes effect[13] Transitioning Veterans: DOD Needs to Improve Performance Reporting and Monitoring for the Transition Assistance Program[14] Reagan Would Elevate V.A. to Cabinet Level[15] Reagan signs bill creating veterans department[16] https://www.health.mil/Military-...[17] https://www.realcleardefense.com...[18] After A Year Of Turmoil, New VA Secretary Says 'Waters Are Calmer'
Why should the US have a single payer system when Veteran Affairs single payer is broken?
Totally false premise (that the VA is “broken”). The VA is NOT broken ‡ but it is seriously handicapped financially. In fact, I would argue that VA has been intentionally crippled (through the years) to support the argument (by many) that “single-payer” healthcare in the U.S. can’t work.How can I make such a bold ‡ counter-intuitive claim? It’s in the very nature and history of the VA itself ‡ which has always been a financial football at the very center of our national politics.At the time of the latest scandal ‡ the Phoenix facility in 2021 ‡ CNN did a timeline of the VA that should be required reading. It starts in 1921 with the Veterans Bureau which was formed by our government to aid World War I vets.It quickly devolves into corruption, and is abolished nine years later under a cloud of scandal. [1]The corruption and scandals never stopped because they all revolve around the same issue ‡ money.But, before we can talk about HOW money impacts the VA directly, we have to talk about the U.S. healthcare system generally.Unlike every other industrialized country, the U.S. system is based on “tiered” health coverage.The U.S. tiers health coverage by:Employment (Employer Sponsored Insurance or ESI)Age (twice ‡ 26 & 65/Medicare)Income (Medicaid)Military Service (VA)Heritage (Indian Health Services)‡ and we still wind up with about 30 million Americans who have no health insurance coverage at all (the “uninsured”). This doesn’t mean that the uninsured have no healthcare needs ‡ it just means that those expenses are “cost-shifted” to all of us that do pay (one way or another) for our coverage.Now, there’s only one reason for tiering health coverage this way ‡ and that’s to support tiered pricing. Americans are used to tiered pricing in almost every other aspect of their consumer life (hotels, airlines, appliances, homes, cars, technology), so many don’t blink an eye when tiered pricing is applied to healthcare (even though they rarely see the actual pricing). Many simply assume that healthcare pricing is tiered ‡ and that it is ok. It isn’t.From that list above, tiered pricing is highest to lowest. In other words, commercial rates applied to ESI are the highest/best available to doctors and hospitals for their services. ESI is where they make the most money because it’s whatever the market will bear. Medicare and Medicaid are fixed/lower rates (in fact, many doctors simply don’t take Medicaid patients at all because the rates are so low).#4 is VA ‡ which is about on par with Medicaid rates ‡ except it’s even worse because unlike Medicare or Medicaid, the hospitals are Government owned (and doctors are basically Government employees). As a VA doc (unlike say a Medicare or Medicaid doc), you have no access to the lucrative/commercial tier. As a doc, your’e income is stuck at whatever the VA pays. Sure, you *could* moonlight (and some VA docs do), but you’re also trying to have a life after 10 years of med school ‡ right?In this sense, the VA is like the NHS in the U.K. (also single-payer and government owned) ‡ except that the VA rates paid to doctors are well below market compared to any other coverage tier.As highly trained professionals, doctors (all doctors) have to make economic decisions about their income and their future. That future includes having to recognize the loss of about 10 years of earning power (through med school) and assuming (on average) about $180,000 in student debt.Given these economic variables, there is a longstanding and chronic shortage of doctors willing to work at/for the VA. It’s literally that simple. The VA is seriously underfunded for a caliber of professional (doctors) that’s already in short supply ‡ and has no way to compete for that talent without changing the pay scale.Our Government COULD change this ‡ by raising pay rates to docs ‡ but it doesn’t! That’s not the fault of “single-payer” healthcare, but it is most definitely the the fault of our system of tiered coverage ‡ which is heavily tilted against doctors choosing to work for the VA.IF I had to draw a retail analogy, it would be like an MIT grad ‡ who got an MBA at Harvard ‡ and then deciding to go to work for the Department of Motor Vehicles. Why would anyone do that? They wouldn’t ‡ and that’s the challenge the VA is stuck with. The problem is the rate of pay ‡ not the source of payment!Footnote: As referenced above, the VA is like the U.K.’s NHS in that it is both a single-payer system AND government owned, BUT, government ownership isn’t a requirement to be a single-payer system. In fact, most single-payer models around the world aren’t government owned ‡ and again ‡ source of payment isn’t the issue. The issue is the pay scale.'Single-Payer' Healthcare Isn't Necessary - But Single Pricing Is[1] The VA's troubled history
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