Report: Majority of Post-9/11 Veterans Leave Billions of Dollars Unclaimed in VA Housing Benefits

—Wounded Warriors Impacted the Most—

Over a million injured post-9/11 veterans may be eligible for a VA (Veterans Administration) home mortgage that charges no VA funding fee. The majority aren’t taking advantage, according to a new report from American Financing.

“VA loans, which were introduced in 1944 as part of the G.I. Bill, make it easier for those who have served our country to buy and stay in a home—and it’s striking to see the extent to which they’re so vastly underutilized by those who need them most: our wounded warriors,” said Tim Beyers, mortgage analyst at American Financing, a leading national mortgage banker.

While all active-duty and retired military are entitled to many housing benefits—including no down payment and a VA guarantee of their loan in lieu of mortgage insurance—those deemed by the VA to be at least 10 percent impaired by one or a combination of service-connected disabilities are entitled to even more benefits, including exemption from VA funding fees, which can amount to as much as 3.3% of the amount borrowed on a home loan.

Data shows that only 16.8% of post-9/11 veterans have used a VA home loan, according to a 2014 study from the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics. Meanwhile, a similar study released in 2016 by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization, found that 51% of the 1,500-plus members it surveyed had not used the VA home loan.

And the numbers will continue to rise. By 2019, the VA expects the total population of post-9/11 vets to increase to 3.5 million. If current percentages hold, between 1.1 and 2.5 million of them will be afflicted with service-connected disabilities, making them potentially eligible for thousands in home loan savings.

“As a veteran myself, I can attest to the power of VA loans. I’ve used the benefit five times, and every time I’ve paid a fraction of the fees and closing costs I would’ve paid using a conventional mortgage. The federal government ensures that all military—but especially our wounded warriors—get access to an assortment of benefits that can add up to significant savings when buying or refinancing a home,” said Greg Vogel, a long-time manager for American Financing who left the Army as a disabled vet. He’s spent most of the past decade helping fellow veterans get into affordable homes under the VA mortgage program.

More details and key findings can be found in American Financing’s full report, available at https://www.americanfinancing.net/about-us/articles/va-benefits-go-unclaimed.

American Financing also provides tips for veterans in a new blog post, 8 Home Loan Benefits for Veterans and Wounded Warriors, available at https://www.americanfinancing.net/blog/2017/03/20/wounded-warriors-home-loan-benefits/.

About American Financing:
American Financing is a national company employing salary-based mortgage consultants dedicated to helping homeowners make smart mortgage decisions that align with their unique financial goals. Founded in 1999 by Damian and Gabie Maldonado, the company—which to this day remains proudly family owned and operated—has grown into a national mortgage banker offering competitive rates and superior service, all while carrying out its commitment to make communities better places in which to live. The company is headquartered in Aurora, Colorado and licensed in all 50 states. Visit American Financing’s website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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