Thinking About Our Veterans

What do you know about VA loans … start by asking your buyers, “Have you served?”

A Veteran can obtain a COE (Certificate of Eligibility) from the VA (Veterans Association) as long as they have a DD214 (discharge papers) and are a qualifying Veteran. Approved VA lenders can obtain the COE on behalf of the Veteran, if they have the proper information. It is important to note that the VA does not lend money; they only insure the loan, so the Veteran must apply with a VA approved lender. Every lender should ask EVERY borrower if they are a Veteran.

Simply put, VA loans are probably the best loans available. Here are some bullet points as to why:
• 100% financing with NO monthly mortgage insurance (HUGE savings)
• Interest rates are often lower than on a conventional loan.
• Often times lenders will waive origination fees (attorneys and title companies often discount fees for Veteran’s as well)
• Higher debt to income ratio flexibility.
• On a purchase the VA allows the seller to pay up to 4% of the purchase price towards the Veteran’s closing costs.
• VA loans are assumable so if rates are higher and another Veteran is interested in assuming the mortgage they can do so at the lower rate.
• The VA does have a funding fee that is added to the loan amount. This fee varies based on first time or subsequent usage of the VA loan but is waived if the Veteran has 10% VA disability or more.
• The VA offers what is called an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan). If rates go down the Veteran can refinance to lower the current rate with low cost, low documentation and often times no appraisal required.
• The VA will also allow for additional money for energy improvements to a home.

In honor of Veteran’s Day let’s remember to ‘ASK’ and help our Veterans become successful homeowners!

Written by Justin Bitler, Senior Mortgage Consultant, NMLS# 153699.



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The Final Key to Credit Success!

We provided the top practices to keep your credit in tip top shape.  However there are a few secrets to managing your credit profile that are very important.Never let your credit card balance go over 30% of the credit limit.  

If you have a $1000 limit for example, always keep the balance below $300. It is especially important to ensure you are at or below the 30% mark 90 days before applying for any new credit. This will maximize your credit score.

One of the most important credit tips.

The credit card balance that is reported to the credit bureaus each month is the balance at the end of the billing cycle (even if you pay it in full each month). So if you have that card with a $1000 limit and you used $800 that month it looks like you used 80% of the available balance, even have already paid it in full.  In order to avoid this pay the bill early so that when the statement comes out your balance is between $0 and $300 on that card with a $1000 limit. Keep an eye on when the closing date is on the bill and pay early to boost your profile!

Credit matters with everything we do from renting apartments, to obtaining car insurance to getting a good cell phone deal, it can even impact our employment opportunities. Today maintaining a strong credit profile will make all of your economic choices less expensive. It is never too late to start to build or improve your credit profile.

Call us today to learn how we can support you in navigating the maze of credit reporting.

Amy Tierce of Newton is regional vice president for Wintrust Mortgage, a mortgage company with branches in MetroWest. She can be reached by phone: 617-308-4870, by email:, and online: – NMLS #15695.

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