As a military officer, you do a tough job serving the country, but it also has benefits, and one of them is being able to access VA home loans. This program offers financing to military officers, allowing you to purchase your home with zero down payments, low closing costs, and interests. There’s also the ability to forego Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), among other benefits.

Great News! Now if you are a retired military veteran and are now a teacher, police officer, firefighter, or other California public employee, you can take advantage of all of the CalPATH Rewards Benefits with a VA loan.


In 2020, over 1.2 million loans were disbursed, being a 241% increase from the previous year.¹ However, to get the best from the application process, preparation is crucial. Knowing what lies ahead will help you evade potential problems in the application and approval process. Here are a few tips that can be quite useful when applying for a VA loan.

Here Are Some VA Financing Tips for Military Officers

To avoid challenges along the way, here are the things you should keep in mind in your VA loan journey. 

Know Your Eligibility

It’s important to know if you qualify for a VA home loan which you can do by obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). It’s a certificate issued by the US Department of Veteran Affairs to confirm that you have all the requirements needed to apply for a VA home loan. 

Review Your Credit 

While there’s no minimum credit score set in VA home loans, your credit score still matters. Even though you generally get the loan at lower interest rates and better terms than other loans, your credit score plays a role in the terms and rates you receive. Similar to what happens in conventional loans, a higher credit score attracts better loan terms. 

But either way, it’s essential always to have a copy of your credit report beforehand to avoid any surprises. 

Keep Some Money Aside for Other Costs

VA loans don’t require any down payment, but you still need to pay for other costs. That makes it essential that you have some money set aside to pay these costs. Some of the expenses you’ll have to pay to include application fees, loan origination fees, real estate taxes, title insurance, home appraisal, and inspection fees, and recording fees. 

Apart from these costs, you also need to pay the one-time VA funding fee, which varies with whether you’re buying your first home or if you’ll make a down payment. The fee can be up to 3.6% of your mortgage amount. When all these costs are rounded up, they can result in a significant amount. That’s why you need to have some amount set aside for that purpose.²

Compare the Lenders

Participating vendors offer different loan terms and types. Some lenders have additional options, such as new construction, mobile homes, or condo loans, while others do not.  You need to compare lenders to get the most competitive terms and interest rates. Find out who has the fairest deal for you. 

Moving Forward With VA Financing

Ensure you gather enough information to get a complete understanding of the application and approval of the VA loan. Making proper preparations is crucial as it reduces potential challenges along the way. Remember that even though there’s zero down payment, you need to cater to other loan costs. 


“About Mountain West Financial and the CalPATH Home Loan Program

Mountain West Financial is the exclusive lender offering CalPATH, the #1 home loan program for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other public employees who serve our local California communities.

You may contact our CalPATH Hotline @ 800-310-7577, seven days a week from (8:30 am to 8:00 pm). A CalPATH advisor will be standing by to answer (any & all) questions you may have about the home buying or refinance process.

We look forward to working with you soon!


Joe Moore

Branch Manager”


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