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September 20, 2021   /   Andrew Sheaffer

Due to frequent re-assignment, Active Duty Coast Guard members often have to relocate to a new part of the country more often than the average person. For many, this means buying or selling their houses when their re-assignment is confirmed. Fortunately, Coast Guard members are eligible to receive a VA loan for their home mortgage, which provides unique benefits, and is one of the best mortgage options on the market.

Benefits of a VA Loan for Coast Guard Members

More and more veterans around the country have been taking advantage of the benefits that come with getting a VA loan for their home mortgage. The VA loan program has helped millions of veterans and active service members achieve the dream of home ownership.

Below is a list of the benefits that come with getting a VA loan:

1. No Down Payment

This is often considered the biggest benefit that comes with VA loans. Those eligible for a VA loan can purchase a home without a down payment. This means veterans and service members do not need to spend years saving up for a large lump-sum down payment, as they would with a conventional mortgage.

2. No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

With conventional mortgages, borrowers who put less than 20% of the home purchase price as their down payment must acquire private mortgage insurance. This adds an additional monthly cost and is required until they build up 20% equity in the home. Unlike conventional loans, with a VA loan this private mortgage insurance is never necessary, regardless of down payment amount.

3. Competitively Low Interest Rates

Since the federal government backs VA loans, this enables mortgage lenders to charge lower than average interest rates. Interest rates are set by the lender and can vary depending on your financial situation.

4. Closing Cost Limits

Whenever anyone purchases a home, there will always be fees and associated closing costs. However, when you purchase a home with a VA loan, the VA limits what can be charged in closing costs and additional fees. This helps to make buying a home as affordable as possible for veterans and active members of the Coast Guard.

VA Loan Eligibility for Coast Guard Members

All uniformed branches of the US military are eligible for VA loans, which includes all members of the Coast Guard. The VA sets their eligibility requirements for both active service and veterans based on how long the individual (or their spouse) has served. Below are the general requirements to determine if you are eligible for a VA loan:

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime; OR
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime; OR
  • You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves; OR
  • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

If you or your spouse fits any of these criteria you are eligible to receive a VA loan for your next home purchase.

Process for Getting a VA Loan for Coast Guard Members

Now that you’ve determined you are eligible and are interested in pursuing home ownership, we want to help you get started by providing you with a general process for getting a VA loan.

Step 1: Connect With a VA Approved Mortgage Lender

Not all mortgage lenders offer VA loans as an option to their borrowers. If you are eligible for a VA loan, it is important to use a mortgage lender that is approved and has experience in the VA lending process, to ensure a smooth approval and home-buying experience.

When choosing your mortgage lender, consider their experience working with active duty or retired military members, how their interest rates compare with other lenders, and what sort of fees you can expect upon closing.

Step 2: Apply for Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) through the VA

This is a necessary part of the process to getting your VA-backed home loan. Getting your Certificate of Eligibility will provide you with confirmation that you qualify for a VA loan and will be used by your lender during the approval process.

The application to get your Certificate of Eligibility is done through the VA and can be pulled by a West Town Bank & Trust mortgage loan officer, or can be started on your own by visiting this link. Any lender who has experience with VA loans will be able to help you throughout the process and provide you with details on what sort of information you will need to provide during the application process.

Step 3: Get Pre-Qualified through Your Mortgage Lender

In order to get pre-qualified as a prospective home buyer, your mortgage lender will take account of your financial situation to “pre-qualify” you to purchase a home up to a certain dollar amount.

Getting this step accomplished early in the home buying process will help you have a quick and efficient home shopping experience moving forward. This will also help you assess your overall finances to give you a better picture of what your home buying budget should be.

Step 4: Begin Home Shopping!

Now for the fun part, picking your dream home. With a VA loan the actual home shopping experience is no different than any other type of loan. Your real estate agent and mortgage lender will work together to help you throughout the process to ensure that you find the right options and homeowners insurance connections based on your unique situation.


As an active duty or retired Coast Guard member, you are eligible to take advantage of the great benefits offered by a VA loan. West Town Bank & Trust is proud to have helped hundreds of USCG members “unlock the feeling of home”. We are well equipped with the experience to help you achieve a smooth home-buying experience.

If you have any questions or would like to get started with the process of getting a VA loan, contact us today!

Get Started With Your VA Home Loan Process Today!


About West Town Bank & Trust

At West Town Bank & Trust, our most important goal is to understand what’s important to you, what’s getting in your way, and what you hope to achieve, so we can help you get there. Since 1922, we’ve been creating long-lasting relationships with our customers based on old-fashioned values and future-thinking ideas.  Whether solutions come from surprisingly innovative tools or trusted products you’re familiar with, our single-focused purpose is your financial well-being.

Whether you’re purchasing your first home or refinancing an adjustable rate mortgage, it’s our commitment to find the most suitable loan program available to you at the lowest rate possible. With hundreds of programs available, let us help you unlock the feeling of home today.