When centenarians reveal their secrets for living such long lives, they can range from the extreme to the mundane. They typically cite what they chew or eschew, what they drink or avoid, and whether they exercise or follow a more sedentary lifestyle. No two of them might claim similar formulas. 

However, there is one consistent point among them: No matter their doctrine, they stay with it unfailingly. 

Likewise, CalVet’s Home Loans program – born 100 years ago this May to meet the needs of veterans who returned from World War I – knows what works, sticks to it, and continually improves upon it.  

The program’s foundation is its unwavering dedication to California’s veterans and their dream of home ownership. CalVet’s loan agents maintain a deep passion for these veterans. CalVet has the tools available to underwrite loans other agencies will not. 

“We aren’t bound by the traditional constraints of commercial lenders,” said Theresa Gunn, deputy secretary of CalVet’s Home Loans Division. “From the moment we receive an application or even an inquiry, our goal and our focus is to enable California’s veterans and their families to realize the American dream of home ownership.” 

While CalVet uses the VA’s Loan Guaranty for many of the loans it underwrites, it also offers other unique benefits no other lender can provide.  Such as:

  • NO CREDIT SCORE MINIMUMS – Private industry uses credit score models as overlays to VA guidelines. That can result in loan denials for veterans who may have had a temporary hardship and would qualify under a more thorough review in a manual process. CalVet loan agents take the time and interest to do a more thorough review. 
  • FLEXIBLE UNDERWRITING –  CalVet loans offer greater flexibility in underwriting than the private sector VA loan products. Most files are manually underwritten.  Consequently, CalVet can work with the most “in need” veterans whom private lenders typically will not. 
  • CREDIT SUPPORT DESK – If a veteran cannot qualify, we offer a service to help our credit-challenged veterans get back on track. 
  • HIGH BALANCE LOANS – The maximum loan amount of $1,027,000 (depending on county, we offer 125% of the FNMA county limit): therefore, providing more home purchasing opportunities to qualified buyers. 
  • LOW COST INSURANCE – Excellent group insurance benefits for fire, earthquake, and flood offer guaranteed home replacement protection at lower costs. No geographical restrictions in California.
  • LOW COST LOANS – There are no underwriting, processing, or additional lender fees. CalVet charges only a 1% origination fee and the credit report fee.  “We don’t bury our veterans with fees that can price them out of a home instead of putting them into one,” said Brad Pedersen, program representative for the Home Loans Division. 
  • IN-HOUSE SERVICING – CalVet does not sell its loans on the secondary market. They work directly with the veterans to keep them in the home during times of hardship. CalVet services its loans for the life of the loan with a uniquely trained “veteran sensitive” customer service team. This specialized attention is a vital component of the CalVet Home Loans program never offered by private industry. 
  • CALVET/97 PROGRAM – There is no better program available for our veterans who are not eligible or have lost their eligibility for the VA loan program. It offers down payments starting at 3% of the purchase price with no mortgage insurance and includes all of the other benefits the program provides. This loan has a maximum loan amount of $685,312.  
  • CALVET PRODUCTS – We also offer construction loans, home improvement loans, rehabilitation loans, and loans for Mobile Homes in a park.

As a result, CalVet loan agents frequently receive letters and emails thanking them for making their dreams come true.  A few excerpts:

“I needed an angel and I found several at CalVet,” one satisfied veteran client wrote to CalVet staff. “You need to know that the effort you put out matters and changes lives. The housing piece in my life is secure.” 

“We thought buying a home would be so difficult and out of reach,” the wife of another veteran wrote. “Because of you it was made possible…We love you guys and will refer all of our vet friends to CalVet!” 

And finally, “I don’t know how many veterans they assist regularly, but as far as I could tell, I was their only client and getting us the home we wanted was their priority,” yet another veteran wrote.  

The bottom line is that qualified veterans and their families will enjoy competitive interest rates on loans with little or no money down; no monthly mortgage insurance, low costs; comprehensive low cost insurance; and CalVet servicing for the life of the loan. 

As CalVet’s Home Loans Program prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday, with more than $8.5 billion in loans on the books and having served nearly half a million veterans, this centenarian’s secret to success and longevity is no secret at all.   

For nearly 100 years CalVet Home Loans has helped veterans build, rebuild, and own homes, and it will continue to do so for well into the future. For more information on obtaining a CalVet home loan, CLICK HERE or call us directly during regular business hours at 866-653-2510. We are happy to help. 

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