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VA refinance loan program available to veterans

VA-eligible borrowers who rank lower interest rates and monthly payments as a priority may want to refinance with a VA-backed mortgage.

Are these your priorities for a VA refinance loan?

• I want a lower monthly payment.

• I want to reduce my interest rate.

A VA refinance loan can provide eligible borrowers up to 100 percent loan-to-value and the backing of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A VA refinance loan can also provide a lower interest rate and monthly payments if the conditions are right. Since the mortgage crisis in the fall of 2008, interest rates have steadily fallen to historic lows. As the economy stabilizes, interest rates may rise.

Active duty and retired military members who financed their homes when interest rates were higher may have a golden opportunity to get a lower rate and monthly payment with a VA refinance loan. Those who consider reducing interest rates and monthly payment as a priority may want to act now before interest rates go up.

Many borrowers are satisfied with their VA refinance results and the immediate lower payments and/or interest rates they can provide. But, for those looking for significant savings over time, it may make sense to perform a simple break-even calculation before moving forward with the refinance process.

The break-even point occurs when the reduction in payment covers the cost of the refinancing. Refinancing costs may include origination fees, appraisals, the VA funding fee and closing costs. These costs are typically rolled into a VA loan.

The “break-even” point tells the borrower how long he or she will need to hold the loan for the savings from the lower rate to begin to exceed the cost of refinancing.

A break-even calculation might look something like this:

• $6,000 (total costs to refinance)-$300 (monthly savings) = 20 months to break even.

Any homeowner who can justify savings through a break-even calculation might want to consider moving forward with a veteran’s refinance loan.

Veterans breakfast

Thank you to all who participated in the eighth-grade sponsored breakfast on Veterans Day, including parents, students and volunteers.

I also want to thank those veterans who attended, especially in uniform. My thanks also to the American Legion and their program honoring Veterans Day.

Meetings

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

American Legion Post 108, second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm, 287 Hermosa St.

Veterans for Veterans, every Tuesday at 10 am, 164 N. Pagosa Blvd. (Buffalo Inn).

Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans, Monday at 6 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590 and e-mail is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. in the old Mercy Medical Center. Phone number is 247-2214.

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