Those who are new to the VA loan benefit may not know about some of the VA rules for credit scores and interest rates. Did you know that VA loan credit rules are not the only rules which apply? The lender’s standards also factor in. A VA home loan application may technically meet VA minimum standards for credit and income, but if the lender’s rules aren’t also satisfied, the financial institution is permitted to turn down the application.

That’s one reason why borrowers are encouraged to take advantage of any pre-purchase counseling available before starting the VA loan application process and take some time to review credit scores and loan repayment history.

Borrowers who don’t come to the VA loan application with a full year of on-time payments for all financial responsibilities risk getting the loan turned down--lenders want to see 12 months of reliable payments on your record as proof that you’re ready for the new loan in addition to the rest of your monthly obligations.

In situations where more than one borrower is applying for the VA mortgage, all applicants must be able to pass VA and lender credit standards. The credit strengths for one borrower can’t be used to balance out the credit deficiencies of the other applicant(s) on the loan.

When it comes to VA loan interest rates, some have the misconception that the Department of Veterans Affairs sets or regulates the mortgage rates. This is not true--borrowers and lenders must negotiate together to come up with an acceptable rate.

Lenders offer VA mortgage interest rates based on market conditions including influential movement by certain types of securities and other trading. When trading is affected by world headlines, economic data, or activities announced by the Fed, mortgage loan rates can and do adjust accordingly.

VA loan rates vary more between lenders than conventional mortgage loan rates--you may find a better deal by shopping around more aggressively depending on the market--if you haven’t shopped around for a VA home loan rate, you may do well to compare lenders and see what rates might be available to you.