The Oregon State Department of Veterans Affairs is a state-level agency serving Oregon veterans, family members, and caregivers. This agency is not part of the Federal-level Department of Veterans Affairs, but provides similar services including a veteran loan program that is completely separate from the federal VA mortgage benefit.
According to the official site, the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs has helped qualifying borrowers with roughly $8 billion in low-interest home loans going to more than a quarter of a million Oregon veterans since 1945.
The ODVA Home Loan Program
The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Program (ODVA) offers qualifying veterans fixed-rate financing for owner-occupied primary residences. Federal VA home loans feature no VA-specified loan limit, but the ODVA program provides home loans to veterans for purchases up to the Fannie Mae loan limit for the area.
Veterans are allowed to apply for an ODVA home loan up to four times–this is known as the “home loan maximum life benefit.”
In many states, veteran-friendly home loans are issued through a network of participating lenders but the ODVA program official site advises borrowers that ODVA itself services these loans through it’s central office in Salem, OR.
Purchase Only: No Refi
ODVA loans are for purchases only; no refinance options exist with these mortgages. Those who apply for an ODVA loan and later wish to refinance may have the option to refi with a VA cash-out refinance mortgage should they wish to use their federal VA home loan benefits, but keep in mind that the VA Streamline Refinance Loan option is for existing federal VA mortgages only.
We mention that as a caveat due to the fact that while ODVA loans are administered by the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, the loan you get through this program is completely separate from the federal VA program–Streamline Refinancing for federal VA mortgages is only for existing federal VA loans.
Who Can Apply For A ODVA Loan
In addition to a requirement that the veteran must have served on active duty and not have a dishonorable discharge, there are qualifying criteria all applicants must meet. These include time-in-service requirements. There are some who may qualify due to a involuntary discharge because of disability, and other factors:
- Served on or before Jan. 31, 1955 for more than 90 consecutive days and was discharged under honorable conditions; OR
- Served after Jan. 31, 1955 for more than 178 consecutive days and was discharged under honorable conditions; OR
- Served for 178 days or less AND discharged under honorable conditions because of a service-connected disability; OR
- Served 178 days or less AND discharged under honorable conditions AND has a VA-rated disability; OR
- Served at least one day in a combat zone and was discharged under honorable conditions; OR
- Received a combat, campaign or expeditionary ribbon or medal for service and has an honorable discharge; OR
- The veteran draws “a nonservice-connected pension from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs”
What You Need To Know About ODVA Mortgage Loans For Veterans
As mentioned above, ODVA mortgages are not affiliated with the federal VA loan program in any way. ODVA loans are conventional mortgages, they require a down payment (five percent is typical), and these loans conform to Fannie Mae guidelines. Private mortgage insurance is required for all loans with less than a 20% down payment.
Unlike federal VA mortgages, loan term options include 15, 20, and 30 year options (federal VA mortgages come in 15-year and 30-year loans). There are no income restrictions for this type of home loan, and there is no penalty for early payoff of the loan.
The home you purchase through this program must be within the state of Oregon but Oregon residency is not required at application time.
There are qualifying property types for ODVA loans. Types of property you can purchase include:
- Site-built single family homes
- Condo units
- Manufactured homes “affixed to land and taxed as real estate”
- No houseboats, RVs, or other items that cannot be taxed as real estate
You can get started or learn more by calling 1-800-633-6826.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
|State-Run Veteran Friendly Home Loan Programs||State Veteran’s Benefits|
|Best VA Loan Lenders||Best States with Veteran Benefits|
|VA Home Loan Options Overview||Oregon Veteran’s Benefits|