An Overview of Military Mortgage Assistance

Mortgage assistance programs for the families of those who are serving their country

VA loans were created under the GI Bill in 1944 to provide affordable housing for servicemen leaving the military. In order to be eligible for this assistance, you must have served a minimum amount of time, which differs depending on war or peacetime. You must also provide your lender with a certificate of eligibility. The Department of Veterans Affairs may also be able to help you obtain grants to modify homes to account for service-connected disabilities or help you refinance into more affordable monthly payments.

Consider other military mortgage loan options like Conventional and FHA loans

Conventional and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans are another way for servicemen and women to finance a home. These loans can be obtained at most lending institutions and are insured by private mortgage insurance or by the FHA. Insurance, whether provided by the VA, private mortgage insurance or the FHA, reduces the lender’s exposure to loss on a mortgage where there is less than a 20% down payment. This allows them to take on these riskier mortgages.

Help with military loans for active service members

If you already have a mortgage loan with Citizens Bank and you are on active duty serving in the American military, or are a veteran or family member, you may be eligible for military mortgage assistance and foreclosure protection. Some mortgage assistance programs only apply to active service members and the mortgages they assumed prior to military duty or before being called up for active service.

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), mortgage lenders must reduce mortgage interest rates, and subsequently required payments, upon request from qualified military families to no more than six percent per year during the period of active service. This provision applies to both conventional and government-insured mortgages. It also includes all debts jointly incurred by legal spouses.

In order to receive this temporary rate reduction, service members must submit a written request to their mortgage lender with a copy of their official military orders, their FHA case number (if that applies) and evidence that the debt precedes the military activation date. Remember, this interest rate reduction is only available during the period of active duty service. Once the service member completes his or her active duty, the interest rate reverts to its earlier level. In the event the service member and his or her family still cannot meet their mortgage obligation even with the reduced interest rate, most lenders, while not required to by law, will nevertheless work with the family to find a mutually satisfying resolution.

Those eligible for military mortgage assistance under SCRA include:

  • All active duty personnel in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard
  • Reservists ordered to report to active duty
  • National Guardsmen called to duty for more than 30 consecutive days
  • Commissioned officers in the Public Health Service

Apply for a military mortgage loan with Citizens Bank

Learn more about Citizens Bank's home loan options for military as well as non-military families by speaking to a representative at 1-888-514-2300. We will work with you and whatever military mortgage assistance program you choose to find an affordable mortgage and repayment option. If you're ready to own your own home, you can start the mortgage application process online.


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