Credit News

VA Home Loans, VA Mortgage Refinancing for Veterans #long #term #loans

#home loan rate

Real Client Testimonials

Throughout our lifetimes we have had to do business with several different mortgage providers. Each time was a nightmare to say the least- even at our own bank! No one was ever straight forward with us on the paperwork they still needed or what to expect and when to expect it. Due to all of the issues we’ve had in the past we were a bit skeptical of even trying to move forward with our VA Cash-Out Refi with any company. Things with other companies had been so stressful, we almost tossed out the whole idea. But, before we “threw the baby out with the bathwater” we found First Mariner and talked to Dennis.

He is honest, respectful, and REALLY knows what he is doing. Dennis has true integrity, which is so hard to find these days. Most importantly he always laid out the correct expectations for us and for the bank. Everything went EXACTLY as he said it would without a hitch. It went so well (compared to our other experiences), to be honest we feel a bit dumbfounded! In a good way of course. This is the way handling a transaction should work. You can’t change the past, but boy do we wish we could have used Dennis for all our other previous transactions. Moving forward we will never go anywhere else other than Dennis/First Mariner- and we’ll be referring anyone who needs a mortgage his way as well.

Thanks again for the great experience and helping us reach our goals!


I have closed two loans with Joe. One was a refinancing and the most recent one was a home purchase. With both loans, Joe was great to work with. He was always available to answer questions and on my most recent loan, he gave me great advice on how to best structure the loan in order to give me the most benefit. I have given his name to several of my friends, and I know at least two that have used him or are using him. They have thanked me many times for recommending Joe because of how knowledgeable Joe is and how stress-free he makes the process of getting a loan to closing.

I will definitely keep recommending him to anyone I know who is refinancing or buying a home. He’s the best!


I am writing today to express how pleased my husband and I were to work with 1st Mariner Bank in refinancing our income property. Specifically Jon Zemarel and Mary Beth Norwood. They were friendly, professional, and got us through the whole process in less than a month. They were both patient with our questions and quick to respond to e-mails and phone calls. I wish I could say that all of my dealings with mortgage handlers were as pleasant as it was with these two!

Thank you, Jon and Mary Beth for taking such good care of us.


We just wanted to say thanks to you [Mary Beth Norwood] and the team at 1st Mariner for making our VA IRRRL go so smoothly. We had a difficult experience with another lender that left us a bit hesitant to pursue the refinance any further, but you quickly put us at ease. With a turn around of less than two weeks, we didn’t even have time to worry!

So, again, thank you so much for showing us that there is someone out there willing to put the Veteran first in this process. You and 1st Mariner have helped us to have an easy, positive experience that will save us money and give us peace of mind as homeowners.

It’s truly been a pleasure working with you.


I am writing you to inform that Dennis did a great job with my loan. He was absolutely a pleasure to work with. I have worked with multiple loan officers and Dennis is by far the best I have ever worked with. He was very responsive and took care of all aspects of getting the loan closed. He understood what was needed and told me the first time, so I was not submitting the same information multiple times. He actually cared about customer service. I will do as many loans as I can through your bank because of Dennis.


I recently refinanced a rental property for a lower mortgage rate. I had checked out several banks both online and through my financial institution. I filled out several inquiries and usually got bombarded with phone calls from overly aggressive loan officers, even though I specifically asked to be contacted via email. I received an email from Joe Scopel (1st Mariner Bank). He was very polite and courteous. Not pushy and aggressive. He asked what I would be interested in and we communicated via email. He happily informed me that I qualified for the interest rate reduction by almost 1%. After reading some of the reviews of 1st Mariner online, I was skeptical about going through with the process. Joe assured me that he had never experienced an upset customer and guaranteed that he would stand by me throughout the entire process.

I decided to go ahead with 1st Mariner. Joe was a tremendous help. He never missed an opportunity to contact me and make sure everything was going smoothly. It took me all of about 30 minutes (total) once the loan was approved. Joe arranged for a local notary to come to my house and sign the paperwork. He gave me all the necessary timelines and let me know every step of the process.

After the process was complete, Joe made sure I had all the necessary information to make my first payment. He still checks in about once a week just to make sure everything is good. As a representative of 1st Mariner Bank, Joe Scopel truly embodies the personal loan officer that everyone wishes for. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was done right. Additionally, he had NO aggressive behavior and took the time to fully explain every detail.

I appreciate 1st Mariner Bank and would HIGHLY recommend them for anyone doing a VA-refi!


Working with Joe on my recent mortgage refinance was a walk in the park. He made it stress-free and simple to understand. Joe helped me make a sound financial decision, and took the time to explain all options regarding interest rates and how each [rate] would effect the short and long term payments of my new loan. [I] waited a year looking at different banks and their options and Joe was the only one that did not try to sell me something. He listened and came up with a plan that fit my needs and budget. Thanks again, Joe, it was a pleasure doing business with you and 1st Mariner Bank.


I had expected tons of paperwork and weeks, if not months, of delays and back-and-forth clarifications to get a VA refinance for my Virginia condo. But after an initial clear and frank discussion, Dennis did all of the upfront work and made the process basically painless for me.

I still can’t believe how quickly and smoothly the process went — from the assembled papers ready for my review and signature, to the agent’s visit to my home to finalize the refinance. All friendly, but professional, clear and reality based. I’m pleased as punch, and give this transaction a ten out of ten.


It was a pleasure working with Dennis from the beginning to the end of the loan refinancing. [. ] When I first called him and discussed that wanted to refinance, he did not try to talk me into doing it or use any high-pressure tactics to convince me. He carefully and meticulously spelled out all the pros and cons of refinancing a house that was “under water” and then gave me a few days to think about it and talk it over with my wife.

In retrospect, every single thing Dennis told me would happen – happened! There were several hoops we had to jump through to get everything done. It didn’t make it any easier that I am in Afghanistan with a 10.5 hour difference. [. ] My wife and I feel really relieved that we were finally able to take advantage of the low interest rates offered now and thanks to Dennis, our out of pocket expenses were much less than we originally thought we’d have to pay. I will definitely recommend Dennis to any of my friends or colleagues who are looking to refinance or purchase a home.


[. ] My husband and I recently refinanced using your services. We worked with Dennis Waskiewicz who did an excellent job. From the moment I called he was professional and friendly and answered all of my questions. He explained everything clearly, making the process easier to understand by talking me through each step. Communication with Dennis was so convenient, he was always available by phone and email. Our refinance was done quickly and was a painless process. Thank you very much for everything! We are very happy with our new mortgage!


Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loans #low #interest #personal #loans

#va loans

VA Loans

By Elizabeth Weintraub. Home Buying/Selling Expert

Elizabeth Weintraub has an extensive background in real estate spanning more than 30 years, including experience in related industries such as title and escrow. She is a full-time broker-associate at Lyon Real Estate’s midtown Sacramento office and is recognized as a top producer. She is also a Life Member of the Master’s Club, an honor bestowed by the Sacramento Board of REALTORS , and ranks in the top 1% of all the agents at Lyon Real Estate.

CA BRE License #00697006

By Chris Birk. Guest author to Homebuying at

Congress created the VA Loan Guaranty Program in 1944 to help returning service members achieve the dream of homeownership. Since then, the Department of Veterans Affairs has helped more than 18 million military members purchase homes.

What is a VA Loan?

Continue Reading Below

That guarantee gives VA-approved lenders greater protection when lending to military borrowers and often leads to highly competitive rates and terms for qualified veterans.

What are the Key Benefits of a VA Loan?

Far and away, the most significant benefit of a VA loan is the borrower’s ability to purchase with no money down. Apart from the government’s UDSA’s Rural Development home loan and Fannie Mae’s Home Path, it’s all but impossible to find a lending option today that provides borrowers with 100 percent financing.

VA loans also come with less stringent underwriting standards and requirements than conventional loans. In fact, about 80 percent of VA borrowers could not have qualified for a conventional loan. These loans also come with no private mortgage insurance (PMI), a monthly expense that conventional borrowers are required to pay unless they put down at least 20 percent of the loan amount.

  • Competitive interest rates that are routinely lower than conventional rates
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Sellers can pay up to 6 percent of closing costs and concessions

Continue Reading Below

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

Welcome to the Counseling Center: Texas State University #lonely, #lonliness, #txstate, #texas #state #university, #texas #state, #suicide, #mental #health, #jedcampus, #jed #foundation, #lbj #student #center, #relationship #issues, #prevention, #paws #alert, #how #to #deal #(develop #effective #approaches #for #life), #resources #for #veterans, #atrisk, #group #counseling


Welcome to the Counseling Center


Each semester, when the Counseling Center has no more capacity to add new clients seeking ongoing counseling, we replace initial consultations (ICONs) with one-time sessions for the remainder of the semester. As of Monday, July 31 st the Counseling Center will begin offering one-time sessions. These one-time sessions are an hour in length and focus on problem solving more immediate issues. If students are in need of further services, we will help them connect with additional resources outside of the Counseling Center.

Counseling Center services are free, confidential, and provided by trained professionals to currently enrolled Texas State students while classes are in session.

Counseling Center Services include brief individual, group, and couples counseling, consultation and crisis response, and workshops about coping with stress and other mental health topics.

Individual counseling is also available on a limited basis at the Round Rock campus. Click here for details.


Effective August 1, 2016, concealed carry of a handgun by license holders is allowed on Texas public university campuses subject to the restrictions imposed by statures and by the University President. Concealed carry is prohibited in some buildings on Texas State University Campuses, please see

Central Texas Veterans Health Care System #central, #texas, #veterans, #health, #care, #system, #affairs, #vamc, #medical, #center, #temple, #waco, #austin, #brownwood, #bryan, #college #station, #palestine, #cedar #park, #lagrange, #va, #hospital, #healthcare, #va


Central Texas Veterans Health Care System

Stay Informed

TRAFFIC CHANGES: Additional changes to traffic flow along with construction detours to our Temple main site with start on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. The intersection South 5th Street at Avenue U will be closed for several weeks to work on another phase to update area roadways. Estimated completion time is the middle to the end of August pending weather conditions. The recommended route from the southwest and west (east and north bound from I-35 and Loop 363) will be to take South 31st Street to Avenue R to access the facility. The secondary route will be take the 5th Street exit and follow the detour signs to 7th Street to Avenue R. Click here for map.

Starting Monday (Jan. 16, 2017), TxDOT will close the eastbound Loop 363 turnaround to north Spur 290 (1st Street) and the southbound 1st Street ramp to eastbound Loop 363. The closure is for a project to make a signalized interchange at the intersection of 363 and 290. Completion is expected spring of 2018. Click link for recommended routes: TxDOT Map

Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act

VETERANS BEWARE: The official VA Choice Program telephone line is 1-866-606-8198. There is a very similar telephone number (1-800-606-8198; THIS IS NOT A VA NUMBER) being used by scammers attempting to gain credit card information from Veterans. VA will never ask for your credit card information as any type of incentive.

SCAM ALERT: Police Departments in the Central Texas area are warning residents, especially the eldery and Veterans, about fraud scams. The Police believe those receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs are being targeted. Veterans or others in receipt of VA benefits should know that VA will never call you to get your personal, credit or bank information. If you believe you have been a victim, please contact your local police department to report the incident, whether or not those responsible were successful or not in stealing money.

VA Notice – Texas Concealed Handgun Law and the new Texas Open Carry Law (Effective Jan. 1, 2016DOES NOT APPLY to VA property. No firearms or weapons are allowed on our VA controlled property. Any confiscated firearms will be destroyed and offender will appear before Federal Court. Only certified police officers in the commission of his or her duties may bring a firearm onto VA property. Texas concealed and open carry handgun laws DO NOT apply to VA property.

Local Features

Lubbock VA Outpatient Clinic – Amarillo VA Health Care System #lubbock #va #outpatient #clinic, #amarillo #va #health #care #system, #veterans, #texas #panhandle


Amarillo VA Health Care System

Description of Program:

The Lubbock Outpatient Clinic is designed to deliver primary care services to eligible Veterans living in Lubbock County and outlying areas.

Services and Scope of Care:

  • Primary Care:
    * Management of Acute and Chronic Diseases
    * Compensation and Pension Exams
  • Specialty Care – Management of Acute Chronic Diseases:
    * Dermatology
    * Optometry
    * Ophthalmology
    * Podiatry
    * Urology
    * Gynecology
  • Supporting Services:
    * Social Services
    * Laboratory
    * Physical Therapy
    * Radiology
    * Pharmacy
    * Dental Clinic
    * Mental Health Clinic
    * Blind Rehabilitation (VIST) Coordinator
  • Patient Education

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 8:00am 4:30pm
    (closed Saturday, Sunday and Federal holidays).


  • 6104 Avenue Q South Drive, Lubbock, TX 79412


  • For information about enrollment in the Lubbock Outpatient Clinic call Eligibility and Enrollment at
    (806) 472-3436


Patient Advocate Information:

  • Lubbock/Clovis (806) 472-3445.
  • The Patient Advocate is the point of contact when a veteran has a question, complaint or compliment regarding their care at the Amarillo VA Health Care System.

Other Pertinent Information:

  • For appointments, call Telephone Linked Care (TLC) at the Amarillo VA Health Care System (806) 355-9703 or 1-800-687-8262.
    To assist in your care and treatment, please bring all of your medications to your first appointment.

Emergency Care:

  • No emergency care is available at this facility.
    For after hours emergency care call 911.

Home Loans for Veterans and Active Duty Military with Bad Credit #home #equity #loan #rates

#bad credit loans

Bad Credit?

Bad credit home loans for military

The United States Government does all that it can to help its Veterans and active duty military. One program they offer is the VA Home Loan Program. Although, your credit is still considered, the VA loan allows us to approve you with much lower credit scores than conventional loans. Today, most VA lenders require scores above 620. Get your Credit Score from – fast, free and easy!

Understanding the Eligibility for these loans:

The government guarantees these loans but the loan is actually made by a private lender. Basically, the government insure a portion of the loan so the private lender is more inclined to lend to someone with poor credit. Among some of the required eligibility criteria a few include :

  • Having a fair credit score and history, however even people with bad credit can sometimes be approved at higher interest rates.
  • Stable income and enough to meet the cost of the house. Cost of the house would include tax, monthly payments and insurance.

There is no down payment required and all the other terms of qualifying are the same as a Veteran with perfect credit. You may be surprised that you can qualify. The only way to be sure is to give us a call and ask.

Housing Assistance For Veterans – Homeless Veterans #veterans #housing #loans, #homeless #housing


Homeless Veterans

Housing Assistance For Veterans

Living here this is a blessing,” says Emanuel Yates, one of several formerly homeless Veterans featured in this video. which discusses a VA program that is helping create permanent housing.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)

This collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing. As of Sept. 30, 2015, HUD had allocated more than 78,000 vouchers to help house Veterans across the country.

How It Works

Through public housing authorities, HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with maintaining housing in the community. Among VA homeless continuum of care programs, HUD-VASH enrolls the largest number and largest percentage of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness.

More Information

Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program

State, local and tribal governments and nonprofits receive capital grants and per diem payments to develop and operate transitional housing including short-stay bridge housing and/or service centers for Veterans who are homeless.

How It Works

VA funds an estimated 600 agencies that provide over 14,500 beds for eligible Veterans. Grantees work closely with an assigned liaison from the local VAMC. The VA GPD liaison monitors the services the grantees offer to Veterans and provides direct assistance to them. Grantees also collaborate with community-based organizations to connect Veterans with employment, housing and additional social services to promote housing stability. The maximum stay in this housing is up to 24 months, with the goal of moving Veterans into permanent housing.

More Information

Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) Program

Too many Veterans are without safe, affordable housing. At the same time, some VA campuses have real estate that is underused. That s where VA s Enhanced-Use Lease program may come in.

How It Works

EUL is a VA portfolio management tool that allows certain land and buildings to be leased to eligible private entities for approved supportive housing and related projects for homeless and at-risk Veterans. In addition to supportive housing, VA s EUL partners often provide Veterans with job training, financial management, haircuts, computer and laundry facilities, fitness centers and other services. Veterans and their families are prioritized for EUL developments, which are also convenient to VA health care facilities.

More Information

Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program

This program sells VA-foreclosed properties to homeless provider organizations at a discount for use as transitional housing for homeless Veterans.

More Information

Online college of education #veterans, #benefits, #services, #va, #us #department #of #veterans #affairs, #veterans #affairs, #health, #burial, #memorial, #compensation, #pension, #vocational #rehabilitation, #rehab, #employment, #counseling, #insurance, #appeals, #board #of #veterans #appeals, #education, #home #loan #guaranty


Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP)

Four forms are now available on the site. They are the 22-1990, 22-5490, 22-1995, and 22-1990E. If you select any of those forms within VONAPP, you will be redirected to the site.

The final 2 education forms, the 22-5495 and the 22-1990N will be removed from VONAPP in May. All educations forms will be accessed through

As of September 20, 2015, you can now apply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR E) benefits online through eBenefits. If you were routed here to the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) page by mistake, please go back to the eBenefits homepage and login.

Once logged in, on the left hand side of the page:

– From Dashboard column, go to �Additional Benefits� under Benefits and Payments

– From the Additional Benefits page expand the VR E link

– Select apply for either Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program or Education/Career Counseling

To use the eBenefits VR E options, you will need a premium account. If you do not have a premium eBenefits account, please register for one. The register option is located in the top right hand corner on the eBenefits homepage.

Effective April 6, 2014 � Use VONAPP for Pension claims. If you are a Veteran with an existing VONAPP account, please select I Have Used VONAPP Before. If you do not have an account, please select I Am a New VONAPP User.

You cannot use VONAPP to submit a Compensation claim. If you want to submit a Compensation claim online, please use the �Apply for Benefits� section on the eBenefits homepage.

Can I access my incomplete form in VONAPP?

Partially completed forms and forms saved but not submitted can be accessed in VONAPP for 30 days following the date you started your application. After 30 days, claims not submitted are removed from the system.

Can I view my completed forms in VONAPP?

Submitted applications cannot be viewed or printed ; however, you will be able to view and print your submission confirmation page for one year (365 days) from the date of submission.

Can I start a new VONAPP form?

VONAPP can be used to prepare and submit new forms for Veterans Pension Benefits, Education Benefits, and Burial Benefits.

Claims for Compensation Benefits and Dependency Benefits can be filed through VDC. VDC is available for use in eBenefits under the �Apply for Benefits� section. A Premium eBenefits account is necessary for access to VDC. Your VONAPP username and password will not allow access to VDC. To register for an eBenefits Premium account, please visit their DS Logon Account Registration page.

Once registered, select “Apply” on the eBenefits homepage. You will then be able to select the benefit for which you are wanting to apply.

Waterloo, IA VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) – Iowa City VA Health Care System #va, #veterans, #outpatient, #clinic, #iowa #city #va, #midwest #va #network, #waterloo, #iowa, #cboc


Iowa City VA Health Care System


The Waterloo Outpatient Clinic is an extension of the Iowa City VA Health Care System. The clinic is conveniently located in Waterloo, Iowa. The clinic operates like a physician s office. A specific healthcare team is assigned to address your healthcare needs. You may be referred to the Iowa City VA Health Care System for specialty treatment. Services offered at the clinic include:

Primary Care, Preventive and Wellness Services

Mental Health Services including individual and group classes

Lab and x-ray

Dietician providing individual dietary counseling as well as group classes

Telehealth including audiology and retinal screenings

Social Worker providing general social work services including assistance with Advance Directives (Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney)

Hearing Aid fitting and repair

Substance abuse counseling and education

The clinic is not an emergency center. Please call 319-235-1230 for an appointment.

Driving Directions

From US-20 East to Ansborough Exit. Take right off of exit and then take 1st right on Tower Park Drive. Clinic is first building on the left.


Free on premises

Eligibility – Home Loans #va, #veterans #affairs, #home #loan, #home #loan #guaranty, #home #loan #eligibility, #va #home #loan #benefits, #qualify #for #a #va #home #loan


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Home Loans


You must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. The home must be for your own personal occupancy. The eligibility requirements to obtain a COE are listed below for Servicemembers and Veterans, spouses, and other eligible beneficiaries.

VA home loans can be used to:

  • Buy a home, a condominium unit in a VA-approved project
  • Build a home
  • Simultaneously purchase and improve a home
  • Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy efficient improvements
  • Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.

Eligibility Requirements for VA Home Loans

Servicemembers and Veterans

To obtain a COE, you must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and meet the service requirements below:

Qualifying Wartime Peacetime Periods

90 days of active service

  • Six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, AND
    • Were discharged honorably, OR
    • Were placed on the retired list, OR
    • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR
    • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserve

*If you do not meet the minimum service requirements, you may still be eligible if you were discharged due to (1) hardship, (2) the convenience of the government, (3) reduction-in-force, (4) certain medical conditions, or (5) a service-connected disability.


The spouse of a Veteran can also apply for home loan eligibility under one of the following conditions:

  • Unremarried spouse of a Veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or
  • Spouse of a Servicemember missing in action or a prisoner of war
  • Surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003
    (Note: a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must have applied no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.)
  • Surviving Spouses of certain totally disabled veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death

Other Eligible Beneficiaries

You may also apply for eligibility if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Certain U.S. citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II
  • Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with World War II service, and others

Restoration of Entitlement

Veterans can have previously-used entitlement “restored” to purchase another home with a VA loan if:

  • The property purchased with the prior VA loan has been sold and the loan paid in full, or
  • A qualified Veteran-transferee (buyer) agrees to assume the VA loan and substitute his or her entitlement for the same amount of entitlement originally used by the Veteran seller. The entitlement may also be restored one time only if the Veteran has repaid the prior VA loan in full, but has not disposed of the property purchased with the prior VA loan. Remaining entitlement and restoration of entitlement can be requested through the VA Eligibility Center by completing VA Form 26-1880.

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