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I am in the military and I’m in the process of closing on my first VA home loan. I hear that servicemembers and veterans do not have to pay many of the closing costs associated with a typical closing. How do I know what I should pay and what I should not pay?

The VA program does have limits on fees, compared to many other mortgage loan programs. 

Three business days before closing, your lender provides you with a form called the Closing Disclosure. This form lists all the fees associated with getting the loan and breaks them down into categories to clearly indicate who pays what fee. Page 3 of the Closing Disclosure shows what fees you are responsible for and how much money you need to pay to close on the loan.

It’s a good idea to bring your Loan Estimate, Closing Disclosure, and any other loan documents to your Legal Assistance Office for review. If that’s not possible, you may download a pamphlet that explains your fees from the VA’s home loan website . If you still have questions or concerns, call your regional VA office or call the VA main Home Loan information line at (877) 827-3702 for assistance.

Note: You won’t receive a Loan Estimate or Closing Disclosure if you applied for a mortgage prior to Oct. 3, 2015, or if you're applying for a reverse mortgage. For those loans, you will receive two forms – a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and an initial Truth-in-Lending disclosure  – instead of a Loan Estimate. Instead of a Closing Disclosure, you will receive a final Truth-in-Lending disclosure and a HUD-1 Settlement Statement. If you are applying for a HELOC, a manufactured housing loan that is not secured by real estate, or a loan through certain types of homebuyer assistance programs, you will not receive a GFE or a Loan Estimate, but you should receive a Truth-in-Lending disclosure.