How Private Lenders Work to Provide Targeted Loan Assistance to U.S. Veterans

As the chaos in Afghanistan continues, significant attention is being paid to the veterans returning home from that lengthy war and the challenges they face upon arriving home.

Among those challenges is finding adequate housing for themselves and their families. Governments and private charities have developed numerous initiatives to help facilitate easy veteran entry into the housing market, including favorable loan terms and gifts of debt-free newly built housing.

Numerous private lenders have also launched programs to help veterans obtain homeownership in a variety of ways.

Among them is JP Morgan Chase, one of the largest lenders in the U.S. Company spokeswoman Ashlei Bobo told the Mortgage Note this week that the company partners with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to facilitate the bureau’s favorable purchase loan agreements with veterans.

Beyond that, Bobo said, the company offers veterans several programs specific to JP Morgan Chase. “Veterans are eligible for the Chase Homebuyer Grant in targeted census tracts,” she said. “This is either $2500 in LMI census tracts or $5000 in census tracts that are predominately Black.”

“Veterans are also eligible for the Chase Closing Guarantee for VA Purchase Loans (the closing guarantee states that we promise an on time closing in as little as 3 weeks or we will pay the customer $2500).”

Bobo said the company also partners with Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals to facilitate its programs in that area.

Rocket Mortage, meanwhile—the largest mortgage lender in the country—offers a variety of veteran initiatives that actually go beyond real estate and loan agreements.

Rocket is “a premier VA lender,” the company told the Mortgage Note. Several years ago it also debuted “a veteran hiring team to better serve veterans and their families who are interested in joining our businesses.”

“This team is completely made up of veterans and spouses to guide others who have served through the hiring process,” the company said, claiming that the team “was instrumental in hiring 450 veterans and spouses in 2020.”

“Rocket Companies also established the ‘Tour of Duty’ program specifically designed to help service members transition to civilian life by giving them experience in the business world to build their resume,” the company continued. “This six-month paid apprenticeship matches veterans with a business area that fits their interests and we are proud that nearly 70% of them stay with our company as a full-time team member.”

Rocket also said it has partnered with Built for Zero, a nonprofit that targets homelessness across the U.S., including veteran homelessness. “In our very own hometown of Detroit, we are very proud to say that Veteran homelessness has decreased 33% thanks to a joint efforts of the Built for Zero initiative,” the company said. “Thanks to the program, 25,000 Veterans have been housed since 2018.”

Other lenders have adopted similar programs, including Wells Fargo, which boasts that its Veteran and Military Initiatives division has “donated mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families in all 50 states” and that “more than 400 veterans … have received donated homes since 2010 from Wells Fargo.”

The U.S. counts just under 20 million veterans across the country; over three-quarters of veteran households are homeowners.