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Loans for veterans soar in Washington state, lender says

Loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, otherwise known as VA loans, have soared in Washington state, including in Olympia, Tacoma and Bellingham, according to 2018 data released by Veterans United, a lender.
Loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, otherwise known as VA loans, have soared in Washington state, including in Olympia, Tacoma and Bellingham, according to 2018 data released by Veterans United, a lender.

Loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, otherwise known as VA loans, have soared in Washington state, including in Olympia, Tacoma and Bellingham, according to fiscal 2018 data released by Veterans United, a lender.

Missouri-based Veterans United compared fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2013 and found that VA loans used to purchase a home in Washington state rose 53 percent, according to a news release.

The loans typically require no money down and no private mortgage insurance.

The increase likely can be attributed to the hot housing market and the military bases that dot Western Washington, including Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Although the base is located in Pierce County, many active-duty veterans settle in the Olympia area.

Also, 2013 was the tail end of the recession.

Over that same five-year period, VA purchase loans rose 83.2 percent in Olympia, 57 percent in Tacoma and 34.2 percent in Bellingham, according to a news release.

Nationally, VA purchase loans rose nearly 60 percent over that same five-year period. Veterans Affairs backed more than 610,000 loans in fiscal 2018 that were valued at more than $160 billion.

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