No Monkey Business: The Guard Has the Best Barracks in the Business

A Soldier with her daughters outside their home waving a U.S. flag Here’s a quick quiz. Which of the following is not a benefit of serving in the Army National Guard?

  1. Money for college tuition and books
  2. Career training in one of 200 fields
  3. Low-cost home loans
  4. A free pet monkey

The Guard gives away pet monkeys? How awesome …

Er, no. It doesn’t.

Seriously. A pet monkey is NOT – repeat, NOT – a benefit of Guard service. But it just seems unbelievable that fantastic financing options for a home loan would be.

Most people know that the Guard has programs and services that can cover up to 100 percent of college tuition, fees, and books. Most know that it takes hundreds of career specialties to make the Guard run smoothly and each Soldier specializes in one. But far fewer know of the Guard’s domestic side … the one that includes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Program that can help you buy a home in addition to giving you the time to spend there through part-time National Guard service.

The home loan program is designed to remove some of the common preliminary roadblocks to home ownership by saying VA has your back financially speaking: 

  • Roadblock number one: Generally, lenders want the buyer/borrower to have 20 percent or more of the cost of the house available for down payment. And with the cost of real estate these days, that could be quite a chunk of change (that’s $20,000 for a $100,000 home). A Guard member who meets the Home Loan Program requirements may qualify for a loan with little or no down payment.
  • Roadblock number two: First-time borrowers are often saddled with higher interest rates which can add thousands of dollars to the price of a home over the life of a loan. VA guarantees low interest loans for eligible Guard members so that private banks see them as low-risk borrowers.

So rather than waiting years to buy that dream home, just add it to the list of things you can gain from part-time National Guard service: College, career, service, discount shopping, low-cost health and life insurance, retirement programs, and, now, the best barracks anywhere – your own home.

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