AKWESASNE - The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding Saturday allowing tribal veterans to apply for the VAs Native American Direct Loan program.
The memorandum makes members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe eligible to apply for loans from the program intended to help veterans buy, build, or improve a home on Native American trust land. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki in a November address at the White House Tribal Nations Conference that the VA has funded over $18 million in mortgages to veterans over the past three years.
Applicants must meet service eligibility requirements and have a sufficient, steady income. The interest rate of a NADL loan is 4 percent, but requires no down payment or mortgage insurance. An applicants credit must be satisfactory, according to the VA website.
To minimize the cost to taxpayers, veterans are required to pay a funding fee between 1.25 and 3.3 percent of the loan, dependent on their military type, amount put into the optional down paymen, and whether they are a first time VA loan user. The fee is waived only if the veterans suffers a service-connected disability.