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USAA is The American Legion's preferred provider of financial services. Offering a range of top-rated financial and insurance products and services. USAA welcomes honorably discharged U.S. military veterans, active-duty troops and qualified family members and descendants of those who have served. USAA contributes funds to American Legion programs when members join through a dedicated channel: or by calling toll-free at 1-877-699-2654.

Financial Questions & Answers

Financial Questions & Answers


I am a 100 percent service-connected Vietnam vet. My wife and I own a home with a non-VA mortgage, and we are upside down. We pay $80 per month for PMI. Is there a strategy whereby we could refinance with a VA guarantee and eliminate the PMI? – Michael


Historically, owing more than your home is worth has been a real impediment to refinancing … unless you are willing and able to bring some serious cash to the closing table to turn upside down to right side up. This reality would likely prevent you from refinancing with a VA loan. However, the real estate meltdown has spawned a number of programs that might be helpful in your situation. The Making Home Affordable program could allow you to take advantage of today’s low interest rates and refinance your home through a conventional loan even if your mortgage is up to 125 percent of the value of the property. However, you won’t be able to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments. On the bright side, perhaps you could save substantially on the mortgage payment itself. It’s worth checking into.