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Va Loan Volume
Va Loan Volume

Arcus VA Mortgage is #3 in U.S. for VA Loan Volume

Arcus VA Mortgage is pleased to announce it has been named the third highest loan originator for Top VA Volume in the nation according to the Scotsman Guide. Sal Ali, President and Loan Officer of Arcus VA Mortgage, has also been awarded as a Top Originator for 2021.

Over $270 Million in VA Loan Volume

In 2020, Arcus VA Mortgage had 96% VA loan volume with 876 loans closed at over $270 million in VA volume. “I’m extremely proud of my team and how hard we all worked,” Ali said. “I’m glad our hard work and dedication paid off!”

Ali has over five years as a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) specialist and he has also received Top Mortgage Partner for Freedom Mortgage in 2019 and 2020. Arcus VA Mortgage specializes in VA home refinance and purchase loans and provides conventional refinance and purchase loans.

The family-owned company has been in business for more than five years with Ali’s brother, Dan Ali, serving as Founding Partner and providing over 15 years of experience in the mortgage industry. “With COVID-19, interest rates dropped incredibly low and we were able to help hundreds of veterans refinance their homes and save money at a time when everyone really needed it,” Dan Ali said. “We are very proud and blessed to win this prestigious award.”

Arcus VA Mortgage is located at The Realm Castle Hills building at 4400 TX-121, Ste 205 in Lewisville, Texas. The Scotsman Guide helps mortgage originators expand networks, close more deals and grow their business as well as provides premier industry rankings, valuable lender connections, award-winning content, and more. Click here for the Scotsman Guide rankings.


Spousal State
Spousal State

Community Property vs. Spousal States: What it Means For Your VA Loan

If you are married and applying for a VA loan in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin, there is a surprise complication to the application process due to how marital property is held in these states. All the aforementioned states are community property states, as opposed to spousal states. In each, the VA spouse is treated differently on the mortgage. Read on to see the details of marital property can affect your application, and what you can do to prepare.

What Does Community Property Mean?

Community property is the principle that all the assets and (most) debts acquired during a marriage are split 50/50 between the spouses, even if the individual spouse was not the one who accrued the debt. Creditors can go after joint assets in a community property state no matter whose name is on the title document to the asset.

How Does Community Property Affect the VA Loan Application Process?

According to the VA, when applying for a VA loan in a community property state the lender must “obtain a credit report on the non-purchasing spouse in addition to the Veteran’s credit report, consider the spouse’s credit history in reaching a determination [, and]  include the monthly payment of the non-purchasing spouse’s debts on the VA Form 26-6393.” These are not the only steps a VA lender must take in ascertaining a married couple’s creditworthiness in a community property state, but they are the most significant.

In practice, these requirements mean not only does your spouse have to sign all the legal documents, but they are also financially responsible for the mortgage. This applies even if they are not on the loan. It also means your spouse’s debt to income ratio (DTI) will be lumped with yours and the numbers considered in aggregate.

If you have stellar credit, but your spouse has struggled, their debts and liens will influence your loan rates and qualification. However, this isn’t the be all and end all. A veteran borrower with a satisfactory credit history may be considered an acceptable risk, even if their spouse is unsatisfactory.

What Is the VA Loan Process in Spousal States?

In spousal states, the spouse must be included in signing documents acknowledging the loan. These documents usually include the Deed of Trust, the Right to Cancel, the Truth in Lending, and some title and settlement documents.

Even if your spouse signs these documents on the loan, they will not be financially responsible for the loan, unless they are included on the note. The mortgage note is the contract promising your property as security against the mortgage. It includes the rate of interest, terms of your loan payment due dates, and penalties and fees for not meeting your payment due dates or other terms of your loan.

Most significantly for the loan application process, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act requests for, or consideration of, credit history and liability information of a spouse who will not be contractually obligated on the loan are prohibited. This means in a spousal state, the spouse’s DTI and credit history are not included in determining whether the married veteran applicant is qualified.

What Can Be Done to Improve Credit and DTI?

If you are in a community property state, there are some steps you and your spouse can take to prepare for the application process and receive the best terms. To lower DTI and improve credit history, collectively take these steps, at least, six months prior to beginning the application process:

  1. Pay bills on time.
  2. Consolidate debts and start paying them down, perhaps, by holding off on putting some funds into savings or retirement and redirecting them here for a season.
  3. Don’t make any large purchases that incur fresh debt.
  4. Don’t cancel or apply for any credit cards.
  5. Make a budget to decrease spending.
  6. Try to boost your income through side work or selling items.

We Can Help You Get the Best Terms

At Arcus VA Mortgage, we specialize in VA loans and helping Veterans get the best terms possible. No matter where you and your spouse are credit-wise, we can advise you on how to get where you want to be. If you’d like to get more information on VA loans, or how your state’s marital property laws govern the process, contact us.

buy a home
buy a home

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a House?

A house is probably the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. Many people refer to it as their biggest investment.

How much money do you need to buy a house? The answer to that question depends on a number of factors.

How Much It Costs to Buy a House: Sale Price

The largest cost of buying a house is the home or property itself. The price of the home is subjective and based on factors such as:

  • Time of the year
  • How eager the seller is to get out of the home
  • General location
  • Local schools (homes in better school districts tend to sell for more)
  • Condition of the house

Recent and current selling prices of other homes in the neighborhood

Pricing your home is not an exact science. Though a seller may list it for a certain price – say $200,000 – they may be willing to accept less. On the flip side, if there’s a very high demand for the home it might sell for more than the asking price.

However, even though the sale price is the biggest cost, there are other factors that play into how much it costs to buy a house.

Down Payment: The Biggest Upfront Cost

Many things stem from the selling price of the home. The down payment, which is the biggest cost upfront, is no exception. To get a conventional loan that doesn’t require PMI, you need a down payment of at least 20% of the home’s purchase price. So, if you buy a home for $200,000, you need at least $40,000 to put down.

This doesn’t apply if you’re getting a VA mortgage. When it comes to these mortgages there is no minimum down payment required.

Costs to Buy a House: Closing Costs

In addition to the down payment, you’ll also need to pay closing costs when you buy a home. Each closing is different, but expect the total of these costs to come out to be between 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. The sale of a $200,000 home would have closing costs between $4,000 to $10,000.

Mortgage Costs

Last but not least, let’s talk about your monthly payments after you have purchased a home. Your monthly mortgage payments are distributed among three categories:

  • Paying off the principal
  • Paying interest on the mortgage
  • Paying private mortgage insurance (if applicable)

The amount required by each category depends on the mortgage itself. If you took out a 15-year mortgage, your monthly payment is higher than a 30-year loan, but you’re also paying down the principal much faster.

Likewise, the amount of interest you pay every month is based on the interest rate on the mortgage. If you have great credit, a favorable debt-to-income ratio, and are generally considered a good risk for lenders, you will likely get a favorable rate.


Many factors affect the cost of a house. If you have any questions or need any help finding the right house for your budget give us a call at (844) 824-5626. We’d love to help you get into your dream home.

Credit And House Mortgage
Credit And House Mortgage

What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a House?

What is the minimum credit score required to buy a house? It all depends on the type of mortgage you get.

Credit score ranges include poor, fair, good, very good, and exceptional. Here are the most common types of mortgages and the credit score range you need for each one.

Credit Score Needed to Get a Conventional Mortgage

Are you trying to get a conventional mortgage? Traditionally, you should shoot for a credit score of at least 620.

That does not mean you should stop trying to increase your score once you break through that ceiling. A credit of 620 is considered right in the middle of the “fair” category. To get the best rates a lender can offer, try to raise your score to a higher range.

If you increase your credit to at least 670, it will put you in the “Good” credit range. This makes it more likely for you to get a better mortgage rate. If you increase your credit to 740, you will be in the “Very Good” credit range, and your chance of securing the best rate from your lender will increase even more.

What Credit Score Do You Need for a VA Loan?

VA stands for Veterans Affairs. VA loans are available for eligible active or retired military. These loans are different from the rest because they don’t technically have a required minimum credit score. That said, many private lenders still enforce their own credit minimums in order to accept these types of loans. Generally, for these loans, lenders enforce a minimum credit of 620, for a conventional loan.

If you’re a military service member or veteran interested in getting a VA loan, the best thing to do is reach out to your lender and ask what kind of credit score they want to see.

Credit Score to Get an FHA Loan

FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration. Like VA loans, FHA loans are different from the rest. FHA loans actually have two different minimum credit scores.

The FHA mortgage is designed to make homeownership easier for people by reducing potential loan-to-value ratios, making them available to more people. These loans open the door for people without great credit or a lot of money to get their own house and get out of a rental.

FHA loans can be greatly affected by the down payment you put on a home. The larger your down payment, the larger your chance is of getting a home with a lower credit score. That’s why having a bigger down payment can help you buy the home even if your credit is less than 580.

If you plan on putting down 3.5% on the purchase price of the home, your minimum score for an FHA loan is 580. It may not sound like there’s a big gap between that and the 620 for a conventional loan, but you may be surprised. At the very least, it allows for someone to purchase a home faster instead of having to wait for their score to reach 620 or more.

If you put down 10% of the property purchase price some lenders may let you buy a home with a credit score minimum of just 500 while others may still require a minimum score of 580 on an FHA loan, it just depends.


When it comes to buying a home, it’s important to find the right mortgage loan option for your credit score. If you have questions about mortgage options, what credit score is needed to buy a house, or how to boost your credit, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (844) 824-5626