VA loans are guaranteed by U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The guarantee allows veterans and service persons to obtain home loans with favorable loan terms, usually without a down payment. In addition, it is easier to qualify for a VA loan than a conventional loan. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not make loans, it guarantees loans made by lenders. VA determines your eligibility and, if you are qualified, VA will issue you a certificate of eligibility to be used in applying for a VA loan. VA-guaranteed loans are obtained by filing applications to private lending institutions.