What Are VA Loans? As the video says, the name is misleading - they're not loans FROM the VA. The VA - short for "US Department of Veterans Affairs" - is the Federal military veteran benefit system. The VA administers benefits and services for Servicemembers, Veterans their dependents and survivors. Programs related to home loans are one of their key services. The VA is not a bank; they do not provide home loans themselves. But they do guarantee a portion of home loans provided to veterans and other eligible people by banks and mortgage companies. These guarantees enable lenders to provide more favorable terms. They are are commonly called "VA Loans". They cover buying, building, repairing, retaining and adapting homes for personal occupancy by eligible Veterans and survivors.