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More local families taking advantage of VA financing

More Puget Sound-area military families and veterans are taking advantage of loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the latest statistics released by the department.

VA mortgages rose 50 percent to almost 540,000 loans in fiscal year 2012, the most since 1994, according to Mike Frueh, the director of loan guarantee service. Local activity mirrored the national numbers.

Current and former military members found VA programs more attractive because of the tighter credit standards on conventional financing.

Low interest rates were part of the draw, as about 338,000 of the VA loans were for the purpose of refinancing. Additionally, VA loans for purchases were up almost 10 percent over the previous fiscal year.

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