The VA has four loan types, one being a VA direct loan, the other three VA-backed.
With the first one, the VA is the lender; with the other 3, the VA guarantees
The name of the program VA is using to lend directly is Native American Direct Loan (NADL). It offers terms that are often better than anything else around. As the name says, it is open to Native American veterans or spouses or Native American veterans.
For the other three programs, the VA guarantees part of the loan amount, thereby making the loans less risky to private lenders. (If a VA-backed loan goes into foreclosure, the VA pays the lender the amount guaranteed.)
Because of that those lenders offer better terms that they would otherwise.
With any of these programs, lenders have to follow VA guidelines. In addition, they are allowed to add requirements on top of VA’s.
The three VA-backed mortgage programs are: