Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Relating to Veterans' Home, Farm, and Business Loans.

June 30, 1959

I HAVE today approved H. R. 2256, "An Act to amend chapter 37 of title 38, United States Code, to provide additional funds for direct loans; to remove certain requirements with respect to the rate of interest on guaranteed loans; and for other purposes."

Under present law the Government can guarantee the repayment of a loan made by a private lending institution to a veteran for the purchase of a home only if the rate of interest on such a loan does not exceed 4 3/4 per cent. Because of this statutory interest rate ceiling, private lending institutions are today finding these guaranteed loans to veterans less and less attractive and are investing their funds elsewhere. So without the increase in the interest rate ceiling to 5 1/4 per cent, which H.R. 2256 provides, eligible veterans would be virtually unable to obtain the benefits of Veterans Administration loans guaranteed by the Government.

It would have been preferable, as the Administration recommended, to have accorded the Veterans Administration the same flexibility in interest rates as the Federal Housing Administration already has for comparable programs. The Veterans Administrator would then have a wider latitude within which to set the interest rate and, as a result, veterans would have a greater assurance that they would be able to purchase a home under the guaranteed loan program.

H. R. 2256 also authorizes an additional $ i o o million for direct Federal housing loans to veterans. Loans of this variety are to be made, according to the basic law, only in those areas where private capital is not generally available for the financing of veterans guaranteed home loans. In keeping with this purpose, therefore, the Veterans Administrator will exercise maximum caution in making direct loans until it can be determined whether the increase in the allowable interest rate for guaranteed loans will draw sufficient private capital to that program.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 2256 is Public Law 86-73 (73 Stat. 156).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Relating to Veterans' Home, Farm, and Business Loans. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235097

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