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VA Loans: Good things are coming her way

Joan Rusco helps veterans and active-duty military personnel get loans.

Joan Rusco believes when you do good things, good things happen. That philosophy seems to be getting her through life pretty well.

On March 1, Rusco will open VA Loans in downtown Rosemount and fulfill a dream. She credits doing good things for leading her to the opportunity to open her own business.

VA Loans Minnesota provides affordable loans to Minnesota service members and veterans. An employee of Home Savings of America, Rusco concentrates on providing the 400,000 veterans in Minnesota and their families with good service.

Rusco got her start in the banking business more than six years ago. Having just gotten divorced the former stay-at-home mom needed a part-time job, so she became a bank teller.

To her surprise she found she really liked the banking business. The bank teller job led to other positions and eventually Rusco got into home mortgages, where she found her real passion.

While doing mortgages for a large bank Rusco would occasionally come across soldiers and veterans looking for help accessing VA loans. The daughter of two former Marines, Rusco wanted to help this clientele as best she could, so she went the extra mile and learned as much as she could about the special category of loans.

"Helping these people who have done so much for us just became near and dear to my heart," said Rusco.

Rusco, though, found she was somewhat rare in wanting to help veterans. Big banks, she said, make more money off other types of loans and discouraged the use of veteran loans.

Eventually Rusco decided to break away and follow her own path. She started VA Loans MN out of her home with the goal of providing fair and affordable loans to Minnesota service members and veterans.

As the industry has had some ups and downs as of late she has worked with a number of lenders to help people. In mid 2009 she partnered with Home Savings of America out of Little Falls to offer loans. So far the relationship has worked well.

Rusco works hard to be a resource for veterans and has gained a reputation for it. She said most of her clients come from referrals from the Minnesota Veterans Affairs Office and the Minnesota Army National Guard.

The labor of love has paid off. After working from her home for the last year and a half, Rusco is ready to open an office. VA Loans MN will open in the Waterford Commons building at 2930 W. 146th St. The office is the first business to open in the new downtown development that opened this past summer.

"It's pretty cool. I'm excited," said Rusco.

Rusco has several employees who have also been working from different locations that will join her in the new office.

"It's time to be under one roof," said Rusco.

Excited for the future, Rusco can't help but smile when talking about the possibilities. She hopes opening her own office is just the beginning. Rusco said she has dreams of becoming a national resource.

"I want to become a resource for veterans everywhere. I want to be the VA lady for the USA," Rusco said.

Either way Rusco said she's enjoying what she's doing.

"If I won the lottery I would still be doing this," she said.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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