You deserve reward and appreciation for your selfless sacrifice to the United States. Whether you’re an active-duty or retired veteran, home loaners can honor your hard work and service through the VA Home Loan. It is a home loan unique to military personnel to help your family find their dream home and give you financing advantages you cannot find in other loans.
Do you qualify for a VA Home Loan? VA Loans are an excellent opportunity to purchase a home with little to no money down without experiencing the disadvantages of conventional loans. We believe VA Loans are your best home loan option on the market that will open up your home buying opportunities.
You need to meet several requirements to be eligible for VA Loans benefits that can bring you to your dream home.
What are VA Loans, and How Do They Work?
The Veterans Affairs loan program is a government-backed mortgage loan program. The VA does not offer loans directly but will back a loan from a qualified lender. Most professional mortgage lenders in the United States offer a VA loan option that you can apply for.
There are several types of VA Loans, including a Fixed Rate Mortgage, Adjustable Rate Mortgage, and VA Jumbo Loans. These are all considered “nonconventional options” because they have lower interest rates, more lenient borrowing options, and no down payment requirement. However, lenders will take on more risk when using a VA Loan because they provide the loan and pay for it out of their own pockets.
When borrowers put down less than 10% with a conventional loan, they must pay for Private Mortgage Insurance, but VA Loan users will not have to provide this with their $0 down payment.
Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?
First, you must fall under one of the following United States Armed Service categories to be eligible for a VA Loan. It is important to note that surviving unmarried spouses of veterans are also eligible for a VA Loan even though they have not served.
- Active Duty Service Member
- Current National Guard or Reserve Member
- Discharged National Guard Member
- Discharged Reserve Member
- Surviving Unmarried Spouse of a Service Member
What are the Requirements for Receiving a VA Loan?
For the most part, most Armed Forces members qualify for a VA Loan, but not all. There are specific 2021 VA Home Loan requirements that you must fulfill for a home lender to consider your application. The Department of Veterans Affairs lays these service tenets out to ensure lenders that you are an active-duty or retired veteran.
- 181 days of active duty service during peacetime
- 90 days of active duty service during wartime
- 6 years of service with the National Guard or Reserves
- 90 days with National Guard or Reserves under Title 32 with at least 30 consecutive active days
- Surviving spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or who suffers a service-connected disability
Are there Exceptions to the Requirements?
Although the VA does not tolerate any exceptions to the VA Loan Eligibility service requirements, there has been one recent change to VA Loan qualification. It is specifically for surviving spouses who decide to remarry after their beloved veteran passed away.
Before 2021, spouses who remarried after the age of 57 could still qualify for a VA Home Loan. As of Jan 5, 2021, that age requirement dropped to 55, making the requirements slightly more lenient.
How do I Prove that I Qualify for a VA Loan?
To receive a VA Loan, you must submit proof of service to a VA Lender of your choosing. This proof of service is called your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which you can obtain by submitting the correct paperwork depending on your type of service.
For veterans, you must submit DD Form 214 to obtain proof of discharge. You can do this online.
Your personnel office or unit commander must sign a statement of service for Active Duty Military, National Guard, and Reserve members. This statement must include your full name, social security number, birth date, the name of the signing officer, and your active duty service dates.
If you are a discharged National Guard or Reserve member, there are a few different documents you will need. Individual states regulate the National Guard, which means you should contact the Adjutant General’s Office in your state to request NGB Forms 22 and 23. Reserve members need to obtain their Retirement Points Statement along with proof of honorable service.
For surviving spouses, dependency benefits determine the form you will need. If you do not receive dependency benefits, you will need DD Form 214, your marriage license, and the service member’s death certificate. You may also need VA form 21P-534-ARE. For spouses who do receive dependency benefits, you will need form VA form 26-1817.
Most of these forms are available online. In many cases, the VA Lender can submit for your COE through the Automated Certificate of Eligibility system. If the VA has sufficient data of your case in the system, your COE may be available in a matter of minutes.
Do I Automatically Qualify for a Home with Eligibility?
When applying for a VA Home Loan, determining your eligibility is only the first step of buying a home and does not qualify you for a home. There are several more steps to the home buying process with a VA Loan. After obtaining your COE, the VA Lender will need to assess your credit, assets, income, and the property type you wish to buy.
Just as with a conventional loan, the lender will determine if you qualify for the loan limit you are seeking. However, these requirements will be more lenient than with a conventional loan as long as you submit an official Certification of Eligibility.
What type of Property Can I Buy with a VA Loan?
Eligible borrowers may purchase many types of properties with a VA Home Loan, including a single-family home, condo, multi-family residence, and in some cases, a manufactured home.
However, for a property to qualify for a VA Home Loan, there are basic occupancy requirements, such as that it must be your primary residence within 60 days of the purchase. You cannot use a VA Loan for an investment or rental property that is not your primary residence.
Questions About Your VA Loan Eligibility?
Nobody’s families deserve to reap from years of sacrificial military service than yours. Our goal at VA Loans for Vets is to ensure you and other veterans understand your VA Loan benefits so your family can move into their dream home. We advise you every step of your journey toward homeownership, including VA Loan Eligibility.
The process can be very overwhelming, but you do not have to figure it out alone. We would be honored to answer any questions you have to see whether you qualify for a VA Loan and educate you more on VA Loans in general. Call our office at 602.908.5849 to discuss your questions, concerns, and next steps.