You or your spouse must meet the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) minimum service criteria, possess a current Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and meet the lender’s credit and income requirements in order to be eligible for a VA loan.
Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?
If you satisfy one or more of the following conditions, you might be qualified for a VA loan:
- During the war, you gave 90 days of continuous active service.
- Throughout the period of peacetime, you were on duty for 181 days.
- You have six years of National Guard or Reserve service.
- You are the spouse of a service member who passed away in the line of duty or suffered a disability as a result of their service.
See if You Meet the Qualifications
Answer a few questions below to speak with a specialist about what your military service has earned you.
- Select your branch of service:
- Marine Corps
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
- Military Spouse
- Other VA Eligibility
- No Military Experience
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You might still be qualified for a VA loan even if you don’t fulfil the basic service requirements. In these situations, eligibility is determined by the type of discharge. You might be still be able to get a VA loan even if your discharge falls into one of the following categories:
You were let go due to hardship, government convenience, a force reduction, or another reason.
You were let go due to a health issue or a disability sustained while service.
You were released early from a two-year enlistment after serving at least 21 months of it.
Verifying Your VA Loan Eligibility Status
In order for lenders to confirm that a Veteran satisfies the minimal service criteria, they need something called a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Your COE serves as proof to the lender that you are eligible for VA loan benefits.
This is a simple step for the majority of Veterans. With just your social security number and birthdate, your lender may often obtain a copy of your COE.
The process could be more difficult in particular circumstances. The crucial point is that you don’t require this document to apply for a VA loan.
To obtain your COE right away, speak with a home loan specialist. The procedure typically takes a few minutes to complete and guarantees that your home financing proceeds without interruption.
Other Ways of Getting Your COE
There are three ways to get your COE for a VA loan:
- Applying via a lender recognised by the VA
- Submitting a request online using the VA’s eBenefits portal
- Mail-in application using VA Form 26-1880
Nearly all COE requests, according to the VA, are submitted electronically, and about two thirds are immediately granted. If more information is needed, a DD Form 214 for active duty personnel and an NGB Form 22 or NGB Form 23 for members of the National Guard and Reserves are usually needed.
This isn’t always the case, though. The necessary forms for each kind of service are listed below.
Documents Your Lender May Require
|Service Type||Required Documents|
|Veteran||DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)|
|Current or Former Activated National Guard or Reserves||DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)|
|Active Duty||Statement of Service|
|Current National Guard or Reserves (Never Activated)||Statement of Service and an allocated points statement|
|Discharged National Guard (Never Activated)||NGB Form 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service) and NGB Form 23 (Retirement Points Accounting and proof of the character of service)|
|Discharged Reserves (Never Activated)||Army Reserve: DARP Form FM 249-2E or ARPC Form 606-E. Navy Reserve: NRPC 1070-124. Air Force Reserve: AF 526. Marine Corps Reserve: NAVMC HQ509 or NAVMC 798. Coast Guard Reserve: CG 4174 or 4175|
How Spouses Can Verify Their VA Loan Eligibility
A COE is also required for surviving spouses in order to access their VA loan benefits and confirm their eligibility. Whether or whether you are getting Dependency and Indemnity Compensation determines whether you are eligible for a COE as a surviving spouse.
In addition to completing VA Form 26-1817 (Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses), spouses receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits must also get a copy of the Veteran’s separation documents, such as a DD Form 214.
If you do not currently receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits, you must submit an application using VA Form 21P-534EZ to the VA Pension Management Center in your state (full list here).
A copy of your marriage license, the Veteran’s death certificate (or DD Form 1300 – Report of Casualty), and the Veteran’s separation documentation are also required.
The National Archives and Records Administration of the United States is where you can get separation documents.
To ask questions or for more information, surviving spouses can get in touch with a Veterans United loan specialist.
VA Lender Requirements
Private lenders who finance the home typically have an additional set of requirements borrowers must meet, even though the VA sets the criteria for VA loan eligibility. These typically include a credit score that satisfies the lender’s credit requirements, acceptable levels of debt, and sufficient reliable income to repay the loan.
Are you prepared to check your eligibility for a VA loan? Speak with a home loan expert at Veterans United to begin your VA loan right away.
Credit and Income
Although lenders often do so, the VA does not have a minimum credit score criteria for VA loan eligibility. Because of this, lenders’ criteria for VA loan credit scores differ, with the majority often requiring a 620 mortgage credit score in order to acquire financing.
The VA mandates that qualified Veterans retain a minimum level of income each month after covering all primary expenses in addition to credit score. The surplus, often referred to as residual income, ought to be sufficient to cover standard household expenses like food, transportation, and medical care.
The VA raises the likelihood that borrowers will make enough money to cover all financial commitments by enforcing residual income standards and makes sure borrowers have a safety net in case of emergency.
Lenders take into account your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio in addition to residual income. DTI and residual income give lenders a comprehensive view of your purchasing power and VA loan eligibility.
How to Apply for a VA Loan
Veterans and active duty military personnel can begin the application process without knowing if they qualify for a VA loan. During the initial step, loan preapproval, you’ll gain a clear understanding of your chances of obtaining a VA loan.
Once you’re under contract for a property, the VA loan procedure normally takes 30 to 45 days, though every buyer’s circumstances are unique. You are under no obligation to use a specific lender or to continue the home-buying process if you apply for a VA loan.
The three fundamental steps to applying for a VA home loan are as follows:
- Contact a Lender: The first step of applying for a VA loan is contacting a VA lender like Veterans United Home Loans to start your VA Loan application.
- Verify Eligibility: Obtain your Certificate of Eligibility through your lender or on your own.
- Complete the Application: Finalize your loan application and provide all necessary paperwork to your lender, including W-2s, tax returns and additional financial information.
Questions About Whether You Qualify?
Our Home Loan Specialists are available 24/7 to answer any questions you have about the VA loan program. Give us a call at 1-855-258-3548 or get started online.