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VA loan eligibility can be simple and easy to check on the Veterans Administration website.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees home loans for eligible active duty service members, veterans, reservists, and National Guard members. These are commonly known as VA loans or VA home loans.
To be eligible, you must have served at least 90 days during wartime or 180 days during peacetime. You must also have a good credit history and sufficient income to make your loan payments. In addition, you must not have been discharged from the military due to dishonorable conditions. If you meet these eligibility requirements, you may apply for a VA home loan.
To check your eligibility, you can pull your VA Certificate of Eligibility.
In this post:
VA Loan Ultimate Guide
I built the VA Loan Ultimate Guide to explain the confusing VA loan process.
- What is a VA loan?
- How to determine if you are eligible for a VA loan?
- How to get a VA loan Certificate of Eligibility?
- What credit score do you need for a VA loan?
- What is the VA loan process, from start to finish?
- Who are the best VA loan lenders?
- What is a VA cash-out refinance loan?
Here's a podcast episode from my Military Money Manual Podcast all about using the VA loan:
Who is eligible for a VA loan?
You may be eligible for a VA loan by meeting one or more of the following requirements:
- You served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
- You served 181 days of active service during peacetime.
- You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves.
- You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
A COE certifies to a lender that you are eligible for a VA home loan.
Any veteran who served on active duty during wartime or peacetime is eligible to apply for a VA loan. There are also specific requirements for reservists and members of the National Guard. As a veteran, you may need to provide a DD214 form that shows the character of your discharge and the dates of your service.
You may also need to provide other documentation, such as proof of residency, financial statements, and credit reports. The best way to determine your eligibility is to speak with a VA loan specialist. They will be able to review your situation and advise you on the steps you need to take to apply for a VA loan.
Does VA Loan Eligibility Expire?
VA Loan eligibility does not expire. Once you are eligible for a VA Loan, you will remain eligible if you continue to meet the program's requirements. For example, you must maintain a good credit history and keep your debt-to-income ratio below certain levels. If you do this, you will be able to take advantage of the many benefits of the VA Loan program throughout your life.
What is a Certificate of Eligibility?
To get a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan, you will need to provide some basic information about your identity and financial history. You should start by gathering any relevant documentation, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and proof of employment. From there, you can fill out the appropriate application form on the VA website. Most COE can be pulled online within seconds.
If you need to submit for a COE by mail, you typically receive your Certificate of Eligibility within three weeks. With this document in hand, you can begin shopping for a qualifying home or refinancing an existing mortgage with a VA-approved lender. Thanks to its streamlined process and generous benefits, the VA loan program makes it easier than ever to achieve your homeownership goals.
How much VA Loan am I Eligible for?
When applying for a VA loan, one of the most important factors to consider is how much you are eligible to borrow. The VA will guarantee up to 25% of your loan, up to the conforming loan amount for your area, so you shouldn't have to provide a down payment.
The amount of your loan will depend on several different factors, such as your income level and credit score. In addition, the lender will also consider your monthly expenses, including housing costs and any debts that you may have.
To calculate your eligibility for a VA loan, you can use an online calculator or contact a VA approved lender for assistance. Whatever method you choose, it is important to be realistic about how much you can afford in terms of monthly mortgage payments.
Will a Short Sale Affect my VA Loan Eligibility?
In general, the answer to this question is no. Because short sales are handled by the lender and are typically completed outside of typical mortgage processes, it generally does not affect your eligibility for a VA loan.
That said, there may be some exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. For example, if you have been delinquent on your payments or issued multiple mortgage modifications in the past, a short sale may still impact your eligibility to borrower from certain lenders.