VA Home Loan Eligiblity Requirements and Application

Want to know if you qualify for a VA home loan?

You or your spouse must fulfil the minimum service requirements stipulated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), possess a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and fulfil the income and credit standards of the lender in order to qualify for a VA home loan.


Applying for a VA home loan

If you fulfil any of the following conditions, you can be eligible for a VA home loan:

  • During the war, you were active duty for ninety days in a row.
  • During the peacetime, you were active for 181 days.
  • If you have served for six years in the National Guard or Reserves, or for ninety days (with thirty of those days being consecutive), you are eligible to serve under Title 32 commands.
  • You were married to a military person who passed away while on active duty or who became disabled as a result of their service.

You might still be able to get a VA home loan even if you don’t fulfil the minimum service standards. The type of discharge determines eligibility in these instances. A VA home loan may still be an option for you if your discharge fits one of these categories:

  • You were let go due to financial difficulties, government policy, or a reduction in force.
  • A medical issue or service-connected impairment led to your discharge.
  • You served a minimum of 21 months out of a 2-year enlistment before being discharged for early-out.


Checking Your Eligibility for a VA home Loan

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required by lenders in order to confirm that a Veteran has fulfilled the minimal service requirements. Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) verifies to the lender that you are eligible for VA loan benefits.

This stage is simple for the majority of Veterans. The only information a lender needs to access your COE is your social security number and birthdate.

Occasionally, the procedure could be trickier. The most crucial thing to remember is that this paperwork is not required in order to apply for a VA loan.

Other Methods of Obtaining Your COE

When applying for a VA home loan, you have three options for obtaining your COE:

  • Submitting an application via a VA-approved lender
  • Submitting an application via the EBT system of the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Requesting a VA Form 26-1880 by regular mail

The VA reports that the majority of COE requests are submitted electronically, with around two-thirds of those requests being issued promptly. If more paperwork is needed, it is usually a DD Form 214 for active-duty service members and the NGB Form 22 and NGB Form 23 for those serving in the National Guard or Reserves.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to this rule. Below, you will find the necessary forms for each sort of service.

Documents Your Lender Might Ask for

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 Check If They Are Eligible for a VA Home Loan

In order to use their VA home loan benefits, surviving spouses must additionally provide a certificate of eligibility (COE). Whether you are receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation determines whether you are eligible for a COE as a surviving spouse.

Fill out VA Form 26-1817 (Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses) and get a copy of the Veteran’s separation documents, like a DD Form 214, if your spouse is receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits.

Get in touch with the VA Pension Management Centre in your state (complete list here) and fill out VA Form 21P-534EZ if you aren’t getting Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits.

The Veteran’s death certificate (or DD Form 1300 – Report of Casualty) and the papers pertaining to the Veteran’s separation should also be included, along with a copy of your marriage licence.

The National Archives and Records Administration in the United States can be contacted to obtain separation papers.

If a survivor spouse has any questions or would like more information, they can contact a Veterans United loan specialist.

Requirements by VA Lenders

Borrowers usually need to meet additional standards set by commercial lenders who finance the property, even though the VA establishes the criteria for VA home loan eligibility. In most cases, these include having a credit score that satisfies the lender’s standards, an appropriate amount of debt, and a steady source of income to pay back the loan.

Credit Score and Income

No specific minimum credit score is required by the VA to qualify for a VA homeloan; however, most lenders check this. For this reason, the minimum FICO score needed to qualify for a VA home loan might range from 620 to 850, depending on the lender.

Qualifying Veterans are required by the VA to have a specific amount of money remaining each month after paying all primary bills, in addition to a credit score. Normal living expenses like food, transport, and healthcare should be covered by the surplus, which is called residual income.

The VA makes sure borrowers have a safety net in case of an emergency and boosts their prospects of earning enough to pay all of their bills by imposing residual income requirements.

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is one of the factors that lenders take into account, along with residual income. Your capacity to qualify for a VA home  loan and your purchasing power are both assessed holistically by DTI and residual income.

The VA Home Loan Application Process

Veterans and active-duty military personnel can begin the VA home loan application process regardless of their eligibility status. In the first stage, loan preapproval, you will learn a lot about your chances of getting a VA home loan.

While every buyer’s circumstances is unique, the VA home loan procedure usually takes 30 to 45 days once you’re under contract on a home. There is no commitment to a specific lender or to continuing with the homebuying process when you apply for a VA home loan.

The three main components of a VA home loan application are as follows:

Reach out to a VA lender: You can begin the application process for a VA home loan by contacting a lender in your area either online, by phone, or in person.

Make sure you qualify for a VA loan: Do not hesitate to ask your lender or research online for a Certificate of Eligibility.

Send in your VA home loan paperwork:
 Before you can finalise your loan application, gather all the papers your lender will need, such as W-2 forms, tax returns, and other financial documents.

In order to get a home loan through Veterans United, what are the criteria?

To be eligible for a VA home loan, Veterans United usually requires a credit score of 600 or above. The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, residual income, and other criteria pertaining to the capacity to repay must also be satisfied. Recommendations may change according to your unique circumstances.

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is needed of all VA home loan borrowers by Veterans United and all other VA home loan lenders. Additional documentation, such as a DD Form214, may be requested. These servicing requirements are only applicable to this particular loan type; they do not apply to conventional or FHA loans.

Most lenders, like Veterans United, can collect your COE on your behalf, so you don’t even need to have them on hand to begin the process.

There are things you can do to raise your credit score in a matter of months if you aren’t yet qualified for a VA home loan through Veterans United.

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