VA Loan Eligibility Rules and Requirements
VA home loans are intended for veterans and spouses, where applicable, in order to help our military service members get into affordable housing at a competitive interest rate.
Only those who are eligible may apply for a VA home loan--VA loan eligibility means the borrower must have spent a minimum time in uniform and have a discharge that is not characterized as Dishonorable.
Spouses can apply with the veteran on a VA loan, and in certain cases surviving spouses of military members who have died can apply by themselves. Divorced spouses who are not veterans cannot apply for the VA loan benefit, nor can the dependent children of military members at the time of this writing.
Veterans are eligible to apply for a VA loan Certificate of Eligibility once they have served a minimum time in the military. This minimum time varies depending on when the applicant served. If you were an officer or an enlisted member during the Vietnam era, for example, your minimum time is service may vary from those who served during the first Desert Storm era.
For those currently serving in the military in any capacity, (Active duty, Guard or Reserve) 90 days of continuous service are required to be eligible for a VA loan.
The rules for VA loan eligibility found on the VA official site remind borrowers that simple eligibility for the VA loan program does not mean that a VA loan is automatically approved. According to the VA official site:
“You must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. The home must be for your own personal occupancy....VA home loans can be used to:
● Buy a home, a condominium unit in a VA-approved project
● Build a home
● Simultaneously purchase and improve a home
● Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy efficient improvements
● Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.”
Talk to a loan officer about obtaining a VA Certificate of Eligibility--the lender can help you obtain one electronically to get the VA loan application process started.