In the last post, we discussed several reasons why a VA Loan may be the right choice for you and your family. In this article, you’ll learn if you’re eligible for a VA Loan and what your next steps are.
VA Loan Eligibility
In order to be eligible for a VA Loan, you must meet the basic service requirements set by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in addition to having a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and the appropriate credit and income levels.
A Homebridge Mortgage Loan Originator can help you narrow down your eligibility, but here is a quick list of people who would be eligible for the VA Loan.
- Veterans (of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps)
- Reserve Members
- Active-Duty Personnel
- National Guard Members
- Some Surviving Spouses
If you’re active duty, you will generally qualify after about six months. Reserve members and members of the National Guard must wait six months before they can apply unless they are called to active duty before that time.
In addition, one or more of the following requirements must be met:
- Served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
- Served 181 days of active service during peacetime
- Have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves OR
- You are the spouse of a service member who has died as a result of a service-related disability or injury or in the line of duty
VA Loan and the Certificate of Eligibility
Before applying for the VA Loan, you do not need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on hand to speak with or send an application to a Homebridge Mortgage Loan Originator.
Your Mortgage Loan Originator will be able to pull the service member’s COE instantly through the VA’s automated system.
The proof of your eligibility will often come in the form of the DD Form 214, if you are regular military and the NGB Form 22 and NGB Form 23, for the case of the National Guard and Reserves.
If you are a surviving spouse, getting a COE will depend on whether you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. If you are, then you must fill out the VA Form 26-1817 and obtain a copy of the Veteran’s separation paperwork.
You will also need to provide a copy of:
- Your marriage license
- The veteran’s death certificate
- The veteran’s separation paperwork
After you meet the guidelines for loan eligibility, you must also meet minimum qualifications for credit score, an acceptable debt to income ratio (DTI) and pass the VA’s appraisal process.
If you need some help finding out if you are ready to buy a home, take a look at our article on How Much Home Can I Afford?
If you believe you have all the information you need to start the application process, fill out the form below and a Mortgage Loan Originator in your area will be in touch shortly.