Do I Qualify for a VA Loan?
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA home loans have helped more than 20 million veterans, active duty service members, and surviving spouses across the country achieve the dream of home ownership. It’s praised by many for its low VA loan rates and lack of a down payment¹ or mortgage insurance², made possible by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA Loan Service Requirements
Whether you’re an active duty service member or a veteran, you’ll need to meet specific service requirements in order to meet eligibility for a VA loan. Service requirements fall into one of two categories: wartime and peacetime.
You may be eligible for a VA home loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
- You served at least 90 consecutive days during wartime
- You served at least 181 consecutive days during peacetime
- You have more than six years of service in the National Guard or Reserves
- You are the surviving spouse due to a in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability
VA Loan Property Requirements
In addition to meeting service requirements, the home you purchase needs to meet specific property requirements, too. While homes come in all shapes and sizes, from townhomes and condos to single-family homes and new construction, potential homeowners who want to use a VA loan must focus on a select group in order to get final approval. Single-family homes are the standard for VA loans, and getting final approval shouldn’t be an issue.
Although single-family homes are the norm, this isn’t to say that all other options are closed off. For example, condos and townhomes are eligible if the entire complex meets VA approval, and so are modular homes that are assembled on the homeowner’s property by a licensed contractor.
If you’re interested in purchasing something beyond a single-family home, speak with a Mortgage Loan Originator about whether or not your property meets VA requirements.
Your Credit History
Although the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t have strict credit score requirements in place for veterans, spouses, and military members who want to use this benefit, VA lenders typically do have additional requirements. Minimum credit score requirements vary from lender to lender, but typically hover around 620.
VA Loan Income Requirements
When you consider a VA loan, you are expected to have stable, reliable income that will cover the monthly expenses associated with owning a home — including your mortgage payment. The VA also requires you to have a certain amount of income left over each month after all major expenses are paid. Referred to as residual income, this excess is meant to cover basic things, like food and transportation. The amounts vary by family size and part of the country, and is a major reason why VA loans have one of the lowest foreclosure rates out of all major lending options. By mandating residual income requirements, the VA virtually ensures that borrowers have a financial cushion in the event of an emergency.
Certificate of Eligibility
Although you don’t need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in hand to start the VA loan
application process, it’ll help verify that the length and character of your service makes you eligible for VA home loan benefits. VA loans are for first-time and repeat buyers alike so, if you’ve used a VA loan in the past you may be eligible for a subsequent loan.
If you think you qualify for a VA home loan, speak with a HomeBridge Mortgage Loan Originator today.
Learn More About VA Loans:
¹100% financing up to county loan limits may be available for purchase loans or 1-unit cash-out refinances. Cash-out not available in Texas. Minimum FICO score requirements apply.
² Most VA loans will require a funding fee.