Department of Veterans Affairs home loans, AKA VA loans, are an amazing perk of military service, but how do you know if you are eligible for one or not?
Can I use a VA loan while on active duty?
Can I use a VA loan after separating from active duty?
Can veterans use the VA loan?
Let’s dig in and look at specific eligibility requirements to answer those questions.
VA Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for a VA loan, you have to meet one or more of the following:
- You served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
- You served 180 days of active service during peacetime
- You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserve, or served 90 days under Title 10 or Title 32 orders
- You are a spouse of a service member who died while serving or due to a service-related disability
A common misconception is that only veterans can use the VA loan. Not true. As long as you’ve served at least 90 days on active duty, you are eligible for a VA loan. That means you can still be actively serving in the military and qualify.
Not sure if you’ve served 90 days? We can help you figure out your time in service. Even military academy cadets have been surprised to find that they sometimes can purchase a home with the VA loan immediately after commissioning.
The thing is, your lender has to know the nuances. Not every lender deals with enough VA loans to know the ins and outs of eligibility. At WeVett Home Loans we’ve seen it all, and if you have a unique situation, we know just the right people to ask to get the most accurate information for your loan.
You separated from active duty and now you’re wondering if the VA loan is an option for purchasing your next home. Did you serve at least 90 days on active duty? Then yes, you are most likely eligible even if you are no longer in the service.
Eligibility and qualification though are two different things. If you are in the middle of separating from the military and are seeking loan approval – you’ll have to verify income in order to get the loan approved. This can be tricky if you don’t yet have a new job with a pay stub. Therefore, it’s very important to start the discussion with your loan officer early so you can lay out the best plan for getting approved.
Have you been a veteran for awhile? Can you still get a VA loan?
In most cases, yes. VA eligibility does not expire once it is attained.
For Veterans, the minimum active-duty service requirement depends on when you served. You can verify those time frames here.
What if I am a veteran who doesn’t meet the above requirements?
If you do not meet one of the above categories, you may still be eligible. Your eligibility is determined by your discharge type.
You may still qualify for a VA loan if you were discharged for:
- Hardship, reduction in force, or at convenience of the government
- A medical condition or service-connected disability
- Early-out and served at least 21 months of a 2-year enlistment
Can I still get a VA loan if I’m not active duty or a veteran?
Surviving spouses of veterans or spouses of veterans who are POW/MIA may qualify.
Other specific circumstances may also make you eligible for the VA loan.
- Being a U.S. citizen who served in the Armed Forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II
- Serving in certain organizations, such as:
- Public Health Service officer
- Cadet at the United States
- Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy
- Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy
- Officer of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
- Merchant seaman during World War II
To receive your VA loan, your lender will need your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to verify you meet the minimum service requirements. If you are a surviving spouse, your lender will need you to fill out VA Form 26-1817 (Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses) and obtain a copy of the Veteran’s DD-214.
If you are unsure of your status and VA loan eligibility, contact one of our VA loan experts today at 316-669-5272 to see where you stand!