In part one of this post we reviewed some of the biggest benefits of getting a mortgage loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, called a VA loan or a VA mortgage. Now we’ll cover the eligibility requirements.
VA Mortgage Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for a VA loan, you must first meet the qualifications of being a member of the armed services. The criteria are set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), along with any other lender requirements, such as income thresholds and credit score qualifications.
You must meet at least one of these criteria (if you meet more than one you still qualify):
- You are/were an active duty service member for at least 90 consecutive days during wartime
- You are/were an active duty service member for at least 181 days during peacetime
- You are serving/served in the National Guard or Reserves for at least 6 years
- You are the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or from another service-related disability
There are some exceptions to these criteria that may still allow someone to qualify for a VA loan. To find out if you might qualify, speak to a home loan specialist at Integrity First Lending, where we specialize in VA mortgage loans.
Certificate of Eligibility
In addition to the qualifications above, you will need to have a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to confirm you are eligible for the loan. You won’t need the COE at the time you apply, but your lender will need it before they can approve the loan. In most cases, the lender can pull the COE directly from an automated system through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Almost all COEs are provided electronically, and about two-thirds are approved instantly.
You can have a VA-approved lender request the COE or you can:
You will need some documentation, such as your Statement of Service, DD Form 214 (regular military) or your NGB Form 22 and NGB Form 23 (National Guard or Reserves), although some service members will need other documentation to prove your eligibility.
Lenders also set some of their own requirements for these loans, which are similar to other mortgages, such as a reliable income source, low levels of debt, and a high enough credit score.
Talk to Integrity First Lending today to find out how you can qualify for a VA loan if you meet the criteria. We’ll help you figure out whether this is the best option to get you into the home of your dreams.