Veteran Home Loan: Eligibility And Requirements

Veteran Home Loan: Eligibility And Requirements

VA loans generally don’t require a downpayment and allow Veterans to qualify even with a shaky credit score.

Each year, VA loans help thousands of active-duty military personnel and veterans in purchasing houses. See below who can apply and what it takes to get approved for a VA loan.

VA Loan Eligibility

VA loans, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are available to Veterans, current military members and some surviving spouses of active duty.

You’re qualified to apply for the VA loan if you are able to meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • You are a veteran who satisfies the length-of-service standards, which are ordinarily 90 days during times of war and 181 days during times of peace.
  • You finished six creditable years in the Selected National Guard or Reserve or 90 days of active-duty service.
  • You have not remarried and are the surviving spouse of a veteran who passed away in the line of service or from a disability related to service. Or you remarried after turning 57 or on December 16, 2003. The spouses of service members who are prisoners of war or missing in action are also eligible.

In some circumstances, such as when you are discharged for a disability related to your service, you may still be qualified even if you don’t meet the length-of-service standards.

Consult the VA for more information.


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If you were discharged for “other than honorable,” “poor conduct,” or “dishonorable” reasons, you might not be eligible. However, you can apply to the VA to upgrade your discharge status.

How To Apply For A Veteran Home Loan?

You can register for a VA loan through a bank, credit union or mortgage company that offers them. The process is the same as we apply for other types of mortgages — you supply jobs, income and other financial details, after which the lender decides whether you qualify or not.

One particular item you’ll need is a VA certificate of eligibility. The certificate of eligibility (COE) is a document the Department of Veterans Affairs provides if you meet the service criteria for a VA loan. You can request the document through the or contact a registered VA lender to get the Certificate Of Eligibility for you.

VA Loan Requirements: Credit, Debt and Income

The lender will examine your credit, debt, and income to determine your eligibility and the interest rates they provide.

Related:Are Surviving Spouses Eligible for a VA Home Loan?

Credit requirements

There is no minimum credit score required by the VA to be approved for a loan. However, lenders seeking VA mortgages are free to set their own minimum FICO credit score requirements, which are often in the low- to mid-600s.

Additionally, lenders will review your credit report, specifically your history of on-time payments.

DTI for VA loan

A debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, of no higher than 41% is preferred by the VA. However, if a borrower has sufficient “residual income,” another aspect lenders consider when examining mortgage applications, they may still be accepted even with higher DTI percentages. The money left after paying for housing, other commitments, and basic living costs like food and clothing is known as residual income.

VA loan down payment requirement

Under most circumstances, VA loans don’t call for any minimum down payment. However, if the home’s purchase price is higher than its appraised price, you may have to cover at least some of the difference.

Additionally, a down payment will be necessary if the home price exceeds the county loan maximum and you are subject to VA loan limit constraints.

If there are more buyers than sellers in a competitive market, you could need a down payment simply to get started. The seller will require a deposit in a bidding scenario, and by including one as part of your down payment, you are proving that you are a serious buyer.

A benefit of making a down payment is that it will probably lower the VA funding fee.

VA Loan Property Requirements

The house you want to purchase needs to adhere to the VA’s minimum property standards. The requirements make sure that VA-financed homes are secure, structurally sound, and clean.

A VA-approved appraiser will be hired by the lender once you have a purchase agreement in place to determine the home’s market value and confirm that it satisfies the minimum property standards. Refinancing a VA loan could also necessitate the submission of a VA appraisal.

Summing It Up

A VA loan is one of the hard-earned military benefits available to qualifying military members and service members. However, it is imperative to get the VA COE from the lender to start your application process.

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