VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
Our military servicemembers and veterans deserve to get the VA loans they need so they can buy or build their own homes, repair or upgrade their current homes, or refinance their mortgages. Check over the requirements below to learn who is eligible for a VA loan. Low VA Rates will do everything we can to help.
How to Apply for a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility
You’ll need to have a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to show you’re entitled to a VA loan. But you don’t have to have one when you first apply for a VA loan. You can get quotes first and your certificate later.
You can even ask your lender to apply for a certificate on your behalf. They can do this electronically through their own access to the VA’s online system. Once your lender sends in the request, they’ll see the status of your VA loan eligibility within a few seconds.
You can also choose to get the certificate yourself, though the process takes longer and it’s easiest if a lender does it for you. But if you’d still prefer to get it yourself, there are two ways for you to submit your request:
- Apply for it through the VA’s eBenefits website
Fill out and send Form 26-1880 to the correct address (found on page 3 of the form)
Income Requirements for a VA Loan
To get a VA loan, you’ll need to show that you can afford the monthly payments.
To determine this amount, Low VA Rates (or another VA-approved lender) will analyze your monthly income and debt. We’ll then use that information to estimate your residual income, which is how much money you have left over every month after your major expenses are paid. The more residual income you have, the better.
You’ll also need to show stable income from one or more of the following sources:
- Full-time work of at least 30 hours per week
- Part-time work with at least a two-year history, if it’s stable and ongoing
- Self-employment with at least two years of income history, preferably increasing every year
- A pension, retirement income, dividends, disability payments, and/or interest if they have at least a two-year history and can be relied on for at least three more years
Income that does not count includes:
- Income from people who don’t live in your house
- Winnings from the lottery or other forms of gambling
- Unemployment income
- One-time payments from employers (e.g., performance bonuses)
For more general information about income requirements, check out this post from Military.com.
Service Requirements for VA Loan Eligibility
If you were discharged for any reason besides dishonorable, you may have VA loan eligibility with 90 consecutive days of active duty served during:
- World War II (9/15/1940–7/25/1947)
- Korean War (6/27/1950–1/31/1955)
- Vietnam War (8/5/1964–5/7/1975)
- Gulf War (8/2/1990–present)
You may be eligible after less than 90 days of active duty if you were discharged for a service-related disability.
If you were discharged for any reason besides dishonorable, VA loan eligibility occurs with 181 days of active duty during peacetime if you served during these dates:
- 5/8/1975–9/7/1980 (enlisted)
- 5/8/1975–10/16/1981 (officers)
You may be eligible after less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-related disability.
National Guard or Selected Reserve
You may be eligible after six years of service in the National Guard or Selected Reserve. However, if you were discharged for a service-related disability, you may be eligible with less than six years.
A veteran’s spouse may be eligible to receive a VA home loan if:
- The veteran died in service or from a service-related disability, and the spouse has not remarried
- The veteran is missing in action or is a prisoner of war
- A surviving spouse remarried at age 57 or older, and this was on or after 12/16/2003
- In certain cases, the veteran was totally disabled but the disability may not have been the cause of death
Credit Requirements for a VA Home Loan
The VA doesn’t require a certain minimum credit score as part of their requirements for VA loan eligibility.
Similarly, Low VA Rates also doesn’t normally require a minimum credit score. We believe in understanding the veteran’s situation and using that to influence our decision. We’ll happily discuss your credit history and will do our best to get you a VA loan for your dream home.
Other lenders are not as flexible or willing to work with you if you have a low credit score. Each VA-approved lender is allowed to set their own requirements on top of what is set by the VA. Some choose to specify a minimum credit score requirement, usually around 620 or 640. If you don’t meet this minimum, just know that there are other lenders out there who will still be willing to help you.
How to Apply for a VA Loan with Low VA Rates
So, do you wonder how to get a VA loan? Ever since Low VA Rates was founded, we’ve worked exclusively with veterans and current military servicemembers, serving those who have served us and gaining expertise in VA loans. Want us to work for you? Call Low VA Rates for a FREE quote today at (866) 569-8272, or apply online.
Lenders who offer VA home loans do not strictly set a minimum credit score requirement in many cases, unlike those that offer conventional and FHA loans. They will honor your military service and consider other factors, such as your employment history, current income, down payment amount, and other debt levels.