VA Home Loan Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for a VA Loan, veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members, and reservists must meet the basic service requirements set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may also be eligible.
- You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
- You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR
- You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR
- You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
- You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
How to Apply for a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
While you don’t need your VA Certificate of Eligibility in hand to start the loan process with us. This certificate is a very important part of your loan application. Your COE verifies that your length and character of service make you eligible to use the VA home loan benefit.
You can apply for a COE in three ways:
- Apply through a VA approved lender
- Apply online through the VA’s eBenefits portal
- Apply by mail with VA Form 26-1880
- Contact the Veterans Administration directly and fill out a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880).
VA Loan Income Requirements
Borrowers are expected to have stable, reliable income that will cover monthly expenses – including their new mortgage payment.
Additionally, the VA requires that borrowers maintain a certain amount of income left over each month after all major expenses are paid. The excess is meant to cover typical family needs, such as food, transportation and so forth and is referred to as residual income. Residual income is a large reason why the VA Loan maintains one of the lowest foreclosure rates of all major lending options.
Additional Eligibility Requirements
Although the VA determines the guidelines for those who are eligible for the VA Loan benefit, private lenders who finance the home purchases have an additional set of criteria a potential borrower must satisfy, including debt, income and credit requirements.
A veteran applying for a VA Loan must not have been discharged under dishonorable conditions.
How to Apply for a VA Loan
You can apply online, over the phone or in person. The loan application takes about 10 minutes to complete online and about 20 minutes over the phone or in person. If you have a lot of questions about the process it may be best to go through the process with us over the phone or in person.
The VA loan process typically takes around 30 days once you’re under contract on a home, although every buyer’s situation is different. Applying for a VA loan doesn’t obligate you in any way to a particular lender or to moving forward with the home buying process.