Home Loan Eligibility
The qualifications for VA home loans may initially look very overwhelming. Determining VA housing assistance eligibility depends on the time period in which the veteran served. The VA loan guidelines have tables dating as far back as World War II, but veterans only need to pay attention to the information that relates to their service dates. Learn more information about VA home loan requirements by reviewing the following topics:
- Qualifications for VA home loans
- VA home loan certificate of eligibility
- VA home loan credit requirements
Qualifications for VA Home Loans
The basic VA home loan requirements are similar to the normal requirements for a home loan from a bank or other lender. VA home loan credit requirements include a suitable credit score and a source of income. Veterans are able to use VA home loans to buy a house or condominium unit that is in a VA-approved project. VA loan guidelines also allow veterans to build new homes, improve an existing home, make changes related to energy efficiency to a home or buy a lot of land. The one addition that VA home loan requirements have is that the veteran must be able to show a certificate of eligibility.
VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility
Getting a VA home loan certificate of eligibility is something that is specific to VA loan guidelines. A VA home loan certificate of eligibility shows that the veteran served in one of the military branches for the necessary amount of time to gain VA benefits. When looking at these VA housing assistance eligibility guidelines, the veteran just has to find the start date for their activity duty and then determine how many days are necessary to serve to meet the limit. For example, the VA loan guidelines for a veteran who served during the Gulf War state that the veteran either must have served for 24 continuous months or have served for 90 days in an active combat zone. To qualify for VA home loan requirements, military members who are still actively serving must have served for at least 90 continuous days.
The VA loan guidelines are a little different for surviving spouses. A surviving spouse can get a certificate of eligibility if he or she is the spouse of a veteran who passed away while serving or if he or she is the spouse of a servicemember who was missing in action. A surviving spouse is ineligible for housing assistance if he or she remarries. However, if the surviving spouse remarried after December 16, 2003, they can get a certificate of eligibility. VA loan guidelines also allow surviving spouses of disabled veterans to obtain a certificate of eligibility.
VA Home Loan Credit Requirements
VA home loan credit does not technically have a maximum amount of housing assistance that a veteran can apply to obtain, but the VA can only assume liability for a certain amount. VA loan guidelines allow veterans to get a basic entitlement of $36,000 on their home loan. However, most lenders are willing to loan up to four times the veteran's entitlement without requiring any sort of down payment. Lenders will still look at the income and credit qualifications of the veteran, which can affect the approval of the veteran's loan.