How to Qualify for VA Loans

VA home loans are affordable loans that are designed to help service members become homeowners. If you’ve ever served in the military, you may be wondering if you qualify for a VA loan, which is backed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Eligibility for a VA loan depends on a variety of factors. We’ll walk you through some of the most important.

VA loans offer a wonderful opportunity to access affordable financing and live the dream of homeownership

First of all, you or your spouse must meet the VA’s service requirements. You may be eligible if you’ve had 90 consecutive days of active wartime service, 181 days of active peacetime service, or six years of service in the National Guard or Reserves – or if you’re the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

Certificate of Eligibility
Eligible service members can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, or COE from the VA. Its purpose is in the name, as it simply certifies a service member’s eligibility for VA loan benefits.  You can get your COE through a VA-approved lender, from the VA’s website, or by submitting VA Form 26-1880 through the mail.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has no minimum credit score requirement for obtaining a VA home loan. The VA backs the loans from private lenders in order to help service members qualify for loans they may not otherwise be able to obtain. But because VA loans are extended through private lenders, borrowers may need to meet additional qualifications such as meeting a minimum credit score.

VA loans are available to qualified veterans for the purpose of buying a property the borrower intends to occupy. This means that you cannot get a VA loan for purchasing investment property.

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