Understanding Your VA Home Loan Guidelines and Eligibility

by Hank

Below is a guest post from Robert who runs the website, VALoansGuidelines.com

America’s veterans have access to one of the most flexible and low-cost home loan programs in the country. Since World War II, the Veterans Administration has helped more than 15 million Americans become homeowners. VA home loans are designed to help veterans and their families more readily achieve the dream of homeownership. To aid those who served our country, the VA offers a host of significant benefits for qualified buyers.

VA Home Loan Benefits Include:

  • No down payment
  • Financed VA funding fees
  • No penalty for prepayment
  • Sellers can pay up to 6 percent of closing costs
  • Less stringent loan qualification criteria
  • And many more

VA loans can be used for a host of purposes, including buying, building or refinancing a home, improving a veteran-owned residence or simultaneously buying and refurbishing a home. But veterans cannot use these high-impact loans to purchase land or investment properties.

VA loan guidelines and eligibility criteria limits them to veterans and their spouses. But there are often less stringent standards to qualify, meaning veterans with less than perfect credit – or even a history of bankruptcy or foreclosure – can obtain a VA loan. In fact, about 8 in 10 VA home loan borrowers could not have qualified for a conventional home loan.

To be eligible for a VA loan, veterans must first meet one of the following guidelines:

  • Military members who’ve served 181 days on active duty or three months during war time may be eligible.
  • People who have spent at least a half-dozen years in the National Guard or Reserves
  • Spouses of those killed in the line of duty

Eligible veterans must then obtain a Certificate of Eligibility verifying their military service and ability to qualify for a VA loan. These forms can be found online through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

At that point, VA officials will examine a veteran’s financial history and make a determination regarding the loan. Veterans who meet all the initial lending criteria will still have to qualify based on their income, credit and other key factors. But the VA is built on helping veterans realize their goal of homeownership.

{ 1 comment }

Jerry October 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I am really looking forward to getting back to the States and using my VA benefits to buy a home! This is one of the most underutilized military options, I think. I know that it was hard to lead a lot of guys in my former unit to even think about it for some reason. Between a VA loan and USAA insurance and banking (which I love), it’s a good situation for military members and vets.

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