VA Loan Requirements and Eligibility Guidelines
May 20, 2023
If you're a military service member, veteran, or eligible surviving spouse, you've got some amazing opportunities—especially regarding VA loans. But what exactly makes them so special, and what do you need to do to qualify?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know here.
Benefits of a VA Home Loan
VA loans offer several benefits to eligible borrowers, including:
Zero down-payment options: One of the most significant benefits of a VA home loan is that it typically does not require a down payment. This can be a game-changer for borrowers needing more substantial savings for a down payment.
Lower interest rates: VA loans usually come with competitive interest rates lower than conventional mortgage options. These lower rates can result in significant savings over the life of the loan.
No mortgage insurance required: Unlike many loan programs, VA loans generally do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI), saving you thousands of dollars over the loan's lifespan.
Flexible credit requirements: VA loan standards are generally more forgiving than those of conventional lenders. So, if you have little or less-than-perfect credit, a VA loan still offers you a pathway to homeownership.
Primary VA Loan Eligibility Guidelines
VA loan requirements and eligibility guidelines include the following:
Record of military service: To be eligible for a VA loan, you must be an active-duty service member, a veteran, a National Guard or Reserve member, or an eligible surviving spouse. More specifically, you must have served at least 90 consecutive days during wartime, 181 days during peacetime, or six years in the National Guard or Reserves.
Certificate of Eligibility (COE): To validate your service record, you must also have a COE. You'll need to gather your discharge documents or request them online to obtain your COE.
Property eligibility: VA loans are intended for primary residences. In other words, the property you wish to purchase must be a home you plan to occupy long-term.
Income and employment: To qualify for a VA loan, you must demonstrate stable and sufficient income. While there is no specific minimum income requirement, lenders will consider your debt-to-income ratio and evaluate your employment history and income sources.
Credit History: Although VA loans typically have more lenient credit requirements than conventional loans, lenders will still review your credit history. While there is no official minimum credit score requirement, most lenders prefer a credit score of around 620 or higher.
VA funding fee: VA loans generally require a funding fee, which helps sustain the VA loan program. The fee amount varies based on a few factors—your military category, down payment amount, and whether it's your first time using a VA loan.
Discover the perfect loan with JustChoice Lending (JCL)
As a socially responsible lender, we offer competitive rates and personalized service. We have the expertise to assist you whether you have high- or low-income status. Request rates today to get started on your path to homeownership with a VA loan!
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