The Veterans Administration (VA) home loan program is part of the GI Bill of Rights passed in 1944. This program is designed to help servicemen and women, whether active, reserve or retired, achieve home ownership more easily. What makes this loan great is that borrowers don’t need a down payment and don’t have to pay mortgage insurance.
Determining Eligibility for a VA Loan
VA loans are available to virtually all regular military, reservists, National Guard and veterans. To apply for a VA home loan, you must first submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and meet one of the following requirements:
1. Have served 181 days of services during peacetime
2. Have served 90 days of continuous active service during war time
3. Have had six creditable years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and meet one of these following:
- Honorably discharged
- Placed on the retired list
- Transferred to Standby Reserve or other element or Ready Reserve (other than the Selected Reserve) with a record of honorable service
- Continue service in Selected Reserve
4. Be a surviving spouse of a veteran who was killed in the line of duty, is a POW or MIA or died from a service-related disability.
If you’re a veteran who doesn’t meet one of the above requirements, you may still qualify if you were discharged for any of these reasons:
- The convenience of the government
- Certain medical conditions
- Reduction in force
- Service-related disability
Find Out if You Qualify
The COE for VA loans is obtainable from your lending institution or at VA.Gov where you can apply online. You’ll need copies of the appropriate service documentation (a DD Form 214 for example). The documents required will depend on the veteran’s service status. VA loans can be used for more than home loans. Check out the VA website for more information about Veterans Administration Loans.