Veterans who joined the service after Sept. 7, 1980 or entered as an officer after Oct. 16, 1981 require two years of service to qualify for a VA loan. This means they must have completed over 24 months of active duty or the full period for which they were ordered to serve.
In cases involving anything other than honorable discharge, loans require further development by the VA. The VA will determine whether the discharge was made for dishonorable reasons.
National Guard and Reserves Requirements
Those who have served as members of the National Guard or the Reserves for over six years are eligible for a VA loan. Members who have not served six years may also qualify if they received an honorable discharge from a service-connected disability.
Spouses of Veterans
There are several cases in which the surviving spouse of a veteran may be eligible for a VA loan. If the surviving spouse of a veteran who died during service remains unmarried, then they may qualify for a loan. Surviving spouses who have remarried after the age of 57 may also qualify. Other qualified surviving spouses include those who are married to a service member who has been listed as MIA or a POW for over 90 days.
Other Service Members Qualified for VA Loans
In the past, Congress has granted veteran status to groups other than the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Current people with veteran status include members of the Public Health Service as well as certain merchant seamen. The Eligibility Center should be contacted if the lender comes across one of these cases.
Length of Service Exceptions
There are many exceptions to the service length requirements outlined by the VA. Veterans who were discharged for a service-related disability only have a one day of service requirement. The VA should be contacted for further information on exemptions involving the length of service requirements.
Find Out Your VA Loan Eligibility
Contact VA Home Loan Centers to start a VA loan application.