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VA Eligibility

Who is eligible to receive a VA loan?

If you’ve served in the armed forces, you’re sure to have seen lists of benefits in which veterans are entitled to. The biggest benefit of being a veteran is the VA home loan. Whether you are active duty, a veteran, a surviving spouse of a service member you may be eligible for a VA loan.

In all cases, the VA has specific requirements that must be met before a veteran is considered eligible.

VA is the best loan program available. There is no down payment requirement, there is no private mortgage insurance, no pre-payment penalties, the monthly mortgage payment is usually lower than other loan programs, and is easy to qualify for.

What are the eligibility requirements?

There are several different requirements that need to be met for eligibility. First the service requirements need to be met, and then there are the income, credit and property requirements.

Service Requirements:

You must meet of one of these service eligibility requirements.

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime
  • You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves
  • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

Income eligibility:

To qualify for a VA loan you must have a valid source of income that is considered stable. You have to be able to afford the mortgage payment and any existing debt you currently have. VA also requires you to meet the residual income requirement, which is money left over for food, entertainment, utilities, etc.

Here are some income sources that are eligible for VA financing.

  • Social security income
  • VA disability income
  • Income from a full-time job
  • Income from a part time job – must be on the job for 2 years to be eligible
  • Self employment income – must have a 2 year history to be eligible
  • 1099 income – must have a 2 year history to be eligible
  • Income from retirement and/or pensions
  • Seasonal income –  must have a 2 year history to be eligible
  • Child support income – must have a 3 year continuance, to be eligible
  • Alimony income – must have a 3 year continuance, to be eligible
  • Rental income – must be reporting this income on your tax returns to be eligible

Only income that you are currently receiving is eligible. Future income cannot be used for qualifying.

Income that is not eligible:

The income listed below CANNOT be used for qualifying.

  • Unemployment income is not eligible – Unless you are in a line of work where it is common for you to receive unemployment. (For example during the winter months). Must provide proof that it is common.
  • Workers comp is not eligible – Unless you can provide proof that this income will continue for the next 3 years
  • GI bill income and BAH is not eligible.
  • Cash payments are not eligible. Unless you are reporting the cash income on your tax returns. We will need a 2 year history to be eligible.

What types of properties are eligible for a VA loan?

Single family residences are eligible and don’t require prior approval from VA. The home that is being purchased has to be safe to move into. If there are any hazardous or safety concerns, VA may not approve the purchase of the home.

Multi-family dwellings are eligible. The vet must occupy one of the units and can rent out the others. The units have to be free of any hazardous or safety concerns, otherwise it may not get approved for VA financing. The max number of units allowed is 4.

Condos and townhomes are also eligible but will require VA condo approval. The homeowners association information has to be reviewed and approved by VA prior to closing. Some complexes may already have VA condo approval. If the complex does not, we can help get the VA complex approved.

Manufactured homes and mobile homes are eligible but are required to be on permanent foundation. Mobile homes must be doublewides.

We can help you with VA financing on all these types of properties.

What properties are not eligible for VA loans?

  • Properties that are located in a flood zone and flood insurance is not available. VA won’t allow financing on these properties and lenders won’t either.
  • Properties that are located in the Coastal Barrier Resource System are ineligible.
  • Properties that are located in Airport Noise Zone 3 (high noise) are ineligible.
  • Units located in condo complexes that are not VA approved. Cooperatives and timeshares are not eligible

What is the minimum credit score to be eligible for a VA loan?

The credit score requirements are set by each lender. Some lenders require a minimum of 640 while others will go lower.

We have lenders that will accept credit scores as low as 580 and can even help those that don’t have a credit score.

Your credit history will also be reviewed to determine how you pay your bills, if there any collections reporting, if there are any late payments, any current mortgages, etc…

Who is eligible to get a VA loan?

Any Vet or a service member who is on active duty that meets the following eligibility requirements.

When did you serve?You meet the minimum active-duty service requirement if you served for at least this amount of time:
Between September 16, 1940, and July 25, 1947 (WWII)90 total days, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between July 26, 1947, and June 26, 1950 (post-WWII period)181 continuous days, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955 (Korean War)90 total days, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between February 1, 1955, and August 4, 1964 (post-Korean War period)181 continuous days, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War), or
February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, if you served in the Republic of Vietnam
90 total days, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between May 8, 1975, and September 7, 1980 (post-Vietnam War period), or
Between May 8, 1975, and October 16, 1981, if you served as an officer
181 continuous days, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between September 8, 1980, and August 1, 1990, or
Between October 17, 1981, and August 1, 1990, if you served as an officer
24 continuous months, or The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called to active duty
Between August 2, 1990, and the present (Gulf War)24 continuous months, or The full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, or At least 90 days if you were discharged for a hardship, a reduction in force, or for convenience of the government, or Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
You separated from service after September 7, 1980, or
After October 16, 1981, if you served as an officer
24 continuous months, or The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, or At least 181 days if you were discharged for a hardship, a reduction in force, or for convenience of the government, or Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
I’m on active duty now90 continuous days