If you're a veteran or military spouse looking to get a home, then you should look into your VA home loan eligibility.The VA home loan program was founded in 1944 and is run by the Department of Veteran Affairs. It has helped more than 22 million veterans finance and afford homes since its inception, and the program was recently expanded to include some military spouses.
Great, But How Do I Know If I'm Eligible?
There are many ways to qualify for a VA home loan, but the most important factor is service in our nation's armed forces. On top of that, you still need to meet certain financial requirements.
Unlike most mortgages, veterans approved for a VA home loan don't need to pay for a down payment or private mortgage insurance, which can drastically reduce out of pocket closing costs. On top of that, the competitive mortgage rates often lead to much more affordable monthly payments. That being said, veterans will still need to find a home that they can afford, as they will still be responsible for making payments on the home.
Lenders also prefer borrowers to have a good debt-to-income ratio before they will consider giving out a loan to a borrower. This ratio can vary depending on lenders, as the VA might recommend a ratio of 41%, but a lender can often exceed that ratio quite a bit with other compensating factors.
Still have questions about your eligibility? Keep reading to learn more about VA home loan eligibility requirements.
Do All Veterans Qualify for the VA Home Loan Program?
In order to qualify for a VA loan, you must meet one of the following requirements:
Service in the National Guard or U.S. Reserves for more than six years.
You served 181 days of active service during a time of peace.
You served 90 consecutive days of active service during a time of war.
Your spouse was a member of the armed services and died in the line of duty, or as a result of service-related injury or disability.
Some other ways that you can qualify for VA home loan eligibility include:
If you are a U.S. citizen that served in the armed forces of a U.S. ally during the Second World War.
Certain civil servants in organizations such as The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, The Public Health Service, The Coast Guard Academy, and The United States Naval Academy.
What About My Credit Score?
The Department of Veteran Affairs does not have a specific credit score requirement for their loans; however, lenders will typically require a score of 620 or greater. Some lenders will allow loans to be given to veterans that have a score below 620. For instance, Texas Veterans Home Loans has a minimum credit score of 600.
Uncertain of Qualifications?
If you're uncertain whether or not you qualify for a VA home loan, you might be pleasantly surprised. The VA guaranteed 707,107 VA home loans in 2016, with a wide variety of factors associated with them. There is a good chance that you could qualify as well.
If you're concerned about your VA home loan eligibility, you can contact our team or the Department of Veteran Affairs for a clearer picture. You shouldn't be afraid to reach out and find out for certain. The home of your dreams could be just a phone call away.
Photo thanks to Adam Holguin