If you are a veteran or active duty service member interested in a VA home loan, you may have questions about your eligibility. It’s never a bad idea to check your eligibility before starting the application process. VA loans offer great benefits like no down payment and no private mortgage insurance, but you need to qualify first. In this article, we’ll explain VA home loan eligibility and how to verify if you meet the requirements.
Understanding VA Home Loan Eligibility
VA home loans are only available to certain borrowers who meet specific criteria set by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Here are the main categories of eligible borrowers:
- Active duty service members
- Veterans who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
- National Guard and Reserve members with at least six years of service
- Surviving spouses of eligible veterans in certain circumstances
In addition to falling under one of these categories, you’ll also need to meet service requirements related to the length and character of your time served. The VA will check your DD214 discharge paperwork or current duty orders to confirm you qualify.
Gathering Required Documentation
To determine eligibility, your lender needs to review several key documents including:
- Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to prove your service record
- Income verification like pay stubs and tax returns
- Credit reports and scores
- Employment history for the last two years
The lender handling your application will request these items. Having them ready ahead of time can speed up the process.
Calculating Your Available Entitlement
Your Certificate of Eligibility will specify your available entitlement, which is the maximum VA loan amount you can qualify for. Basic entitlement is granted based on your service. Additional bonus entitlement may be available too.
Checking Eligibility Online
The fastest way to check eligibility is to use the VA’s eBenefits portal, which will display your current COE. You can also have a lender help you with this process. This preliminary eligibility check can save you time and effort.
Preparing for the Application Process
Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, you can start shopping for VA-approved lenders and getting pre-qualified to see potential loan amounts. Interest rates and closing costs vary between lenders, so make sure to compare different offers.
Get Assistance from an Expert
Reach out to us today to start the prequalification process and discuss your options. We’re ready to help you use your hard-earned VA home loan benefits.