To be eligible for a VA Loan, Veterans, Active duty service members, National Guard members and Reservists must meet the basic service requirements set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs. A spouse of military members who died while on active duty or because of a service-connected disability may also be eligible.
In general, Veterans who were honorable and general discharged qualify for most VA benefits. A regional VA office can clarify the eligibility of dishonorable, bad conduct discharges, parolees, and individuals with multiple discharges. Meeting the eligibility requirements is just the first step. There are still credit, income and other financial guidelines to clear. Current service members can also run into challenges regarding occupancy and the VA’s focus on primary residences.
Active military members will still need to meet VA and lender guidelines for credit score, debt-to-income ratio, residual income and more. If you’re not set to Expiration of Term of Service (ETS) within 12 months of your loan closing, there isn’t usually much room for concern about your employment. Lenders will obtain a copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) to get a better handle on your income. You may also be able to count some military allowances and special pay, such as flight pay, hazard pay and combat pay. On top of that, eligible service members can also count their Basic Allowance for Housing toward qualifying for a VA mortgage.
As a member of the Armed Forces, you may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
- You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR
- You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR
- You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
- You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or because of a service-related disability.