VA Loan Eligibility Requirements

Basic VA Loan Eligibility

Basic VA Loan Eligibility

Requirements for a VA Home Loan
Veterans, service members, some spouses, and other eligible beneficiaries must meet the basic service requirements laid out by the Department of Veterans Affairs to qualify for a VA home loan. You may be eligible for a VA Loan by meeting one or more of the four most common service time requirements. Keep in mind, qualifying for a VA home loan based on service time alone does not guarantee that you will be approved for a VA home loan. There are several other requirements that must be met to be approved for a VA home loan.

Active Service
During Wartime

You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime

Active Service
During Peacetime

You have served 2 years of active service during peacetime, some exceptions apply.

National Guard
or Reserves

You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves

Surviving Military
Spouse

You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty


Branches of Service
  1. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine Corps
  2. Select Reserve and National Guard
  3. Cadets in the United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, or Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy
  4. Officers serving in Public Health Services (USPHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Credit & Income
  • VeteransLoans.com requires a 620 credit score on a traditional refinance or when purchasing a home
  • A DTI (debt-to-income) ratio of less than 41% must be met, as well as residual income requirements, which will vary depending on family size and property location
  • Employment must be verified as full-time
  • Self-employed borrowers must have a minimum 2-year employment history with sustained, consistent income.
Surviving Spouses
  • An un-remarried surviving spouse of a military member who died while in service or from a service-oriented disability
  • Survivor of a service person missing in action (MIA) or a prisoner of war (POW) (limited to one-time use)
  • Veteran had been totally disabled and then died, but their disability may not have been the cause of death
  • All surviving spouses are exempt from the VA funding fee

Certificate of Eligilibity (COE)

This starting point of the VA loan process proves that you have met the VA’s service requirement.
Although you do not need your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on hand to apply, you will need it to confirm you qualify for VA loan benefits.

Your Certificate of Eligibility includes helpful information such as:

  • Entitlement status
  • VA loan history
  • Funding fee status
  • Entitlement status
  • VA loan history
  • Funding fee status
  • Remaining entitlement
  • Entitlement codes
  • Entitlement conditions
Speak to a VA expert to get your COE today 

Documents required to obtain a COE

Veteran If you’re a Veteran, you’ll need a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214).
Service Member If you’re an active-duty service member, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer
Current or Former Activated National Guard or Reserve Member If you’re a current or former activated National Guard or Reserve member, you’ll need a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214).
Current member of the National Guard or Reserves who has never been activated If you’re a current member of the National Guard or Reserves, and have never been activated, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer
Discharged member of the National Guard who was never activated If you’re a discharged member of the National Guard and were never activated, you’ll need: Your Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) for each period of National Guard service, and Your Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23) and proof of the character of service
Discharged member of the Reserves who was never activated If you’re a discharged member of the Reserves and were never activated, you’ll need: A copy of your latest annual retirement points, and Proof of your honorable service

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