For veterans who are considering purchasing a property, it makes sense to look into VA loans as an option. These loans have a high level of flexibility and affordability that is a welcome benefit when taking on such a major purchase.
The loans are available to many veterans and may also be available to the spouses of individuals who have died while on active duty, or as the result of a disability which resulted from active duty.
If you are a veteran, you may be wondering whether a VA loan is the best option for you. The first thing you need to consider is whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
What are the eligibility requirements for a VA loan?
In order to qualify to be considered for a VA loan, you need to have a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility. In order to get this certificate, there are certain criteria that need to have been met. You need to satisfy one of these conditions:
- 90 consecutive days served in the armed forces during wartime
- 181 consecutive days served in the armed forces during peacetime
- More than 6 years served as a member of the National Guard or Reserves
- Your spouse died while in the line of duty or from a disability which resulted from active service
If you believe that you should be entitled to a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility, you can apply to an approved lender, send off VA Form 26-1880 or apply online to the VA.
Will you be accepted for a VA loan?
VA loans are provided by lenders, not by the government. This means that there are still qualifying conditions in place. Terms and repayments are much improved to those for a traditional home loan, as the government guarantees part of the loan amount. However, lenders will still need to see that you are able to repay any loan that they award.
VA Loans and Your Credit Score
VA loans are the only mortgage facility that does not technically have a minimum credit score requirement in place. However, VA Home Loan Credit Score Requirements do vary by lender. For many lenders, you will need a credit score that is 580 or above.
Income and VA Loans
There is no requirement for a person to have a minimum level of income before applying to use VA loan benefits. However, lenders will always expect you to have enough money to afford your current liabilities together with any VA home loan payments. They will also expect you to have enough money left over to meet all of your living requirements. This means that you will be expected to have a regular and reliable source of income.
Lender Requirements for a VA Loan
It’s important to remember that the money for a VA loan comes from the lender. This means that they will often have their own requirements attached to decisions about lending. You need to check these requirements with the lender that you choose.
If you are successful in acquiring a VA home loan, it can be a big help in assisting you to buy your first home, or to move on from your current property.