For most, homeownership starts with a dream.
For scores of veterans and active duty military personnel – the men and women who put America first – it starts and ends with a VA loan.
These flexible, government-backed loans have helped more than 18 million service members become homeowners since World War II. VA loans feature no down payment and no private mortgage insurance and allow qualified borrowers to purchase a home without spending money up front.
At the outset, veterans, active duty service members and others need to determine whether they’re eligible to participate in the VA Loan Guaranty program. Being eligible for a VA loan doesn’t guarantee you’ll secure financing, but the program continues to help hundreds of thousands of deserving borrowers each year.
Those eligible for VA mortgage financing fall into two categories: wartime and peacetime service.
After having served on continuous active duty for at least 90 days. Upon discharge or release from active duty, eligibility must be reestablished.
Individuals who are not otherwise eligible and who have completed at least six years in the Reserves or National Guard.
Veterans are required to have been discharged or released under other than dishonorable conditions. Minimum service time requirements vary. Do not assume you are not qualified for some reason. Exceptions are made and only by checking your eligibility will you know for sure.
The VA makes a final determination in a formal document called a Certificate of Eligibility. You can obtain your Certificate of Eligibility on your own, but it can take weeks. If you have a VA-approved lender do it for you, it can take seconds.
And when your dream home is on the line, do you really want to give someone else the chance to get there first?
To learn more about eligibility, you can visit our extensive guide to VA loan eligibility.
VA loans allow Veterans to have a co-borrower on the loan. Here we break down co-borrower requirements and provide common scenarios around co-borrowing and joint VA loans.
Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) verifies you meet the military service requirements for a VA loan. However, not everyone knows there are multiple ways to obtain your COE – some easier than others.