VA Home Loan Eligibility
To be eligible for a VA loan, you or your spouse must meet the basic service requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and satisfy the lender’s credit and income requirements.
The list of eligible VA borrowers includes:
A minimum term of service is typically required
VA Minimum Service Requirements
You may be eligible for a VA loan by meeting at least one of the following requirements:
What If I Don’t Meet The Minimum Service Requirements?
You may still be able to get a COE if you were discharged for one of the reasons listed below:
Obtaining A VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Your COE provides the lender with evidence that you qualify for VA loan benefits.
There are three basic ways you can obtain your COE for a VA loan:
Click here to learn more about applying for a COE
It is important to note that no one is “guaranteed” VA loan approval.
You must still qualify for the loan based on VA mortgage guidelines.
The “guarantee” part of the VA loan refers to the VA’s promise to the lender of repayment if the borrower defaults.
How Spouses Can Obtain A COE
Getting a COE as a surviving spouse depends on whether or not you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
Spouses receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits must fill out VA Form 26-1817 (Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses) and obtain a copy of the Veteran’s separation paperwork, such as a DD Form 214.
If you’re not receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits, you’ll need to fill out VA Form 21P-534EZ (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Survivors Pension and/or Accrued Benefits) and submit to your state’s VA Pension Management Center (full list here).
Additionally, you’ll need to provide a copy of your marriage license, the Veteran’s death certificate (or DD Form 1300 – Report of Casualty) and the Veteran’s separation paperwork.
Separation paperwork can be requested from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Learn how to apply for a VA home loan as a surviving spouse.
Can I Get A COE In Any Other Situation?
You may be able to get a COE if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.
At least one of these must be true. You:
VA Loan Income And Credit Requirements
The VA does require borrowers to maintain a minimum amount of residual income left over each month after all documented expenses are paid to ensure there are sufficient funds to cover living and emergency expenses.
The VA does not set a minimum credit score requirement for VA loan eligibility, however, lenders can determine their own individual requirements.
As such, VA loan credit score requirements vary by lender with most lenders typically requiring a minimum 660 credit score.
How To Apply For A VA Loan
Here’s a look at the four basic steps to applying for a VA Home Loan:
Applying for a VA loan doesn’t obligate you in any way to a particular lender or to moving forward with the homebuying process.
Last updated September 23, 2020