In order to be considered for the VA home loan program, a borrower must meet military service requirements. The eligibility requirements vary depending on when the military service was completed, but can be summarized as follows:
- 90 days of active duty during wartime
- 181 days of continuous active duty during peacetime
- 6 years of service for Reservist/National Guard
For applications involving military discharges that are other than honorable, the VA determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
A potential VA borrower must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) before applying for a veterans’ mortgage. The Certificate shows the lender how much entitlement a borrower has available.
Borrowers who are eligible for a VA loan can enjoy:
- No down payment (100% financing)
- No private mortgage insurance (PMI)
- Relaxed qualifying standards
- Competitive interest rates
- No penalties for mortgage pre-payment
- Cash-out and debt consolidation
- Streamline rate reduction
Ultimately, the VA determines whether a person is eligible for VA home loan benefits. For more information on your own eligibility, you can contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or speak with a VA loan professional.