A VA home loan is a particular type offered to military service members, veterans, and spouses of qualified military personnel. This type of home loan gives competitive interest rates, and there is no down payment expected. If you are worried about paying for private mortgage insurance or PMI, a VA loan also doesn’t require it.

How does a VA home loan work?

When it comes to VA loan requirements, here are a few of the considerations:

  • Borrowers must have served in the military for the minimum time requirement.
  • Surviving spouse of a service member who died during their time in service.
  • You can only use the loan proceeds for a primary residence, make home improvements or refinance an existing mortgage.

VA home loans are popular because they have lower interest rates than traditional mortgages. Veterans don’t have to save up for a large downpayment. VA loan borrowers need not worry about PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) because there’s no need for it.

VA home loan eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this kind of loan, you must meet one or more of these requirements:

  1. For active duty service, you must have served at least 90 consecutive days in active service during wartime. For peacetime, it must be at least 181 days of service.
  2. If you are a veteran, you must be honorably discharged from service to get eligibility.
  3. A Reservist or National Guard member who has served for at least six years can be approved for a VA home loan unless discharged for a service-connected disability or has been called to go on active duty.
  4. Surviving spouses of a service member who died in the line of duty or of a service-connected disability can also apply for a VA loan.

If you qualify with at least one of the abovementioned requirements, you can start the process by getting a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If requesting by mail, fill out a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and mail it to your regional loan center. You can ask your lender about the Web LGY if requesting online. Lenders have different additional requirements, like credit scores and debt-to-income ratios. So, ask for specific requirements before applying for a VA home loan.