VA Housing Loan Eligibility: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on VA housing loan eligibility. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know to determine if you are eligible for VA housing loan benefits. We’ll explore the eligibility criteria, the application process, and frequently asked questions about VA housing loans. Whether you’re a veteran, an active-duty member, or a surviving spouse of a veteran, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in!

What is VA Housing Loan Eligibility?

VA housing loan eligibility is a benefit program created to help eligible veterans, active-duty members, and surviving spouses to become homeowners. This program provides loans with favorable terms, such as no down payment, lower interest rates than conventional loans, and no private mortgage insurance requirement. VA housing loan guarantees protect lenders from losses if borrowers default on loans. Since the program’s inception in 1944, millions of eligible borrowers have become homeowners thanks to VA housing loan benefits.

Who is Eligible for VA Housing Loans?

VA housing loans are available to a wide range of military members, veterans, and surviving spouses. To be eligible, one must meet specific service requirements, income, and credit standards. The following groups may apply for VA housing loan benefits:

Eligibility Criteria
Have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime or 181 days of active service during peacetime. Honorable discharge or other-than-dishonorable discharge.
Active-Duty Members
Have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, 181 days during peacetime, or 6 years in the National Guard or reserves. Currently, on active duty or have been honorably discharged.
Surviving Spouses
Not remarried and spouse died during service or as a result of a disability connected to service.

How to Apply for VA Housing Loan Benefits?

The VA housing loan application process is straightforward and easy to navigate. Here’s how to apply:

  1. Pre-Qualify: Contact a VA-approved lender to pre-qualify for a loan.
  2. Obtain Certificate of Eligibility: Complete VA Form 26-1880 and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You may do it online, through the mail, or by visiting a VA regional office.
  3. Apply for a Loan: Submit your loan application to your VA-approved lender. They will verify your income, employment, credit history, and other requirements.
  4. Home Appraisal: The VA-approved appraiser will make a home appraisal and determine its value.
  5. Closing: Once approved, you’ll schedule a closing date and get the keys to your new home!

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use my VA loan benefits for a second home or investment property?

No, VA loans are intended for primary residences only. Borrowers must certify that they intend to occupy the property as their primary residence.

2. How much can I borrow with a VA loan?

The VA does not set a specific limit on how much you can borrow with a VA loan. However, there are limits on the amount the VA will guarantee based on your location and the size of your loan. Your lender will discuss your options with you.

3. Can I use my VA loan benefits more than once?

Yes, you can use your VA loan benefits as many times as you like as long as you pay off the previous loan in full or sell the property.

4. Can I get a VA loan if I have bad credit?

VA loans are designed to help those who may have trouble getting a conventional loan. Credit scores are only one factor considered by the VA. If you have poor credit, you may still qualify for a VA loan, but you may have to pay a higher interest rate.

5. Can I refinance my existing VA loan?

Yes, you can refinance your existing VA loan through a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). This loan allows you to refinance at a lower interest rate, often with no out-of-pocket expenses.

6. Can I use a VA loan to build a home?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to build a home. You will need to provide the builder’s plans and specifications, and the home must be completed within a year.

7. Can I buy a condo with a VA loan?

Yes, you can buy a condo with a VA loan if it is in a VA-approved condo project list. You must verify that the condo is VA-approved before making an offer.

8. Can I use a VA loan to buy a farm?

No, VA loans are not intended for the purchase of farms or agricultural properties.

9. Can I use a VA loan to buy a mobile home?

Yes, you can buy a mobile home with a VA loan if it meets the VA’s minimum property requirements.

10. Can I use a VA loan to buy a duplex or a multifamily property?

Yes, you can use your VA loan benefits to purchase a duplex or multifamily property as long as you will occupy one of the units as your primary residence.

11. Can I use my VA loan benefits on a co-op?

No, VA loans cannot be used to purchase co-ops or shared-ownership properties.

12. Can surviving spouses of deceased veterans use VA loan benefits?

Yes, surviving spouses of deceased veterans may be eligible for VA housing loan benefits if they meet the eligibility criteria.

13. What if I have difficulty making my loan payments?

If you encounter financial difficulties, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. They may be able to work out a repayment plan, loan modification, or other assistance programs.


Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our comprehensive guide on VA housing loan eligibility. Now you know everything you need to know to determine if you’re eligible for VA housing loan benefits. Remember, VA housing loans offer favorable terms and benefits that conventional loans may not offer. If you’re eligible, don’t hesitate to take advantage of this program. Becoming a homeowner is a significant investment and a great accomplishment. We hope this guide has been helpful in providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Good luck on your home-buying journey!

Closing Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. The VA housing loan benefits program is subject to change and may have different requirements or eligibility criteria depending on the lender, location, or other factors. Readers are encouraged to consult with a certified VA-approved lender, financial advisor, or tax professional before making any financial decisions.