VA Loan for Reservists: Everything You Need to Know

Greetings, readers! If you’re a reservist or a member of the National Guard, you probably know that serving your country can come with a host of benefits, including access to the VA loan program. However, you may have questions about how this program works and how you can take advantage of it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about VA loans for reservists, including eligibility requirements, loan limits, and the application process. Let’s get started!

What is a VA loan for reservists?

First, let’s define what we mean by a VA loan for reservists. Essentially, this is a type of mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is available to members of the Reserves or National Guard who meet certain eligibility requirements. Like other VA loans, a VA loan for reservists offers a number of benefits over a conventional mortgage, including:

  • Lower interest rates
  • No down payment required
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) required

These benefits can make it easier for reservists and National Guard members to become homeowners, even if they don’t have a lot of cash on hand. However, there are some specific eligibility requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to qualify for this type of loan.

VA Loan Eligibility for Reservists and National Guard Members

In order to be eligible for a VA loan as a reservist or National Guard member, you’ll need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime
  • You have served at least 181 days of active duty during peacetime
  • You have served at least 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard

In addition to meeting these service requirements, you’ll also need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This document verifies that you meet the service requirements and are eligible for a VA loan. You can apply for a COE online through the VA’s eBenefits portal, or you can work with a VA-approved lender to obtain one.

Loan Limits for VA Loans for Reservists

VA loans for reservists are subject to the same loan limits as other VA loans. These limits vary depending on where you live and can change from year to year. For 2021, the VA loan limit for most counties in the United States is $548,250. However, in some high-cost areas, the limit can be as high as $822,375.

It’s worth noting that VA loans don’t actually have a maximum amount that you can borrow. Instead, the loan limit simply determines how much of the loan the VA will guarantee. If you need to borrow more than the loan limit in your area, you may be able to do so, but you’ll likely have to make a down payment on the excess amount.

The VA Loan Application Process for Reservists

If you’re interested in applying for a VA loan as a reservist or National Guard member, the good news is that the process is relatively straightforward. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Obtain a COE

As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA in order to apply for a VA loan. This document will verify your eligibility for the program and provide important information about your service history. You can apply for a COE online through the VA’s eBenefits portal or by working with a VA-approved lender.

Step 2: Find a VA-Approved Lender

Once you have your COE, it’s time to start looking for a VA-approved lender that can help you with your loan application. You can find a list of approved lenders on the VA’s website, or you can ask your real estate agent or mortgage broker for recommendations. When you’re comparing lenders, be sure to look at their interest rates, fees, and customer service ratings to find the best fit for your needs.

Step 3: Get Pre-Approved

Before you start shopping for a home, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a VA loan. This involves submitting some basic information about your income, assets, and credit history to your lender, who will then give you an estimate of how much you can borrow. Getting pre-approved can help you narrow down your search to homes that are within your budget and can also make your offer more competitive in a hot market.

Step 4: Shop for Homes

Once you’re pre-approved for a VA loan, the fun part begins: shopping for homes! Work with a real estate agent to find properties that meet your needs and budget. When you find a home you love, your agent will help you submit an offer and negotiate with the seller on your behalf.

Step 5: Close on Your Loan

If your offer is accepted, the next step is to close on your loan. This involves signing a stack of paperwork and paying any closing costs and fees associated with the loan. Your lender will guide you through this process and answer any questions you have along the way.


1. Can I use a VA loan to buy a second home?

No, VA loans are intended for primary residences only.

2. Can I use a VA loan to refinance my current mortgage?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to refinance an existing mortgage, either through the VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program or through a traditional cash-out refinance.

3. Do I need to have perfect credit to qualify for a VA loan?

No, the VA doesn’t require a minimum credit score for eligibility. However, individual lenders may have their own credit score requirements.

4. Can I get a VA loan if I’ve already used my entitlement?

It depends on how much of your entitlement you’ve used. If you still have some remaining, you may be able to use it to obtain a new VA loan. If you’ve used all of your entitlement, you’ll need to restore it before you can apply for a new loan.

5. What are the fees associated with a VA loan?

VA loans come with a funding fee, which is a one-time fee that is added to your loan balance. The amount of the fee depends on your service history and the size of your down payment (if you make one).

6. Can I use a VA loan to buy a fixer-upper?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to buy a home that needs some work. However, you’ll need to have a plan in place for how you’ll fund the renovations.

7. How long does it take to close on a VA loan?

The timeline for closing on a VA loan can vary depending on a number of factors, including how quickly you provide the necessary documentation and how busy your lender is. On average, it takes about 30 to 45 days to close on a VA loan.

8. What happens if I can’t make my mortgage payments?

If you find yourself struggling to make your mortgage payments, the best thing you can do is contact your lender as soon as possible. They may be able to work with you to modify your loan or set up a payment plan.

9. Can I use a VA loan to buy a condo?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to buy a condo. However, the condo complex must be approved by the VA before you can obtain financing.

10. Can I get a VA loan if I’m self-employed?

Yes, self-employed borrowers can qualify for VA loans. However, you’ll need to provide additional documentation to verify your income and assets.

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

Yes, you can use a VA loan to buy a manufactured or modular home, as long as it meets certain requirements.

12. Can I use a VA loan to buy land?

No, VA loans are not intended for the purchase of raw land.

13. Can I use a VA loan to buy a multi-family property?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to buy a multi-family property (up to 4 units) as long as you plan to live in one of the units as your primary residence.


As a reservist or National Guard member, a VA loan can be a valuable tool in helping you achieve your dream of homeownership. By offering lower interest rates, no down payment, and no PMI, the VA loan program can make it easier for you to afford a home, even on a limited budget. If you think you might be eligible for a VA loan, we encourage you to explore your options and work with a VA-approved lender to learn more.

Thank you for reading this guide on VA loans for reservists. We hope you found it informative and helpful. If you have any further questions or would like to speak with a VA loan expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out!


The information contained in this article is intended solely for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal, financial, or professional advice. You should consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions regarding a VA loan or any other financial product. Furthermore, the VA loan program is subject to change at any time, and eligibility requirements may vary depending on a number of factors. This article is based on current information available as of the date of publication.

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
A document provided by the VA that verifies an individual’s eligibility for a VA loan.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
A program offered by the VA that allows eligible borrowers to refinance their existing VA loan with a lower interest rate and fewer fees.
Funding fee
A one-time fee added to the loan balance for VA loans, used to help offset the cost of the program.
Raw land
Land that has not been developed or improved in any way.