The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers loans to assist with homeownership for those who serve or served in the military.
VA loans were designed to make it easier for those in service and their families to own a home, and offer perks such as no required down payment to achieve this goal.
But who exactly is eligible for a VA loan, and what is required to show this eligibility?
Eligible Borrowers For VA Loans
Active members of the armed forces and veterans can apply for VA loans. However, these loans are also extended to surviving spouses who are not remarried, provided the qualifying veteran died during active duty or because of a disability caused by service. Children of eligible veterans do not qualify for VA loan benefits.
The Certificate of Eligibility
To determine an eligible borrower, the VA requires completion of VA Form 26-1880 to request a Certificate of Eligibility, which will signal to lenders that the applicant qualifies for a VA loan. It’s recommended to include any details of military service even if not required to ensure a speedy response.
You can also ask your selected lender to obtain this certificate for you through the Web LGY system; most lenders already have access to this and can establish your eligibility immediately.
Additional Qualifying Requirements
VA loans are intended for properties that the borrower will occupy, so they can only be used for the purchase of a primary residence. However, once that residence is sold, and the loan is paid in full, qualifying homeowners can apply for their VA loan eligibility to be restored by resubmitting VA Form 26-1880 to purchase another home.
Should a homeowner default on an existing VA loan and the property is foreclosed on, he or she won’t be eligible for a new VA loan since the agency took the loss. However, if the homeowner can repay the original amount owed in full, he or she can reapply for a Certificate of Eligibility.