If you or your loved ones are veterans of the armed forces, you have everyone’s full respect for serving our country. It is hard to be separated from your family for so long and serve under extreme conditions in different parts of the world.
Veterans expect a reasonably comfortable life after enduring everything and returning as heroes. But sometimes, they all need to take out a loan to meet their financial needs.
Fortunately, there are perfect VA loans that are specifically meant for veterans. And guess what, you too can be eligible to apply today. So, stay tuned because we will talk about the requirements for taking out VA loans in 2022.
But let us first discuss what VA loans are before getting into the eligibility criteria.
What Is a VA Loan?
VA loans are special mortgage loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (you probably already know where VA comes from). The American veterans, active members of the armed forces and surviving partners (if they do not remarry) can use this loan.
The main goal of this program is to provide eligible veterans with the capital they need for various purposes, such as buying a home or new construction with no down payment. Qualified lenders will issue the loan.
VA Loan Advantages
The main advantages of a VA loan include:
- You do not have to make a down payment
- Private mortgage insurance is not required (lower costs)
- VA loans are flexible
- Refinancing options are available
- You can apply even if you have a low/bad credit score
- These loans have lower interest rates than standard mortgages
Now that you know what a VA loan is, let’s take a look at the requirements and eligibility in 2022.
Eligibility & Requirements for a VA Loan
VA Loans are specifically for members of the armed forces. So, you may be eligible if you are a former member of the armed forces or are currently serving your country. However, being a military member (or the surviving spouse of a military member) does not guarantee a VA loan.
You must meet at least one of the following conditions to receive a VA loan:
- You have served 90 days continuously and actively during wartime
- You have served 181 days actively in peacetime
- You have served more than six years in the National Guard or Reserves or 90 days under Title 32 of the United States Code. Thirty of those days should be consecutive.
- If you are the surviving partner of a military member who died in the line of duty or due to a service-connected disability
If you find yourself in one of these categories, you can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) before you apply. This will allow you to prove that you are eligible for VA financial assistance. If you are applying for a VA loan for the first time, you are eligible for a no down payment loan.
To get your COE, you can visit the Department of Veterans Affairs eBenefits portal. Your lender can also access this database and apply for a loan on your behalf.
What About the Credit Score?
You are probably worried about your credit score becoming a challenge. But don’t worry because there is no strict minimum credit score for VA loans.
However, you should note that each lender sets different minimum credit scores. Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 620; some are easier and need 580. Also, the lender may check your credit report to see a clean history.
Now that you know how to apply for a VA loan let us answer some of the frequently asked questions about VA loans.
Do I Need to Prepare Any Documents?
COEs prove that you qualify for a VA loan. You can get COEs through the VA eBenefits website, by mail, or from your lender.
Visit VA eBenefits for a list of required documents.
Is It Possible for a Spouse to Apply for a VA Loan?
Yes, surviving spouses can qualify for VA loans. Here are some cases where surviving spouses can be eligible:
- The spouse of a veteran who has not remarried.
- The spouse of a military service member who is missing in action or a prisoner of war
- The survivor of a veteran who is receiving compensation for a non-service-connected death.
- The survivor who remarried after December 16, 2003, at age 57 or older.
- Sometimes the widow or widower of a disabled veteran whose death was not related to disability.
Let’s Sum It Up
Now you know what a VA loan is, its benefits & eligibility requirements, and how to apply for it. You have also received the answer to some of your most important questions. However, if you think you need more information to make up your mind, feel free to contact us.