VA Loan Requirements: Things To Know

va loan 2018

What is VA home loans?

There are many loans targeted to specific people, with each one having different requirements and qualifications. Presently, a loan under the Veterans Affairs is one of the most coveted loans in the market today as it does not require a down payment to qualifying borrowers. As the name implies, this loan type is extended only to veterans, service members, and select military spouses. Given the increase in home loan defaults and the unfriendly economy, lending institutions have tightened their requirements and have elevated their standards. As a result, not too many applicants are granted loans. This is exactly why VA home loans are a military favorite.

To substantiate, the VA program was initiated to help military personnel build home equity sans the demand to present promising credit scores. Presently, over 20 million service member families have benefited from this home loan, proving even more how advantageous this loan program is. To clarify, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not extend the loan themselves. They only insure mortgage granted by VA-approved private lenders. This is put in place specifically to help mitigate the risk lenders face should a borrower not fulfill his end of the deal for whatever reason.

For one to qualify for this loan type, one circumstance from below should apply:

  • They must have served 90 successive days or active service over wartime.
  • They must have delivered 181 days of operating service over peacetime.
  • They must have more than 6 years of rendered service in the National Guard or Reserves.
  • They are a spouse of a military personnel who has died over war or has died as an outcome of a service-caused disability.

Similar to other loans, the loan limits are set by county limits and may vary depending on where one resides. In many counties, a VA mortgage loan can permit a debtor to purchase a home pegged at a few thousand bucks above $400,000. Still, many areas considered to be expensive may allow a VA loan borrower to purchase a house priced at a few thousand bucks more than $600,000. For a more specific breakdown, you may view the 2017 VA loan limits.

With all this positive hype surrounding the VA, does this mean that a qualified veteran will not need to pay for anything anymore?

No. A Veterans Affairs funding fee will be paid for by the borrower, along with mortgage payments. The amount of a VA funding fee varies and are determined by the following:

  • What the determining qualifier is (see the list of qualifications mentioned earlier).
  • If a necessary down payment had to be made.
  • If it is the first time a Veteran is applying for a VA home loan.

While there is no credit score requirement for a VA home loan, one should still remember that in order to be granted this home loan, a commercial lender should be willing to collaborate with you.  Having a FICO score of 640 to 580 at least is a safe bet, but not a guarantee.

Once deemed eligible, a  borrower’s next plan of action should be to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Other requirements will depend on how you are considered qualified, to begin with. A VA form 26-1880 will also be collected from you by your lender. This form is available in so many places online and a PDF can be downloaded.

If you fail to meet the guidelines, an FHA is a worthy second choice. Although not as privileged in that you will be required to put in a down payment, the interest rates are considerably low and requirements are not that challenging to comply compared to commercial loans. According to, the requirements for an FHA mortgage are as follows:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Names and location of your employers (past two years)
  • Gross monthly salary at your current job(s)
  • Pertinent information for all checking and savings accounts
  • Pertinent information for all open loans
  • Complete information for other real estates you own
  • Approximate value of all personal property
  • Certificate of Eligibility and DD-214 (for veterans only)
  • Current check stubs and your W-2 forms (past two years)
  • Personal tax returns (past two years), current income statement and business balance sheet for self-employed individuals

For more concerns about FHA mortgage loans and VA mortgage eligibility, do not hostage to click the link!


By: Karissa