It can be difficult for many veterans to qualify for a home loan after returning from service. Some veterans have combat-related disabilities or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that makes it difficult to gain employment or be approved for traditional mortgages. Fortunately, many veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families can pre-qualify for a VA home loan. 

Similar to FHA loans, a VA loan is a type of loan that is insured by the government (In this case, the VA.) That ensures that lenders are more likely to agree to a mortgage, because these loans are less risky for banks. Additionally, VA mortgage rates are usually far better than traditional loans, and can even best FHA loans.

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The biggest difference between these loans is that, unlike FHA loans, there is no down payment for a VA loan. Additionally, borrowers are not required to pay mortgage insurance on their loan. A VA home loan with no payment makes it far easier for someone to obtain a loan, because they won’t be expected to have a lump sum they can pay when purchasing a home. 

Aside from the fact that you’ll have no VA home loan down payment, minimum credit scores required are far lower than traditional loans. 

In fact, a VA home loan is all around easier to qualify for than other types of mortgages. Here’s a closer look at the eligibility requirements for veterans home loans. 

  • Minimum Service Requirements: For active-duty service members, you must have served for a minimum of 90 continuous days. For veterans, the requirements is based on when you served. This requirement also varies for National Guard and reserve members. 
  • Discharge Status: In most cases, veterans have an honorable discharge. 
  • Credit Score Requirements: These are lower than traditional mortgages. 

If you qualify for a VA loan, you can use your loan to purchase or refinance a home, even if the VA does not insure your existing mortgage. 

You can apply for a VA-backed loan directly through the best VA loan lenders or you may get pre-approved for a VA loan by obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). 

Getting pre-approved for a VA home loan is simple. You can work with your local VA office or request your COE by mail using the VA’s online application. 

When applying for your COE, you’ll need to provide several documents related to your service. Related documents depend on your military status, but may include things like your discharge or separation papers, or a statement of service signed by your personnel officer, commander or adjutant.

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By Larissa Shelton

Updated on 08/24/2022