You may be eligible for a VA loan by meeting one or more of the following requirements:
You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR
You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR
You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
5 Reasons for a Veteran-Friendly Real Estate Agent
The agent understands the unique needs of veterans and service members
The agent’s prepared for an accelerated buying or selling timeline
The agent can steer you toward a knowledgeable lender
The agent understand the VA appraisal process
The agent will ensure a condo or townhome is approved
8 Must-Know Facts About VA Loans
1. Nine in 10 buyers purchase with $0 down
Historically, about 90% of VA buyers get into a home without making a down payment. That’s a huge benefit that can help veterans and active military get into a home now, rather than having to spend years saving.
2. They’re incredibly safe
Despite the $0 down benefit, VA loans have had the lowest foreclosure rate of any loan type for most of the last six years. The VA’s common-sense guidelines and commitment to keeping veterans in their homes makes this a model for other mortgage programs.
3. There’s no mortgage insurance
Unlike FHA and USDA loans, there’s no mortgage insurance premium for these government-backed mortgages. But VA buyers do pay a funding fee that most choose to finance. Borrowers with a service-connected disability are exempt from this fee.
4. Millions of veterans are still missing out
VA surveys have shown that about 1 in 3 home-buying veterans don’t know about this benefit. These loans aren’t automatically the best fit for every veteran, but for many this is the most powerful mortgage option on the market.
5. Significantly lower credit benchmarks
VA lenders are typically looking for a FICO score around 620. That’s often more than 100 points lower than what buyers will need for conventional financing.
6. They help boomerang buyers
Qualified veterans and service members can obtain a VA loan just two years removed from a bankruptcy or foreclosure. Homeowners who experience a short sale may face no waiting period at all depending on the lender and their specific situation.
7. There are occupancy requirements
This program focuses on helping veterans buy primary residences, not vacation homes or purely investment properties. Buyers typically need to occupy the home within two months of closing. There are exceptions for deployed service members and other situations. You can see a complete overview of VA Loan requirements here.
8. They’re not a one-time benefit
There’s a pervasive misconception that you can only use this program once. That’s absolutely untrue. In fact, it’s possible to have more than one VA loan at the same time or obtain another after losing one to foreclosure.