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How do I Qualify for a VA Loan in 2019?

For more than 75 years, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has partnered with private lenders to offer affordable mortgage options for military servicemembers. Designed as a benefit for Veterans who are in need of assistance in their quest to become homeowners, VA home loans are a great opportunity for all who qualify. Those curious about the qualification factors for a VA loan will rest easy once they learn how straightforward the requirements are. By serving your country for at least 90 days during wartime or 181 days during times of peace, you likely qualify for a VA home loan.

Tips on How to Qualify for a VA Loan

It’s not just those in the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines who qualify for VA loans. Here’s a quick guide to all those who are eligible:

  • National Guard and Reserves servicemembers may meet VA home loan qualifications after serving six or more years of duty.
  • Widowed military spouses may also qualify if their partner was killed in combat or if the partner died because of a combat-related injury.
  • Those who have qualified for VA loans in the past may also be eligible for additional home loans. Depending on the new loan amount being applied for VA home loan qualifications require applicants to have paid off any existing VA home loans they currently possess.

For anyone hoping to qualify, a Certificate of Eligibility, or COE, is necessary to begin the VA home loan process. This certificate can be requested from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or ask one of our specialists at SoCalVA Homes, and we can obtain it for you.

The property you’re hoping to buy will also need to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for a loan. Most VA home loans are designed for properties that are considered turnkey or move-in ready. While VA construction loans and VA renovation loans are sometimes available, the standard VA home loan property needs to be safe and structurally sound.

A Breakdown of VA Home Loan Qualifications

Certain qualifications must be met by anyone hoping to buy or build a home. For veterans seeking a VA home loan, the requirements are as follows:

#1. Credit Score

One of the biggest benefits of VA home loans is the lack of a minimum credit score requirement. While individual lenders may ask for a certain credit score threshold to be met, the VA itself does not outline any specific numbers. Generally speaking, those with scores of 620 or higher can qualify for a VA home loan. This increases the likelihood of a person qualifying for a VA home loan and actually landing the home of their dreams.

#2. Entitlement

VA loan entitlement refers to the amount of money the government will guaranty on a home loan. Veterans have a basic entitlement of $36,000, which is 25 percent of the original 100 percent financing VA loan limit of $144,000. That was in 1944! Things have changed since then. Now a bonus entitlement is added on, which brings your ability to finance 100 percent of your purchase up to the current VA loan limit.

#3. Income

Of course, a person’s income also impacts their ability to qualify. While there is no minimum income threshold to meet, applicants must have enough residual income after paying their monthly bills to afford a mortgage. This can limit some people’s eligibility for a VA home loan.

If you’re eager to see if you qualify for a VA home loan, reach out to SoCal VA Homes today. We spend each day working with Veterans to determine whether they are qualified for such loans. We will help you determine how much house you can afford. To get started, contact our friendly team for an appointment today! (949) 268-7742


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