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Understanding the VA Guidelines of Eligibility

A VA loan is a long-term financing and mortgage loan, guaranteed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs. In order to avail the benefits of this program, individuals must pass the VA guidelines of eligibility.

Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?

Generally, the VA-backed loan program is available to veterans, Reserve/National Guard members, personnel in active duty and some qualified surviving spouses.

  • Have completed a total of 6 years in the National Guard or served as a member of an active unit for Selected Reserves
  • Were honorably discharged; placed on the retired list; transferred to the Standby Reserves or any element of Ready Reserves other than the Reserves after service that is characterized as honorable service

On the other hand, surviving spouses can fall under the following categories.

  • Spouses of service personnel who are missing in action or are prisoners of war are eligible for the program.
  • Surviving spouses of veterans who died in active duty or due to service-connected disability are also eligible.

Loan eligibility varies depending on the kind and duration of service that has been rendered. Surviving spouses generally fall under unique and separate set of eligibility rules compared to actual servicemen.

What are the Military Service Requirements for Eligibility?

Veterans who rendered service during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War can follow these VA guidelines of eligibility.

  • They should have served no less than 90 days on active duty and have been honorably discharged.
  • If active service is less than 90 days, the discharge should have been due to a service-related disability.

Check your county's VA home loan limits to determine the pricing standards in the area where you wish to buy a home.

Veterans who served during the peaceful periods are also qualified based on the following.

  • They should have served no less than 181 days on active duty and have been honorably discharged.
  • If active service is less than 181 days, the discharge should have been due to a service-connected disability.

If an individual is currently on active regular duty (i.e. not active duty for training), he/she may be eligible for a VA loan after 181 days of service.

What Documents are the Necessary Documents to Get a Certificate of Eligibility?

Veterans are advised to submit their DD Form 214; a copy showing the character of service; and a narrative reason for separation from service. Conversely, active servicemen need a current statement of service with the signature of the adjutant or the commander of higher headquarters.

This statement must show the following items.

  • Full name.
  • Social Security Number
  • Birth date
  • Entry date of active duty
  • Name of the commanding official providing the information
  • Duration of lost time, if any

Personnel currently in the Armed Reserve or the National Guard, who have never been activated for Federal duty, require similar documents as that of active servicemen plus information on the total number of creditable years of service.

Surviving spouses of members who died in active duty are required to submit the following documents.

  • The DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) from the military (Copy)
  • Marriage Certificate (Copy)

While spouses of veterans who died due to military service inflicted conditions are requested to file copies of the following documents

  • The Veteran's DD Form 214
  • Veteran's Death Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate

The qualifications and supporting documentation must be compiled according to these VA guidelines of eligibility when filing for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

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1st Nationwide Mortgage Corporation
65 Enterprise
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
(949) 207-3399

An Equal Housing Lender -   NMLS #1281