Great post on the VA Requirements. Realtors need to be well informed and educated about the lending side of things, especially in this turbulent market that we are currently in. Good luck to all!
VA loans have strict eligibility rules which include requirements for minimum time on duty. Veterans cannot be approved for a VA home loan unless they meet these VA requirements. Unfortunately, minimum time on duty times vary greatly depending on when the military member served and whether they are still in the service or not.
Many veterans who served from the 1980s to the current day are affected by something called the VA 24 Month Rule. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Handbook, “If service was between Sept. 8, 1980, (Oct. 16, 1981, for officers) and Aug. 1, 1990, veterans must generally complete 24 months of continuous active duty service or the full period (at least 181 days) for which they were called or ordered to active duty, and be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.”
This VA rule has exceptions–anyone discharged before serving 24 months could still apply for a VA mortgage if they were released for hardship, service connected disabilities, were discharged under force reduction programs or were let go for the convenience of the government.
The 24 month rule also applies to Gulf War vets. Anyone who has served from August 2, 1990 to an as-of-yet undetermined date, must also have completed 24 months of continuous service, or “the full period (at least 90 days) for which they were called to active duty,” and not have a dishonorable discharge. The exceptions for Gulf War vets are similar to the ones that apply to those who served from September 8, 1980 to August 1, 1990.
The most important thing to understand about the VA 24 Month Rule is who it applies to—these regulations apply to those who have been discharged and are no longer serving.
For active duty military, the 24 month requirement does not apply; instead the requirement is to have served 181 days during peacetime or 90 days in wartime. At the time of this writing, the 90-day requirement is in full effect. For members of the Guard and Reserve who are not otherwise eligible, the VA rules include a six-year service requirement.