VA Loan Eligibility: A Reader Question Answered

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A reader asks, "My son served for 20 months in the US Army. Of that time he was in Germany 1 year and 1 month (2005-2007). Can he qualify for a VA home loan?"

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a list of VA loan eligibility requirements based on the length and dates of service.

Active duty requirements are different than Guard and Reserve requirements. For active duty service members who served in the dates listed in the reader question, the VA official site lists the following information--in order to be eligible for VA loan benefits, in general an active duty service member must have been serving:

  • 24 continuous months OR
  • The full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty

For members of the Guard and Reserve:

Six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, AND

  • Were discharged honorably, OR
  • Were placed on the retired list, OR
  • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserve

Some VA loan applicants who do not meet the above criteria may be eligible for an exception, based on the following paragraph found on the VA official site:

"If you do not meet the minimum service requirements, you may still be eligible if you were discharged due to (1) hardship, (2) the convenience of the government, (3) reduction-in-force, (4) certain medical conditions, or (5) a service-connected disability."

To learn more about this exception and to whom it applies, contact the VA directly by calling 1-800 827-1000.

Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.

Comments (2)

Cherie L. Gottshall
Ramus Realty Group - Frackville, PA

Great to know.  There are alot of people that don't know if they even qualify with their service.  Surprised they aren't given this information when they discharge.

Aug 09, 2014 11:00 PM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing this information with us. It is important to work with a lender that understands the items needed to obtain a VA loan. Had a client that was told he qualified for the VA program that once the property was under contract the loan officer stated he did not qualify. Yikes, that was not a good item to hear. 

Feb 06, 2020 10:31 AM