Here in the the Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg area we do a lot of VA loans. In fact 98% of my buyers use a VA loan to purchase their home. I also have found most have no idea they need to qualify! They just assume because they are in the military, or have served in the military they are automatically eligible. This post definitely will help VA buyers learn about using a VA loan.
We answer many reader questions about VA home loans, including eligibility questions. One of the most commonly asked questions about VA home loans involves whether a specific situation disqualifies a borrower from VA loans or whether exceptions may apply.
For example, many assume that a VA loan applicant is required to have an Honorable discharge. But VA loan rules basically state that as long as a borrower's military service did not end with a Dishonorable classification, it's still possible to get a VA loan provided other qualifying criteria are met.
Borrowers who serve for less than 24 months (under the guidelines for those serving since the Gulf War) are generally not eligible, but exceptions do apply for those affected by force reduction policies, some types of medical discharges or other circumstances.
Active duty service requirements are different than those of the Guard and Reserve. Surviving spouses of military members who died as a result of military service are also eligible for VA loans if they meet VA qualifying criteria.
Some people mistakenly assume that because they have a foreclosure or bankruptcy on their credit history that they would not qualify for a VA home loan.
But those who have waited several years before considering their home loan options again, and who have worked hard on improving their credit in the meantime may be eligible once more to apply for a VA mortgage.
It is not safe to assume you are NOT eligible for VA loan benefits. Get the advice and input from a VA representative--let the government decide who is, and who is not qualified to apply for VA home loan benefits.
You can start learning about VA loan eligibility be exploring the VA official site at www.VA.gov, or you can speak to a loan officer about your circumstances. You may be surprised to learn what your VA home loan options are.
Do you have questions about VA loans? Ask us in the comments section.