VA Loan Eligibility

In this week’s blog from First Financial Bank – Bill Lavelle, we’ll talk about VA loan eligibility. VA loans are a nonconventional mortgage option available to certain servicemembers, veterans and others who have directly or indirectly served the country. They’re guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and are funded by VA-approved lenders. If you meet eligibility requirements, you can use a VA loan to purchase, build, or improve a home. Read on to learn more about VA loan eligibility and contact First Financial Bank – Bill Lavelle when you’re ready to get a quote. Bill is your local mortgage professional, helping clients in in Columbus, Dublin, Powell, and Cleveland, OH, find the right mortgage solutions for their needs.

Obtaining a COE

Before you can get approved for a VA loan, you’ll have to obtain a certificate of eligibility (COE). You must submit evidence to the VA, which means filling out certain forms depending on your service. The following are basic service requirements to be eligible for a VA loan.

  • Service during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, with at least 90 days of active duty or less than 90 days of active duty if you were discharged because of a service-connected disability.
  • Service during the Gulf War with 24 months continuous active duty, or at least 90 days or having completed the full term that was ordered, or less than 90 days of active duty if discharged for a service-related disability.
  • Service during peacetime for all veterans who have at least 181 days of continuous active duty or less than 181 days of active duty if discharged for a service-related disability. You must have served between July 26, 1947 and June 26, 1950 or between February 1, 1955 and August 4, 1964. Enlisted veterans may also have served during May 8, 1975 and September 7, 1980. Officers may have served between May 8, 1975 and October 16, 1981.
  • Those separated from service (after September 7, 1980 as an enlisted servicemember and after October 16, 1981 as an officer) who have 24 months of continuous active duty, or at least 181 days of service or the completion of the full term that you were ordered to. You may also have less than 181 days active duty if you were discharged for hardship or other government need or were discharged with a service-connected disability.
  • Select members of the Selected Reserve and National Guard with at least six years of service.
  • Unremarried spouses of a veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability may also be eligible. Spouses who remarry after the age of 57 may also be eligible for the benefit.
  • Spouses of servicemembers declared prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA) may also be eligible.
  • Certain U.S. citizens who helped another government allied with the United States during WWII.
  • Members of other government organizations like the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration or the Coast Guard may also be eligible.

Finding the Right Mortgage for You

In addition to meeting the service requirements, you must also have satisfactory credit and prove that you have sufficient income to make your mortgage payments and keep up with other homeowners’ expenses. If you still have questions about VA loan eligibility, contact First Financial Bank – Bill Lavelle. Bill helps clients in Columbus, Dublin, Powell, and Cleveland, find the right mortgages for their unique needs.