Qualify for a VA Loan – What Is Required to Qualify for a VA Loan?

To qualify for a VA loan is not as difficult as many people think. "What is required to qualify for a VA loan?" may be your next question since we just indicated that qualifying for a VA mortgage is more simple than most people believe.
Like all mortgage programs no matter whether you are getting down payment assistance, or you are applying for a first time home buyer programs, getting an FHA or conventional mortgage, to qualify for a VA Loan, you have to meet several major qualification requirements.

Items Required to Qualify for a VA Loan

The qualification requirements for a VA loan fall into three categories: time spent in the military, eligibility, standard loan guidelines like credit and income. Below is a brief but useful breakdown of each of these requirments that you can use to guage whether you may qualify for a VA loan.

VA Loan Service Requirements

You must be active military or have served in the military and have been honorably discharged (your DD-214 indicates that you were honorably discharged). This is essentially time spent in the military.

If you are active duty have you been in the service for at least:

– 181 days during peace time?
– 90 days during war time?
– 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves?

If so, you may be eligible to qualify for a VA loan.
Are you a surviving spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty? If so, you also may be eligible to qualify for a VA loan.

If you fit any of the situations you should speak to a VA lender about your eligibility.

VA Loan – Certificate of Eligibility

The VA makes it easy to determine how much you can borrow with your VA benefits by issuing all eligible VA loan applicants a VA loan Certificate of Eligibility. This is the official document you will need to prove your service and eligibility for a VA loan.
If you do not have a certificate of eligibility (don’t worry if you don’t have one as many eligible people trying to get a VA loan don’t have them until they actually apply for the mortgage) you can either talk to your VA lender about helping you get one, or you can go to the VA and get a VA Form 26-1880. Your VA lender is used to getting them so they are probably the best bet for getting it for you.
You cannot get a VA loan if you don’t have your Certificate of Eligibility.

VA Loan Approval Requirements

Just like FHA loans and conventional loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, VA loans have specific income and credit requirements that you must meet in order to qualify. Below is a brief list of requirements.

Technically, VA loans don’t require credit scores – but if you have credit scores you will find that most VA lenders require you to have a 620 or better score to qualify. If you don’t have credit scores you will need to have proof of some credit accounts that you are paying like your rent, a cell phone bill, a cable bill etc.
You will need to have income and a stable job situation – In order to show you are employed with income you will need to provide pay stubs and W-2’s if you work for someone. If you are self employed you will need to show at least 2 years of signed tax returns and your year to date income as well as personal and business bank statements. These are the basic requirements for proving your income and employment – your lender will get more specific if they require more information.

One thing to keep in mind is that we are all different and all mortgage applications are different. If your situation makes sense to a VA loan underwriter you should have a good shot at being able to qualify for a VA loan.
If you want to see if you qualify please complete the form below and we’ll get you connected with a VA lender.