A VA loan is one of the most beneficial aspects of serving in the U.S. military. It is accessible to eligible veterans, service members, and surviving spouses. A VA loan allows these eligible individuals to qualify for a low-cost mortgage.
If you are a veteran or are currently serving in the military, you are most likely eligible to qualify for a VA loan. However, here at the Reichert Mortgage Team, a mortgage broker in the Colorado Springs area, we want to make sure you are confident in your eligibility for a VA loan before applying for one. That is why we have put together a detailed list of the qualifications for a VA loan and special benefits for disabled veterans to ensure that you are eligible to receive this loan.
What is a VA Loan?
A VA loan is a government loan provided and created by the Department of Veterans Affairs. A VA loan allows you to qualify for a low-cost mortgage when you are looking to purchase or refinance a home, even if you do not have a perfect credit score.
As mentioned above, VA loans are among the top benefits for veterans and those currently serving in the military. If you qualify for a VA loan, it can be life-changing for you and your family. That is why we want to ensure that you are eligible for this loan.
Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?
You may be eligible for a VA loan by meeting one or more of the following criteria:
- You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves
- You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability
- You served 181 days of active service during peacetime
- You served 90 consecutive days of active duty during wartime
Though if you are a veteran, surviving spouse, or a current service member and do not meet these basic service requirements for a VA loan, you may still be eligible. For instance, if you were discharged from duty for specific reasons, you may still be eligible for a VA loan. If you were discharged from service for any of the following reasons, you might still be eligible for the VA loan:
- You were discharged for a medical condition or service-connected disability
- You were discharged for early out and served at least 21 months or a 2-year enlistment
- You were discharged because of hardships, at the convenience of the American government, or because of a reduction in force
If you are still uncertain if you qualify for a VA loan, we recommend reaching out to a VA lender or loan officer who can help clarify any questions you may have about VA loan qualifications.
How to Verify Your VA Loan Eligibility Status
Once you confirm that you qualify for a VA loan, it is important to verify it with your loan officer. The VA lender or loan officer needs a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to make sure the veteran meets the minimum service requirements to be eligible for a VA loan. This is one of the many forms of documentation and paperwork that you will have to provide to your loan officer.
The COE is a document that provides your lender with confirmation that you qualify for VA loan benefits. This is an easy process for most individuals who qualify for a VA loan. Your loan officer will typically find your COE when pulling up your social security number and date of birth.
In other cases, the process may be more complicated. For instance, if you are currently serving in the military, you may have to get approval from your commanding officer. However, it is important to note that you do not need the COE before applying for a VA loan.
Other Ways to Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility
There are multiple ways to attain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), but the three most common ways are:
- Applying through a VA-approved lender
- Applying by mail with a VA form
- Applying through the VA’s eBenefits Portal
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, almost all Certificates of Eligibility get delivered electronically. The VA department also reports that it is rare that you receive your COE immediately after applying. If the department needs more documentation to be able to give you a COE, then they will contact you. These are a list of documents you might need to provide to the loan officer to receive your loan depending on your situation or status:
- If you are a veteran, you may be required to provide a DD-214
- If you are currently serving, you may be required to provide a Statement of Service
- If you are currently serving for the National Guard or Reserves, you may be required to provide a Statement of Service and an Allocated Points Statement
The loan officer may need more documentation depending on your circumstances, so it is important to contact your loan officer about any necessary documentation you may need.
Do you Need a Certificate of Eligibility as a Surviving Spouse?
Spouses who apply for a VA loan still need to apply for a COE to qualify for the loan and its benefits. For those spouses who are receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, they are required to provide the VA Form 26-1817 and a DD-214.
Additionally, you will have to provide a marriage license, the veteran’s death certificate, and any other forms of documentation the VA loan officer may need from you.
Apply for a VA Loan With the Reichert Mortgage Team
As the best mortgage broker in Colorado Springs, we pride ourselves on serving our community with the best possible service we can. Our team understands that the VA loan process can be overwhelming, and that is why we want to make the process easier for you.
The Reichert Mortgage Team is available to answer any questions you may have about VA loans, VA loan requirements, and the documentation you may need for a VA loan. With our knowledge and experience, we can assure you that your questions will be answered. Contact the Reichert Mortgage Team to begin applying for a VA loan today!