VA Loan Guidelines and Requirements
What are some of the qualifications for VA loans?
VA loans are truly an amazing loan product but they are not available for everyone. There are certain strict criteria you must meet in order to even be eligible. Every VA loan applicant must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. You can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or by mail through Veterans Affairs.
The buyer is considered eligible for a VA Certificate if they meet one or more of the following:
- You served at least 90 consecutive days during wartime
- You served at least 6 years or more in the National Guard or Reserves
- You served at least 181 days during peacetime
- You are the surviving spouse of a military member that died in the line of duty or due to a military-related disability
- Reservists or Member of the National Guard
VA Mortgage Benefits
- Zero down payment
- No mortgage insurance required
- Lower interest rates
- Higher Debt-to-Income ratios accepted
- Low closing costs
- Easier to qualify than traditional mortgage loans
What are the credit requirements for a VA loan?
To be considered, you must have a credit score of 620 of higher and cannot have any late house payments for the the last year. If a buyer has a prior foreclosure or bankruptcy, they must wait an acceptable amount of time before they can be considered for VA loans. Typically a lender will also look at the following when evaluating a potential buyer:
- No outstanding federal liens or judgments
- No late mortgage payments for at least one year
- If applicant has had a foreclosure, they must wait at least two years before they’d be eligible for a VA loan
- If the buyer has had a bankruptcy in the past, the guidelines will vary depending on the type of bankruptcy. See your lender for a more detailed explanation.