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May 14, 2021

Who Can Get a VA Home Loan?

What qualifications are needed and who is eligible?

VA loans provide assistance to eligible veterans, service members, and their spouses so they can finance their homes with little to no money. These loans are not actually provided by the government, but they are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.


You are eligible to apply for a VA loan if:

• You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime.
• You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
• You have served more than six years of service with the National Guard or Reserves.
• You are the spouse of a service member who lost their life in the line of duty or as the result of a service-connected disability.

In some cases, you might still qualify for VA loans if you did not meet the length-of-service requirements. You can find more information at the VA’s website.

Home requirements

VA loans generally have occupancy requirements to ensure that the property is not used for an investment property or a vacation home. The property that you are buying must be your primary residence. Also, not all lenders will finance all property types like condos or manufactured homes.

Credit qualifications

The VA doesn’t require a minimum credit score for VA loans. Credit requirements depend on the individual VA mortgage lenders. Typically, FICO credit score requirements can be around the low- to mid-600s. Lenders will also look at your credit report to make sure you can make timely payments.

Debt-to-Income (DTI) qualifications

Another factor that lenders consider when they review your mortgage application is your DTI ratio. Your DTI shows how much of your monthly income goes to paying back debt. The VA has a preference for borrowers with a DTI of 41% or less.

A VA loan is a benefit that has been rightfully earned by our military. If you think that you are eligible for a VA loan, reach out to a personal banker at your local branch to talk about your options.