What is a VA Mortgage?
A VA loan is a mortgage loan in the United States guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The loan may be issued by qualified lenders. The VA loan was designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses. Part of your VA benefits, the VA loan program is a no-downpayment, 100% mortgage with mortgage insurance not required; and loose eligibility standards meant to help as many military borrowers as possible with their homeownership.
Am I Eligible for a VA Loan?
A VA mortgage is a loan program for many veterans of U.S. military service, active personnel, and surviving spouses, among others. There are minimum eligibility requirements.
For example, for individuals who served the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War, and/or the Vietnam War, VA loan benefits are available after 90 days on active duty, or with a discharge under any condition other than dishonorable.
By contrast, individuals who served during peacetime between 1947-1981 are required to show at least 181 days of continuous duty, and discharge under any condition other than dishonorable.
For individuals with service-connected disabilities, minimum 90- and 181-day standards are waived in full.
Obtaining your Certificate of Eligibility
All eligible veterans of a VA Loan must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) a formal document that explains what VA entitlements you are eligible for through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA Loan applicants may also obtain their Certificate of Eligibility themselves by filling out a Certificate of Eligibility Request Form (VA Form 261880). The form can be downloaded through the Veterans Administrations site and mailed directly to the VA.