Could You Be Eligible for a VA Loan?

One of the greatest benefits to our nation’s military personnel is the VA home loan. This type of loan originated in WWII as a benefit for soldiers returning home. Since then it has provided homes to countless veterans.

A VA Loan offers home mortgages guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and offered by qualified lenders. VA Loans do have many advantages for veterans like no down payment and low interest rates. However, serving in the military for any amount of time does not automatically qualify a veteran for a VA loan. So who may be eligible?

Veterans of Wartime and Peacetime

Wartime is defined by the VA as the following:

  • World War II- 9/16/1940-7/25/1947
  • Korean Conflict- 6/27/1950-1/31/1955
  • Vietnam- 8/5/1964-5/7/1975
  • Gulf War- 8/2/1990- Date yet to be determined                        

Peacetime is defined as:

  • Post WWII- 7/26/1947-6/26/1950
  • Post-Korean- 2/1/1955-8/4/1964
  • Post-Vietnam- 5/8/1975-8/1/1990
  • Reservists and National Guard Personnel

Spouses of personnel that died while serving on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained during duty.

Under certain circumstances: Public health service officials, military service academy cadets, some merchant seamen, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials, etc.

But again, serving isn’t the only qualification. Veterans who served after 9/15/1940 and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible if they served for 90 + days in wartime or 180 + days consecutively during peacetime. For reservists or National Guard members those who have served for 6 + years are eligible if they were honorably discharged or are still active.

 In order to officially determine eligibility veterans must apply to the Veterans Administration (the VA in VA loans) for a Certificate of Eligibility. This document serves as proof directly from the VA that the applicant is eligible for a VA loan. In order to obtain a COE the applicant fill out a Request for Certificate of Eligibility and present proof of service, most commonly a DD 214 form. For those still serving they’ll need to submit other information including name, social security number, date of birth, active duty entry date, etc.

 VA loans typically require no down payment or mortgage insurance, so they provide a great opportunity to eligible borrowers to purchase a home with little financial investment. Because there’s no mortgage insurance and interest rates are often competitive with market rates borrowers also enjoy lower payments than those who purchase using alternate forms of financing.

No one is more deserving of a home than those people who risk their lives to defend, amongst other things, our freedom to have one.

 The home you choose also needs to qualify for a VA Loan. Call (319)480-5262 to work with a real estate professional who knows homes that qualify for VA Loans.

Home buying just got a lot easier!

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