How Long Do I Have to Serve to be Eligible?


To get a VA loan, a veteran or a military service member has to be eligible for it. He/she must meet the military service requirements set by the Veteran Affairs. It is necessary to establish this because not all can get a VA loan.

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There are certain guidelines to determine if a veteran or a service member is eligible. Signing up for the boot camp simply does not guarantee your eligibility. These are the benchmark determining whether a person can get a VA loan:

During Peacetime – must have served not less than 181 days

During Wartime – must have served not less than 90 days

For National Guards or Reserves – Must have completed 6 years of service

Surviving spouse of a deceased veteran or an active military service member who died while on active duty or due to a service-connected disability.

These are the general guidelines. There can be some exemptions depending on the case. For example, a military who just had a day in service may be eligible for some medical issue. In the same manner, a military who has met all the requirements may not easily get a VA loan eligibility because of an Other Than Honorable discharge. VA official may have to review this case before eligibility can be determined.

You may also start with a mortgage pre-approval. Click here.

Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility

A Certificate of Eligibility ( COE) provides a written document stating that a veteran or a service member has met the requirements set by the Veteran Affairs.

The COE is not a guarantee for a VA loan, it only is a starting point. You do not automatically get a VA loan once you are VA loan eligible. On the other hand, you can never get a VA loan without being eligible. This makes it a necessary step in obtaining a VA financing.

Moreover, your COE is not the only thing a lender will look at to approve you for the loan. The Veteran Affairs basically guarantees the loan, it is a private lender that provides the financial-backing. This means that aside from the VA requirements, the lender may have their own set of requirements that the borrower needs to meet.

Shopping for a VA-approved lender will help you know about their different requirements. Also, by shopping, you will learn more about their loan offers. Take the time to research and examine as to which of these loans best addresses your needs.

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