Do reservists qualify for VA loans? Over the years, the home loan program run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has helped numerous active-duty service members and veterans become homeowners. Many people are aware that the program’s home loan guaranty benefit is one that is earned through service. However, the fact that different types of service count isn’t as widely known. As a result, many people who could potentially use a VA loan – including some reservists – don’t realize that they’re eligible.
Do Reservists Qualify for VA Loans?
Do reservists qualify for VA loans? Some do, and some don’t. As with other forms of military service, the length and type of service are factors in an individual’s eligibility. Of course, qualifying for a VA loan isn’t enough to guarantee that you’ll be approved for one. Lenders also look at an assortment of qualifications for both the borrower and the property before approving a VA loan application.
Eligibility Requirements for Reservists
With all the discussion of types and dates of service, determining a service member’s eligibility for specific benefits can be tricky at times. Fortunately, the requirements that a member of the Reserve must fulfill to qualify for the home loan guaranty benefit are fairly straightforward. According to Military.com, reservists can qualify for a VA loan if they meet any one of the following qualifications:
- The reservist served in active duty for more than 90 days during wartime.
- The reservist was released from active duty or discharged because of a service-related disability.
- The reservist served six years in the Selected Reserve before being honorably discharged, retiring, or transferring to some other element of the Reserve after honorable service.
- The reservist served more than six years in the Selected Reserve.
What Reservists Need to Secure a Certificate of Eligibility
A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) shows a lender that your service history entitles you to the home loan guaranty benefit, so obtaining one is an essential step in getting a VA loan. You can apply online, via the mail, or through your lender. What documentation do reservists need to apply for a COE? The VA provides a breakdown:
- Current or former activated reservists will need copies of their discharge or separation papers, or DD214s.
- Current reservists who have not been activated will need a statement signed by their commander, adjutant, or personnel officer that details their full name, Social Security number, birth date, the date they entered duty, their total number of creditable years of service, the duration of any lost time, and the name of the command that is providing the data.
- Discharged reservists who were never activated will need proof of their honorable service and a copy of their latest annual retirement points.
Other VA Loan Requirements for Borrowers
While qualifying for the home loan guaranty benefit is a must if you hope to fund your home purchase with a VA loan, doing so is not enough to secure the loan. You must also show that you have the credit and income to qualify for the loan that you’re requesting. As NerdWallet explains, your lender will review your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and overall financial situation to determine whether you qualify for a loan and what terms you’ll be offered. Your lender will also confirm that you intend to use the home as your primary residence and that it meets the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that any property purchased with a VA loan is safe, sanitary, and structurally sound.
If you have questions about what’s involved in qualifying for VA loans, turn to the loan experts at PrimeLending: Manhattan, Kansas. We have an assortment of loan products that allow us to meet the needs of diverse borrowers, and the expertise to help you confidently reach your housing goals. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services and discover how we can help you succeed in making your dream home a reality.