Credit Requirements for VA Loan Eligibility
Guide to VA Loan Eligibility
Lenders will analyze a borrower's past credit performance in determining the loan for approval. A borrower who has made timely payments for the last 12 months serves as a guide and demonstrates their willingness to repay future credit obligations. On the opposite side, a borrower who reflects continuous slow payments, judgments and delinquent accounts is not a good candidate for loan approval.
The VA doesn’t require a set credit score for VA loan eligibility. But the lenders that make these loans usually do. Talk with lenders about their specific credit score requirements for VA home loans.
Below is a list of items that can have an impact on a borrower’s credit profile and ability to obtain a VA loan:
LATE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS
In circumstances not involving bankruptcy, satisfactory credit is generally considered to be reestablished after the veteran, or veteran and spouse, have made satisfactory payments for 12 months after the date of the last derogatory credit item(s). Some lenders may allow VA buyers to have one or more 30-day late payments. Policies can vary by lender.
When the underwriter analyzes the borrower’s credit; it is the overall pattern of credit behavior that must be reviewed, rather than isolated cases of slow payments. A period of financial difficulty does not disqualify the borrower if a good payment pattern has been maintained since then.
Account balances reduced to judgment by a court must either be paid in full or subject to a repayment plan with a history of timely payments.
NO CREDIT HISTORY
In the area of credit, the lack of an established credit history should not be a deterrent to loan approval. As provided in the credit standards, a satisfactory payment history on items such as rent, utilities, phone bills, etc., may be used to establish a satisfactory credit history.
CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
The VA guidelines state that a minimum of two years must elapse since the discharge date of the borrower and / or spouse's Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not the filing date. A full explanation of the bankruptcy will be required. The borrower must also have re-established good credit, qualify financially and have good job stability.
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY
The VA guidelines state that they will consider a borrower still paying on a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if the payments to the court have been satisfactorily made and verified for a period of one year. In addition, the court trustee will need to give written approval to proceed. A full explanation of the bankruptcy will be required. The borrower must also have re-established good credit, qualify financially and have good job stability.
COLLECTIONS, JUDGEMENTS AND FEDERAL DEBTS
Lenders may have a maximum allowable threshold for collection debt. Those caps can vary by lender and other factors. Judgments must be paid in full prior to closing. Borrowers who are delinquent on any federal debt may need to be on a repayment plan with a history of on-time payments.
A borrower whose previous residence or other real property was foreclosed on or given a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure within the previous two years since the disposition date is generally not eligible for a VA insured mortgage. If the foreclosure was on a VA loan, the applicant may not have full entitlement available for the new loan. Some lenders will have no required waiting period following a short sale.