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VA Loans for National Guard and Reserve Members

Reservists and members of the National Guard have access to the VA home loan program. But some may need to meet different eligibility criteria in order to be approved for a VA home loan, specifically in regards to the time in service requirements.

Some Reservists and Guardsmen who’ve served at least 90 consecutive days of active duty since Aug. 2, 1990, may be eligible for a VA loan. Otherwise, Guard and Reserve members and veterans typically need at least six years of service and meet these other requirements:

  • Was discharged honorably, OR
  • Was placed on the retired list, OR
  • Was transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR
  • Continues to serve in the Selected Reserve.

For those members who meet the above requirements, your first step towards achieving the dream of homeownership is applying for the Certificate of Eligibility. Unfortunately Guard and Reserve members do not have one form to show proof of service like the DD Form 214, which is used by Regular Military personnel.

Instead, the VA instructs discharged members to “submit NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, or a retirement points statement. Typically, all members of the Reserves and/or Guard receive an annual retirement points summary which indicates the level and length of participation. The applicant should submit the latest such statement received along with evidence of honorable service.”

The VA does not require originals of these documents as long as the copies you submit are legible. For Guard or Reserve members who are still on duty the VA instructs them to submit a statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit.

Regardless of your time in service requirements, do your preliminary credit investigation and debt reduction measures to prepare for the VA mortgage application.

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