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VA Loan Rules for Currently Serving Military Members

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Currently serving military members who want to apply for VA insured home loans should know about the rules for VA loan applicants whose loan closing would be within a year of their current re-enlistment, retirement or separation date.

According to the VA Lender's Handbook, lenders are required to "identify service members who are within 12 months of release from active duty or end of contract term." The lender must determine the expiration date of the current enlistment and verify whether the VA loan applicant is reenlisting and is permitted to re-enlist. To accomplish this, the lender must get one or more of the following:

  • Documentation that the service member has already reenlisted or extended his or her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12-month period following the projected closing of the loan;
  • If the borrower is not re-enlisting or extending the service commitment, verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment following the release from active duty. This verification must include the date employment will begin, projected pay, etc.
  • A statement from the service member that he or she intends to reenlist or extend his or her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12-month period.

For those who will reenlist or extend their service in the military, VA loan rules require the borrower to furnish an additional statement from the applicant's commanding officer showing the applicant is eligible to reenlist and that there is no reason why the reenlistment or extension of duty would be denied.

Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for more information if you aren't sure if these rules apply to your specific circumstances. Or, if you are planning on retiring from the armed forces, check out the VA's occupancy requirements for retiring military members.