Because VA loans are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, some active duty service members may be unsure whether they are eligible.
Can active duty service members get a VA loan?
Yes, active duty service members can get a VA loan, but there are some guidelines to who can apply. Active duty service members must meet one of the following VA loan eligibility requirements:
- Serve 90 consecutive days on active duty during wartime, or
- Serve 181 days on active duty during peacetime
What if I’m nearing the end of my active duty service?
Active service members may face additional requirements to ensure they will be able to afford monthly payments after their service ends if they are within a year of their current re-enlistment, retirement or separation date.
VA lenders must determine the expiration date of the current enlistment and verify whether or not the VA loan applicant is re-enlisting. To accomplish this, lenders must get one or more of the following:
- Documentation that the service member has already re-enlisted or extended his or her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12-month period following the projected closing of the loan.
- 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.
- If the borrower is not re-enlisting or extending the service commitment, verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment and/or verification of military retirement income following the release from active duty. This verification must include the date employment will begin, projected pay, etc.
For those who will re-enlist 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.