Skip to Content
ICB Solutions, a division of Neighbors Bank: Not affiliated or endorsed by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs or any govt. agency. NMLS #491986. Not available in NY. Legal

VA Loans for Dependent Children of Veterans?

A common topic relating to VA loans is just who can receive one. In that vein, we commonly get asked, "If my father was a Veteran, can I get a VA loan?" Or, "Do you have to be a Veteran to get a VA loan?"

The short answer is, you can't get a VA loan as a non-Veteran. VA loan rules do not permit the parents, children or siblings of veterans or currently serving military members to use the VA loan benefit. You must serve or previously served in the U.S. Military and meet the VA's length of service requirements.

You may also be eligible as the surviving spouse of a Veteran with a few specific conditions. Essentially, the VA loan benefit is intended for veterans and their spouses who want to purchase a home.

I'm not eligible, so what are my options?

If you're interested in a VA loan, odds are you've heard of the $0 down benefit and are looking for a low down payment option. While VA loans are one of the last remaining $0 down programs, you may still find low down payment financing with another government-backed program.

Also $0 Down is the USDA Loan

Another option if you can't make a down payment is the USDA loan. The major caveat is you must live in what the USDA deems a rural area. The rural area designation is actually quite large and includes many suburban areas.

You can learn about USDA loans and get connected with a USDA lender here.

3.5% Down with FHA Loans

FHA loans are another option for non-Veterans. FHA loans require a minimal down payment at 3.5 percent down and don't have restrictions on location like the USDA loan.

You can learn about FHA loans or get connected with an FHA lender here.

Non-Veterans That May Be Eligible for a VA Loan

Back to VA Loans, but in some cases, non-Veterans may be allowed to apply. These individuals may include:

  • U.S. citizens who served in the Armed Forces of a government allied with the United States during World War II.
  • Individuals who served as members in organizations, including Public Health Service officers; cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy; midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy; officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration; and merchant seaman with World War II service.

Outside those listed above, you must have prior military service to obtain a VA loan.

However, one way a non-Veteran could take on a VA loan is through assuming the mortgage. Generally, VA loans are assumable, although not all lenders permit them. That said, a non-Veteran assuming a Veteran's mortgage isn't typically in the best interest of the Veteran, as their entitlement will remain wrapped up in the mortgage until the homebuyer pays it off or refinances into a different loan product.

For more information about VA loan eligibility or VA loan assumptions, speak to a qualified loan officer or contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly.