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VA Loans for Dependent Children of Veterans

VA loans help many Veterans achieve the dream of homeownership. If your parent is a Veteran, you may wonder whether this benefit applies to the Veteran’s family as well. In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of VA loans for children of Veterans and what options may be available to you if you are the child of a Veteran.

Can a Child of a Veteran Get a VA Loan?

Unfortunately, children of Veterans are not automatically eligible for a VA loan. To be eligible, you must have served and meet other eligibility requirements. Essentially, the VA loan benefit is intended for Veterans and their spouses who want to purchase a home. However, localized VA programs may provide benefits to children of deceased Veterans, so be sure to check in your area.

Housing Benefits For Children of Veterans

Although children of Veterans and service members do not qualify for VA loans, they are allowed to be the primary resident in a house purchased with a VA loan. So if a parent qualifies for a VA loan, they can use their benefit to buy a house for the child to occupy. It’s important to know applicable occupancy situations can vary and should be discussed with your VA lender.

The VA typically offers other benefits to dependents of Veterans, such as health care, life insurance or financial assistance for schooling.

Non-Veterans That May Be Eligible for a VA Loan

In some cases, non-Veterans may be allowed to apply for a VA loan. 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.
  • 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
  • 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. VA loans are generally assumable, although not all lenders allow for this option. 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.

I'm Not Eligible, So What Are My Options?

While VA loans offer the benefit of $0 down payment, there are other government-backed programs that provide low down payment financing options.

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 of 3.5 percent down and don't have restrictions on location like the USDA loan.

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