VA mortgage loans are loans which are offered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and backed by the United States federal government. They offer an array of benefits and mortgage options to veterans, active duty service members and a select group of other individuals connected to the branches of service in the US. One of the most common myths we hear are calls from service members inquiring whether active duty members can take advantage of these fantastic loan options, or whether VA loans are only for veterans. Another question we often hear is whether or not a long history of service has to be completed before a service member becomes eligible for a VA loan.
Are active duty service members eligible for VA loans? Are newly enlisted service members eligible to apply for VA mortgage loans?
Yes and yes! You don’t need years of service to be eligible for a VA loan, and you can be currently serving our country when you apply for a VA loan. Service members need just 90 consecutive days of active duty service to be eligible for a VA loan. In order to obtain a VA loan you’ll need your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA, however, most lenders can work with you to obtain your COE and you don’t have to have your COE in your hands before you can start looking for the home of your dreams. Additionally, if you are currently serving, you’ll need to give your lender what’s known as a Statement of Service, which is a letter listing your basic information and your entry service date, printed on your military branch official letterhead and signed by your commanding officer. Again, an experienced VA mortgage loan lender will help guide you through all the paperwork necessary for your loan so that you can focus on your job and your service.
One of the biggest advantages of applying for a VA loan while you are actively serving is that in many cases, your basic housing allowance can offset a good portion of your mortgage payment each month, making home buying extremely economical for service members and their families. You can build equity quickly, even when you put nothing down on the purchase of your home as a down payment is not required for many VA loans.
VA loans offer many advantages and benefits that are not offered on FHA loans or conventional mortgage loans. If you are an active duty service member, don’t assume that you must wait to take advantage of all that VA loans can offer you and your family. An experienced VA lender can help get you onto the road to home ownership today!