The VA loan is still one of the most popular loans available today. Not only is it a benefit offered to the men and women that serve our country, but it is a loan with great terms and flexible guidelines, making it easily obtainable and affordable. While it makes sense that the people that serve our country are eligible for this loan, there are people in many categories that you may not realize are eligible for this great financing program.
People Serving in the War
The people that serve our country and go to war have the shortest waiting time for a VA loan. They only need to serve 90 days consecutively during wartime in order to qualify. People serving during wartime are those that served during any of these time periods:
- World War II – Service between September 16, 1940 and July 25, 1947
- Korean Conflict – Service between June 27, 1950 and January 31, 1955
- Vietnam – Service between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975
- Persian Gulf War – Service from August 2, 1990 and present
90 days of consecutive service during any of these periods gives you entitlement to a VA loan.
People Serving During Peacetime
You do not only have to have served in the war in order to be eligible for a VA loan. The length of time you have to serve in order to be eligible is longer, but you are still eligible. If you served during the following time periods, you must have been in the service for at least 181 days to qualify:
- Between July 26, 1947 and June 26, 1950
- Between February 1, 1955 and August 4, 1964
- Between May 8, 1975 and September 7, 1980
- Between September 7, 1980 and August 1, 1990
The service time required is 181 days unless you experienced a disability directly related to your time in service or you were discharged due to a medical disability that previously existed but did not occur as a result of your service. You may also still be eligible if you were honorably discharged before your time was up due to a government decision and no wrong-doing on your part.
People Serving in the Reserves
If you serve in the Reserves, you may also become eligible at one point to receive a VA loan. The time required to be in the service is longer before you become eligible, but many people still use the benefit. The time necessary to serve in the Reserves is 6 years. The same stipulations hold true for those in the Reserves:
- You must have an honorable discharge
- You can be retired
- You are still active in the Reserves but have met your 6-year minimum
Other People that Qualify
There are a few select groups of people that may also qualify as a result of the work they have done for the government or who they were married to, depending on the circumstances. A few examples include cadets of the United States Military or Armed Forces; members of certain government entities that served as allies to the US during a time of war; and personnel of the United States Naval Academy. If you are unsure whether or not your employment renders you eligible for a VA loan, you can check with the VA center in your region to find out for sure.
In addition to people that served their time, certain spouses are eligible for the VA loan. This includes spouses that are currently married to someone serving in the military that is either Missing in Action or is a Prisoner of War. Spouses of members of the military that have passed away in the line of duty or as a result of their duties and has not since remarried are also eligible.
A lender can help you obtain your Certificate of Eligibility or you can contact your regional VA center to find out if you are eligible. If you are able to obtain a VA loan, you have many benefits that you can take advantage of including little to no down payment; low interest rates; and low fees. The qualifications to obtain the loan are also much more flexible than any other loan type no available on the market.