The first step in obtaining a VA Loan is to determine whether or not you are eligible. This determination is made based upon the type of service (active duty or reserve) and the time frame.
If you enlisted or entered service before September 7th, 1980 you may be eligible for the VA Home Loan program if you serced at least 90 days in wartime or 181 days in peacetime. If you enlisted after Setpember 7th 1980 or entered service as an officer after October 16th 1981, you would have needed to serve at least 24 consecutive months (or the full period called to active duty not less than 90 days in peacetime or 181 days in wartime) to qualify for VA Loan benefits.
More time is required for reservists, but those who have served for at least six years are eligible. This can be non-consecutive years of service and service in different branches of the reserves. Service in the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Air National Guard, Coast Guard Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Air Force Reserve all count toward your eligibility for a VA Home Loan.
Some individuals, who do not meet the requirements for active or reserve duty, may still qualify. These include the following:
- Spouses of deceased veterans, who died as a result of their active service, or a service related injury, are eligible if they have not remarried.
- Spouses of missing in action or prisoners of war are eligible for VA Loans as long as the service enlistee has been missing for over 90 days.
- Also, U.S. citizens who served with an allied country during WWII may be eligible.
Keep in mind that the VA Department has the final say on who’s eligible and who’s not. If you would like to find out your eligibility, feel free to download and fill out the Request for Certificate of Eligiblity form (VA form 26-1880). Once completed, you can fax it to us at 808-356-1641 and we can help you verify your eligiblity status.