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What is required to be eligible for a VA Loan?

VA Loan Eligibility Graphic

To be eligible for a VA loan, you must meet certain criteria set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Here are the key requirements:

  • Military Service: Generally, you must be an active-duty service member, veteran, reservist, or National Guard member to be eligible for a VA loan. The specific length and type of service required can vary depending on when you served and your branch of service.

  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE): You need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to prove your eligibility for the loan. This certificate verifies your military service history and determines your entitlement to VA loan benefits.

  • Credit Score and Income: While the VA doesn't set a minimum credit score requirement, most lenders typically look for a credit score of at least 620. Additionally, you need to demonstrate stable income and a manageable debt-to-income ratio (typically below 41%).

  • Property Requirements: The property you're purchasing with a VA loan must meet certain standards set by the VA. These standards are in place to ensure the safety and livability of the home.

  • Residency: You must intend to occupy the property as your primary residence. VA loans are not available for investment properties or vacation homes.

  • Funding Fee: In most cases, borrowers are required to pay a funding fee to the VA, unless they are exempt due to a service-related disability. This fee helps offset the cost of the VA loan program.

  • Financial Responsibility: Lenders will evaluate your financial history to ensure you have a record of responsible credit use and repayment.


It's important to note that while these are the general eligibility requirements, specific details may vary based on individual circumstances and lender policies. It's advisable to speak with a VA-approved lender who can guide you through the process and provide personalized advice based on your situation.

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