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Learn about your VA Home Loan Benefits

About VA Loans

The VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of their mission to serve us, they provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help us buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for our personal occupancy.  Lenders provide home loans for qualifying Veterans, and the VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling them to provide you with more favorable terms.  

Benefits of a VA Loan

No down payment required. OK so we may require some down payment for some borrowers if they’ve already used some of their guaranty and its no getting restored. Nothing is perfect. 

Extremely competitive interest rates. It’s going to be hard finding better rates than ours. 

Limited closing costs. The Seller may pay a portion of this.

No need for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This is huge for us, saving hundreds every month and giving us more buying power. 

The VA home loan is a lifetime benefit: You can use the guaranty multiple times for new houses and owner-occupied investment property up to four units. (lots of restrictions apply)


VA Loan Eligibility is Earned

Generally, service requirements are as follows:

  • 2 years for regular service members

  • 6 years for Reservists and National Guard members

  • 90 days active duty during wartime

  • 181 days active duty during peacetime

All Uniformed Services Have VA Home Loan Benefits

When most people think of VA loan eligibility, several military branches may come to mind. But did you know there are seven uniformed branches that have home loan benefits? These include:

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Space Force, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Public Health Service (USPHS)

For commissioned officers of NOAA and the USPHS, you may have access to VA loans.

Reserve/National Guard Members Earn Eligibility Too

Reservists & National Guard are also eligible for VA loans. If you are currently serving your country in the Reserve or National Guard, you are eligible for this great benefit after 6 years of service. No longer active duty? Not necessarily a problem. During the Iraq War a great number of Reservists were deployed to active duty. If you were, you could be eligible under active duty wartime (90 days or period ordered) rules. Here’s how the Reserve and Guard members can typically earn eligibility:

  • Six Years of Service, and

  • Discharged honorably, or

  • Placed on retired list, or

  • Transferred to Standby or Ready Reserve after honorable service, or

  • Continue to serve in Selected Reserve

They Can Earn Benefits Faster by Serving on Active Duty

If you’re on active duty, or called up for active duty service, you may be on the fast track to earning your home loan benefits. (Requirements vary for periods.) Here is a summary of active duty requirements:

  • 90 continuous days for active duty service members

  • 90 days of active service for current Guard and Reserve service members (this can be either Title 10 or Title 32 service)

  • 90 total days for wartime veterans until 05/07/1975

  • 181 continuous days for peacetime Veterans until 09/07/1980 (10/16/1981 for officers)

  • At least 181 days or full call for peacetime Veterans 09/08/1980 – 08/01/1990 (10/17/1981 beginning date for officers)

  • At least 90 days or full call for Gulf War Veterans 08/02/1990 – present

Determining your own eligibility can seem complicated. If you need help, contact a lender that specializes in serving veterans.

During your purchase you will most likely deal with the following professionals, there are many more working behind the scenes helping with your transaction.

Real Estate Professionals

Mortgage Lender

Handles the financing side of the transaction, first they make sure you meet basic requirements and review things like your income, credit score, and debts.  They help collect your application and supporting documents and approve your loan.

Real Estate Agent

They will help you find the property, negotiation the terms of the contract like purchase price, closing date, seller paid closing costs, repairs.  They also coordinate with the various inspectors, along with the lender and title officer.

Title Officer

They help make sure the seller has the right to sell the property and that there are no other liens or judgements against it.  They also make sure the buyer has no liens or judgements that will take priority over a mortgage.


They determine a properties value.  This is generally what a lender will base their loan amount off.  Appraisers review a properties current condition and compare it to similar properties that have recently sold.

Home Inspector

They check everything from the roof to the basement and provide a report with any suggested repairs.  They can save a borrower thousands in unforeseen repairs.

Pest Inspector

Required in many locations.  They make sure no small creepy critters have done any damage to the property.  

Real Estate Attorney

Some states require Attorneys to be involved in real estate transactions.   It's also recommended to hire an Attorney if the transaction is large or complex.

Moving Company

There to save you lots of time and back pain. Packs up all of your belongings, transports it to your new home, and unloads everything inside.   

Insurance Agent
They will help you get Homeowners insurance to help protect your home and your belongings.