If you happen to be thinking of getting yourself a VA loan to purchase a home, you need to understand about what their requirements are, and if it is the right way for you to go according to your needs. It really can be, if it's right for you, one of the totally awesome types of loans you can get. The reason for this partially is due to the fact that it allows you to have no down payment. Just think of the savings in that one benefit alone!
The first basic requirement, of course, is that you be a Veteran of the Armed Forces. Without this one, you can't possible qualify. But for those who have done their military time, here are some further requirements for obtaining a VA loan:
- You will need to have a good credit rating
- You must intend to or actually occupy this home soon after closing
- You have to have an income that enables you to make your mortgage payments and all other costs for maintaining the home
- Your reason for the loan must be one that is VA approved
- You need to get your 'Certificate of Eligibility'
Now let's break these down a bit further:
Your 'Certificate of Eligibility' is a document providing proof that you have been in the military and met the eligibility requirements for the VA loan. If you don't have one, you can obtain one by submitting an application in the form of a 'VA Form 26-1880'. On this form you can request to receive a Determination of Eligibility and an Available Guaranty Entitlement for your loan from the local VA office. In this you would need to provide a copy of your discharge papers or any type of separation papers from your active duty service in the military.
Then we come to the ever present 'Income requirements', which are a consideration in all loans. You income needs to be sufficient to pay your living expenses, your mortgage, and maintain the home. Your debts will be looked at as well, like car payments or credit card debt. So it would be a wise move to have these things under control before applying. One method they utilize is called a 'Debt to Income' ratio. The VA will assess your total debts along with your new mortgage payments. What they like is for the total debts not to be over 41% of your total income. Be sure you have enough room in your budget for your house payment.
You would also need to proved the VA with specific reasons for the loan that they approve of. One is buying a home, another is building a home, another is for buying and making improvements on the home simultaneously, or for refinancing an existing loan on a home, or lastly for buying a manufactured home. These are all approved reasons for the VA to grant your loan.
Next comes your Credit Requirements. You need to have at least one good year of a good credit history, and hold a current score of 620. So if you can't muster up to this requirement at the time you want to apply, you need to repair the credit first, then apply.
You would next need to satisfy their occupancy requirements. This means that you will become the primary resident of the home. If you should happen to be still on active duty and have a spouse, then your spouse living in the home will satisfy their occupancy requirements.