VA Loans in 2017: Who Can Apply?

VA home loan benefits in 2017 are open to eligible active duty, Guard/Reserve members, military retirees, and many others. Do you know whether you are eligible to apply for a VA home loan?

The Department of Veterans Affairs official site has a set of criteria for those eligible for the VA loan benefit. For example, currently serving active duty members are eligible for VA loans but only after they have served a minimum of 90 continuous days on active duty.

Who else is eligible for VA home loans in 2017?

Those who have retired or separated from the military are eligible if they meet the basic active duty requirements. All types of discharges are acceptable for VA loans with only a single exception; those who are dishonorably discharged are not eligible.

In some cases a discharge may be upgraded by a military discharge review board; those who this applies to should contact the VA directly to learn how long the upgrade may take to show up in military records and how that may affect VA loan benefits.

Guard and Reservists have a bit more complex requirements to be eligible. Guard/Reserve members currently on active duty must serve 90 continuous days to qualify. Those who are not on active duty must have served six years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and, according to the VA official site:

-Were discharged honorably, OR

-Were placed on the retired list, OR

-Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR

-Continue to serve in the Selected Reserve

Certain spouses of military members may be eligible to apply for VA home loan benefits, too. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, “The spouse of a Veteran can also apply for home loan eligibility under one of the following conditions:

-Unremarried spouse of a Veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or

-Spouse of a Servicemember missing in action or a prisoner of war

-Surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003 (Note: a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must have applied no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.)

-Surviving Spouses of certain totally disabled veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death”

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, siblings and children of veterans are not eligible to apply for VA home loan benefits.

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