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VA Home Loan Eligibility

VA home loans are intended for military borrowers who have served in the military for a minimum amount of time--minimums which vary depending on what era of military service you served in and the nature of your service. Here is a list of the eligibility requirements based on specific periods of military service. Please note that the Department of Veterans Affairs requires additional processing time and paperwork for veterans applying for VA loan eligibility with discharges “other than honorable”.

Wartime Era 1940-1975

  1. WWII: 9/16/1940 to 7/25/1947
  2. Korean: 6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955
  3. Vietnam: 8/5/1964 to 5/7/1975

 

Requirements: Eligible VA Borrowers have at least 90 days on active duty and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.  Those who served less than 90 days may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.

Peacetime Era 1947- 1981

  1. 7/26/1947 to 6/26/1950
  2. 2/1/1955 to 8/4/1964
  3. 5/8/1975 to 9/7/1980 (Enlisted)
  4. 5/8/1975 to 10/16/1981 (Officer)

 

Eligible VA borrowers served at least 181 days of continuous active duty. Those with discharges categorized as dishonorable are not eligible. Veterans who served less than 181 days may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.

Service after 9/7/1980 (enlisted members) or 10/16/1981 (officers)

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who retired or separated from service which began after these dates must have:

  1. Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 181 days) for which you were ordered or called to active duty and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  2. Completed at least 181 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1171 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability;
  3. Been discharged with less than 181 days of service for a service-connected disability.  VA loan rules also state that you may also be eligible if released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances for the convenience of the government.

 

Gulf War Era - Service from 8/2/1990 to a date yet to be determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs:

VA loan applicants who were on active duty during the Gulf War Era must have:

  1. Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  2. Completed at least 90 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1173 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability, or
  3. Been discharged with less than 90 days of service for a service-connected disability.  Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances, for the convenience of the government.

 

Currently Serving Active Duty Personnel

If you are now on regular duty (not active duty for training), you are eligible after having served 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service.

Currently Serving Selected Reserves or National Guard

If you are not otherwise eligible and you have completed a total of 6 years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and 2-week active duty for training) and

  1. Were discharged with an honorable discharge, or
  2. Were placed on the retired list, or
  3. Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable service, or
  4. Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves

 

Individuals who completed less than 6 years may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.

There are also rules for surviving spouses of military members killed on active duty or who died as a result of military service, which are covered in a separate article. Contact your nearest VA field office if you aren’t sure about your eligibility for a VA loan based on your dates of service and/or the nature of your military discharge.

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