The term “qualify” with regard to VA loans can actually apply in more than one area. Yet that may be the very question many first ask when they begin to think about buying a home using their VA home loan entitlement.
The first meaning might apply to the eligibility in general. If you’re an honorably discharged veteran, active duty with at least 181 days of service, National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve members with at least six years of service and spouses of veterans who have died as a result of service related injuries, you’re likely eligible. But the only way to determine if you’re eligible is by obtaining a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility, or COE directly from the VA. You can obtain your COE online, visit a regional center in person or write in a request or simply ask a VA lender to obtain the COE for you. The only verification a VA lender uses to determine eligibility is by reviewing the COE.
You may also wonder if you qualify for a VA home loan due to income, employment or credit issues. For example, you may think your credit is just oh-so-close and you’re not sure. Maybe you have questions about your current job and what the VA asks for employment and income. Say that your credit is good but you’re not sure how much you qualify for, contact a VA lender and speak with a VA loan officer directly and ask your questions. A loan officer experienced with VA loans can walk you through the qualification process with you. If you do qualify, you may be asked next to apply for the VA loan for a preapproval letter before you go shopping for a home. If for some reason you don’t currently qualify, you will be provided with a road map on what you need to work on in order to get qualified later on.