April 20th, 2015 2:16 PM by Bennet Oubre, MAI
It’s no secret I work with a lot of veterans, the VA Home loan program is a great benefit for those who served. But one of the biggest complaints I hear is from members of the armed service who didn't qualify. Or felt they should have qualified but their original lender didn't know why or didn't explain why. I’ll be honest you can call the VA and likely half of the people who answer the phone won’t be able to explain either.
So everything you need to know is on your DD-214, it was issued to you as separation papers or Cert of release or discharge from active duty. If you don’t have your DD-214, it’s the first thing any lender is going to ask for. For most, it is the happiest day when you get a hold of your DD-214, it’s like a warm safe blanket that no officer can penetrate. But it also gives you access to all the Veteran Benefits your recruiter sold you on. You should have had an exit interview, the main focus of this is to make sure all of you service records are correct, If you are being released with disabilities it would have been part of this interview, think of it as a AAR for your career. (Here is the kicker, most of the time a solider gets a choice, “You want a personal exit interview in 3 hours or a group interview now and you can head out”, Guess which one most pick) Also if you were in the selected services you may have several DD-214's.
As a veteran you want to make sure field 3 is correct SS#, you would think this is a given…Well I have a client that had 2 separate SS#, one for active deployment and a transposed one for reserve time. He was a Marine, so it is understandable! Next look at field 12, check this one closely. If you are an 88A (That’s 88 Alpha if you’re a civilian, but you were not supposed to read this post), and have never seen a boat, then you likely shouldn't have sea service.
“I’m still in the National Guard (or Reserve Unit)”, well then you won’t have a DD-214 for you selective service. (At least not a single one). I would start by suggesting you get a “Statement of Service” from your commander or Unit Admin. There is no Form for this but it should contain certain information. Feel free to call me with question or print this requirements of needs to be in the statement.
Once we have the required time in placee can ask for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This opens the doors for your VA loan. Get this in place first, before ever writing a contract to buy a home! Your Certs don’t expire so get them as early as possible!
Next up is do you qualify, well that depends on time in, when you served, how you were discharged, why you were discharged. If you were discharged during the 90’s then you must qualify during that time period.
The rest of this post is the nuts and bolts of qualification, and about as boring as you would expect. But it is why you are reading this post. You will have questions and every VA Loan is different. I would suggest calling me with specific questions. 225.819.7670
More Details on VA Home Loan Eligibility
There are many ways in which you may be eligible for a VA home loan. To be completely sure that you are eligible, call 225 288 6570 or complete a short contact request form and a licensed loan officer will answer your questions.
Here are more ways that you may be eligible:
If you enlisted and service began on or BEFORE September 7, 1980 or you were an officer and service began on or BEFORE October 16, 1980 you are eligible if you served honorably for:
90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime or
181 continuous days or more during peacetime
If you enlisted and service began AFTER September 7, 1980 or you were an officer and service began AFTER October 16, 1980, you may be eligible if you served honorably for:
24 continuous months or more or the full period for which ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime)
Member of the National Guard or Reserves for a minimum of 6 years (see below for more information)
The Vietnam Era begins on Feb 28, ’61 for individuals who served in the Republic of Vietnam
You may also be determined eligible if you:
The above information does not cover every situation. To find out if you are eligible for a VA loan, call 225 288 6570 to speak with a licensed lender who can help you with your specific needs, or contact us here to get a VA loan rate quote and verify your eligibility.
Active Duty Service Personnel
If you are now on active duty, you are eligible after having served on continuous active status for at least 90 days. When an ending date is established for Persian Gulf War service, a minimum of 181 days of continuous active duty will be required for persons who did not have wartime service.
Members of the Selected Reserve
“Selected Reserve” means the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of any of the Reserve components which consists of units and individuals who participate actively in paid training periods and serve on paid active duty for training each year. This includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves as well as Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
6-Year Requirement: A veteran, who is not otherwise eligible, who completes a total of 6 years as a member of the Selected Reserve (need not be ordered to active duty) is eligible if he or she either:
The 6 years service need not be continuous nor in the same Reserve or National Guard unit. However, active duty regular military service cannot be combined with Reserve service to reach the 6 year requirement.
The VA home loan program is an excellent deal for active duty military personnel and non-active duty veterans. Take advantage of your benefits.