Guest Blog: An Introduction to VA Home Loans

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An Introduction to VA Home Loans

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An Introduction to VA Home Loans

Courtesy of: Myriel Legaspi; VA Home Loan Centers


Buying a home in today’s housing market is costly, especially in big cities where the costs have increased for 30 years. This makes purchasing a home a more significant financial decision than ever before. Thankfully, Veterans and Active Duty Service Members have the added benefit of having access to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Home Loans. Real estate experts recognize these loans as the best Government home loans available.

VA loans offer some great benefits while at the same time having some eligibility requirements, which most Veterans and Active Duty Service Members already meet. Since their creation as part of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, VA home loans have allowed more than 22 million veterans to become homeowners.

VA Home Loan Qualification Requirements

Before we start going over the benefits offered by VA home loans, we will be going over the VA home loan requirements to apply for them. To be eligible, applicants will need to meet income, military service, credit score, and property requirements. All of which are set by the VA and are met by most purchasers.

  • Income Requirements

For an applicant to be considered eligible, they must have a steady and reliable income by the government-approved VA lender standards. Income must also be enough to cover the compensating factor that the VA requires. Income that is accepted must come from one of the following:

  • Full-Time Job.
  • VA Disability.
  • Social Security.
  • Retirement
  • Part-Time Job (for two years)
  • Self-Employed (for two years)
  • 1099 Income (for two years)
  • Seasonal Job (for two years)
  • Child Support (with three-year continuance)
  • Alimony (with three-year continuation)

There are certain types of income that the VA does not see as eligible for the VA loan, and those include unemployment, workers comp., GI Bill, Basic Housing Allowance, and cash payments.

  • Military Service Requirements

In addition to being a Veteran or an Active Duty Service Member, the applicant must also meet service eligibility requirements. These include serving at least 90 consecutive days in active duty during wartime or 181 days during peacetime. If the applicant is a member of the National Guard or reserves, they must have served at least six years. Lastly, if the applicant is a deceased veteran’s spouse, they must have lost their lives while on duty or due to a service-related disability.

  • Credit Score Requirements

The VA currently does not have any credit score requirements. However, individual lenders, for the most part, tend to prefer a credit score of at least 640, with some accepting even lower credit scores. There are also ways to get a VA home loan, even with a lower credit score. Lenders will consider previous late payments, existing mortgages, and past collections when evaluating the applicant’s credit score.

  • Property Requirements

Choosing what property to use for a VA loan is tricky since the applicant will have to ensure that it meets all eligibility requirements set forward by the VA. These include it being safe to move into with the property and not having any health or safety hazards. Also, the property must be:

  • A single-family residence.
  • Multi-family Complexes. (Up to four units)
  • Condos approved by the VA.
  • Doublewide Mobile Homes.
  • Manufactured homes are on a permanent foundation.

Some homes do not qualify for a VA home loan, and these include:

  • It is in flood hazard areas with no flood insurance.
  • Homes in an Airport Noise Zone 3 (Very Noisy.)
  • Cooperatives.
  • Timeshares.
  • Condos that the VA does not approve.

VA Home Loan Benefits

Once an applicant meets all eligibility requirements, they will be able to take advantage of VA home loans’ benefits. These benefits include things like:

  • $0 down payment requirement.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • No mortgage insurance premiums.
  • Lower interest rates.
  • No prepayment penalties.

VA loans also benefit from coming in both a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage option. Also, as of January 1st, 2020, first-time borrowers are no longer subject to VA county loan limits. Therefore, they can purchase a home anywhere in the country without limiting their options based on the county’s loan limit.

This new law does not apply to borrowers with more than one existing VA home loan. These borrowers are still required to adhere to the VA county loan limit, which increased to $548,250 in 2021 for most counties in the United States. However, more expensive counties have higher loan limits based on median home values.


Buying a home with a VA loan will save you a lot of money upfront while also guaranteeing access to several other benefits offered by the VA. If you or anyone you know served in the military, take advantage of these loans as they can mean the difference between being a homeowner or not.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-approved brokerage specializing in VA home loans. He has more than 22 years of working in real estate professionally. To learn more or apply for a VA home loan, call us at (877) 432-5626.



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