Who’s Eligible

Who’s Eligible

Here is criteria for determining if you are eligible for a VA mortgage.  Eligibility is the first step in determining if you can be approved for a VA loan. VA guaranteed loans are a great option to consider for qualifying borrowers looking to buy or refinance a home with little out of pocket expenses.

Military Status

  • Veterans with active duty service (who were not dishonorably discharged) during World War II and later periods are eligible for VA loan benefits.
  • World War II (September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947)
  • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam era (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975) veterans must have at least 90 days of service.
  • Veterans and active duty military personnel who served during peacetime must have had more than 180 days of active service.
  • Veterans of enlisted service starting after September 7, 1980, or officers with service beginning after October 16,1981, must in most cases have served at least 2 years.


You May Be Eligible If Any One of the Following are True:
• Served 181 days during peacetime (Active Duty)
• Served 90 days during war time (Active Duty)
• Served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
• You are the spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty.

*For the most part, almost all active duty and honorably discharged service members are eligible for VA home financing.


The VA does not require that you have a certain credit score in order for approval. The actual mortgage lenders, however, are allowed to set their own standards for VA loan requirements.  Changing economic conditions and increased losses due to loan defaults have motivated lenders to limit who they will lend to.

Since early 2010, most VA lenders in the U.S. have tightened their lending and credit score requirements, making home financing harder to come by for those with credit issues or other criteria that makes their loan more risky. As a result, getting a loan without a down payment is more difficult, though one of the few remaining options for 100% financing is a VA loan.  Major lending groups have generally resolved to set the minimum credit score requirement at 640.  To learn more about this, our article Credit Score Requirements For VA Mortgages is a great place to start.

Lastly, if you have either had a divorce, filed bankruptcy, or had a previous home go into foreclosure, you are not immediately disqualified from a VA loan, although there are some additional restrictions.


There are three specific pieces of documentation a lender will need to determine your eligibility:
• A DD214 for discharged veterans.
• A statement of service for active military personnel.
• A certificate of eligibility (COE) to determine you have VA entitlement.

*Your VA lender can help you attain your certificate of eligibility on your behalf.


Because each lender has different qualifying guidelines, the next step is to contact your lender to find out if you meet their VA loan requirements such as minimum FICO/credit scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios, and find out what your county’s maximum loan amount is. You can apply online with our secure application and we will contact you to discuss your eligibility and home financing options.

next page: “Home Restrictions”

DISCLAIMER: Neither Indiana VA Mortgages (IndianaVAmortgages.com) nor NEO Home Loans is affiliated with any government agencies, including the VA.