What is Needed to Successfully Apply for a VA Mortgage

Are you considering a home loan purchase with a VA loan? If you have never tried using this important VA benefit before, there are a few things to know when you start your journey toward becoming a homeowner.

The first thing to know is whether you are eligible for a VA mortgage. Currently serving military members should check VA.gov for the current minimum require time-in-service needed to be eligible. Veterans should also check as the required minimums are not standardized--they are based on the years of your service between certain dates.

Once you know you are eligible, you can apply online or through the lender for a VA Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is required for a VA mortgage loan and should be considered the first thing needed to submit to the lender before your other paperwork.

Veterans will need copies of their official discharge paperwork. Current military members will need proof of service including when the current term of military service is due to end. Applicants who are due to re-enlist, retire, or separate from the military within a year may need additional paperwork showing the intent to re-enlist, retire or separate.

Members of the National Guard or Reserves will need the paperwork supplied to them showing the same data--some of this paperwork may not be standardized but as long as the information comes from the unit orderly room or through the commander’s office (the official information from an “approved source”) it should be sufficient. If you need further assistance in this area, contact the VA directly for help.

Borrowers should come to the VA loan application process with at least a year of on-time payments for all financial obligations for best results with the lender. Borrowers who don’t heed this advice may find it very difficult to get a VA loan unless there are compensating factors such as a large down payment, excellent FICO scores, etc.

If you are a veteran who has recently returned to civilian life, you’ll need to furnish the lender with your employment data including contact details, pay stubs and other required information. All borrowers may be required to submit copies of tax records, depending on the lender and the nature of the loan.

Getting all this together takes time, which is why it’s best to start early and plan ahead at least 12 months in advance of your VA home loan application.

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