VA Mortgage Guidelines | VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
Mortgage companies often have minimum credit scores or debt-to-income caps on VA mortgages and what Veterans often do not know is that there are lenders that have easier VA mortgage guidelines. VA loan eligibility requirements start with a borrower obtaining a VA loan eligibility letter known as a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Veterans often get discouraged because they are not aware that VA loan eligibility requirements can be different depending on a lender due to lender’s VA mortgage guidelines being more difficult to qualify for.
VA Mortgage Guidelines – VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
- 100% financing available with low credit scores with no mortgage insurance.
- Manual underwriting available.
- Non-traditional credit may be eligible with a minimum of 3 credit references with a 12 month rating for each.
- Cash out up to 100% loan-to-value.
- Need a VA loan eligibility letter, also known as a certificate of eligibility.
- 1-4 units are available for VA loans.
- Condos are eligible as long as the condominium complex is VA-approved.
- Debt-to-income ratios goes by the Automated Underwriting System (AUS) findings.
- Findings are determined during the pre-approval process, but finalized during underwriting.
VA Loan Eligibility Letter – Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
The VA loan eligibility letter, also known as a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), is required in order to determine a borrower’s eligibility for a VA-backed loan. Evidence is required and depends on the nature of eligibility, which can be determined by:
- A Veteran and a current/former Reserve member or National Guard must have (activated Federal active service):
- DD form 214
- Active Duty Service member
Statement of service, which is signed by:
- Personal office
- Commander of the unit or higher headquarters
- National Guard members that are a discharged member and have not been activated for Federal active service:
- NGB Form 22 and report of separation and record of service for each period.
- NGB Form 23 and retirement points accounting with proof of character of service.
- Surviving spouse in receipt of dependency and indemnity compensation benefits:
- VA form 26-1817 and veterans
- Not receiving dependency and indemnity compensation:
- After gathering documentation, a borrower can apply online through the eBenefits portal, apply by mail, or apply through a lender.
Lost Documentation For VA Loan Eligibility Letter – Certificate of Eligibility
In order to request military service records, a borrower should go to the National Archives website or ask a Mortgage Loan Originator on how to obtain lost documentation to apply for a VA mortgage.