Articles and news about VA loans and HUD requirements. VA loans are a great way to buy a home with no down payment.

Am I Eligible For a VA Home Loan?

One of the most frequently asked questions about VA home loans is, “Am I eligible for a VA insured home loan?”

VA mortgages are for former and current members of the U.S. armed forces who qualify under the VA rules for time in service and, where applicable, the nature of the veteran’s discharge from military service.

VA loan eligibility is also given to qualified surviving spouses of military members who died during or as a result of military service.

But the rules for VA home loan eligibility vary based on a number of factors, including the dates of service. For example, VA loan rules for those who served in the military during the Vietnam War are different than the rules of eligibility for those serving in today’s military.

In general, the rules for those currently serving on active duty state, “If you are now on regular duty (not active duty for training), you are eligible after having served 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service.”

For those serving in the Guard or Reserves, the rules state, “If you are not otherwise eligible and you have completed a total of 6 years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and 2-week active duty for training) and

  • Were discharged with an honorable discharge, or
  • Were placed on the retired list, or
  • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable service, or
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves

Individuals who completed less than 6 years may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.”

For all other veterans, please review the VA official site’s General Rules for VA Loan Eligibility section at to see the guidelines for your specific dates of service and other factors. You can also contact the VA directly to learn more about VA home loan eligibility as it pertains to your specific circumstances.

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About Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association.

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