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VA Loan Eligibility for National Guard Service and VA Home Loans

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A reader asks, “My husband served in the National Guard and I am wondering if he would qualify for VA benefits…VA loan, hotel discounts, etc.”

We can’t comment about anything other than VA loans here, but when it comes to National Guard service and VA loan eligibility, the VA official site at VA.gov has plenty to say. National Guard members must serve a minimum amount of time in service unless they are otherwise eligible for the VA loan benefit due to their prior military service (where applicable). VA loan eligibility requires that those who do not have prior service time must serve:

“Six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, AND

  • Were discharged honorably, 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, OR
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserve”

In order to get a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA showing the veteran has served the required time and is eligible to apply for the VA loan benefit, the following proof of military service is required:

“A Statement of service signed by (or by the direction of) the adjutant, personnel officer or commander of your unit or higher headquarters.” VA loan rules say this statement must contain the following data:

  • Your full name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Entry date on duty
  • The total number of creditable years of service
  • The duration of any lost time
  • The name of the command providing the information”

Once this information is submitted to the lender, your VA loan application can move forward. It’s important to know that being eligible to apply for a VA home loan is NOT the same as VA loan approval. Borrowers must qualify for VA loans the same way they qualify for any other type of home loan–your FICO scores, credit repayment history and other factors are important when it’s time to submit your loan application.

Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.

Bruce Reichstein

About Bruce Reichstein

Bruce Reichstein is an Expert on (VA) Military/Veteran Home Loan Guidelines for over 26 years. He is an experienced VA Loan Mortgage Banker who is passionate about assisting US Military Veterans utilize their Veteran Eligibility to purchase a home.

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