Loan Eligibility: Who Else Can Qualify?
We have discussed applying for VA loan eligibility and how it can be done through the lender before. Active duty military, retired and separated military, plus members of the National Guard and Reserve who meet the time in service and/or discharge requirements may all apply for VA loan eligibility. This can be done online, by mail or even with the lender’s help.
But is there anyone else who is qualified to apply for VA home loan benefits? Can surviving spouses of veterans or the children of veterans also apply to use this benefit?
At the time of this writing, current legislation does not permit children of veterans alive or dead to apply for a VA home loan. There have been many changes to VA benefits including allowing spouses of veterans to use the G.I. Bill in some cases, and it’s entirely possible that at one point, somewhere down the road, the government may decide to explore allowing veterans’ children this option. But under the current rules, it is not permitted.
Surviving spouses of a deceased veteran may apply for a VA home loan under specific circumstances as spelled out in VA regulations. According to the VA’s official website, “The unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died on active duty or as the result of a service-connected disability is eligible for the home loan benefit.”
Additionally, the VA allows a spouse to apply for a VA refinancing loan if he or she had a VA loan with the deceased veteran previously (this is allowed regardless of the cause of the veteran’s death).
At the time of this writing, some spouses may believe they can apply for a VA loan using the “age 57 rule” which states, “…a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit.”
However, it’s important to note that there’s a limitation on that rule for some applicants. “…a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 16, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.
Surviving spouses who wish to apply for VA loan eligibility should contact the VA or check out the VA’s benefits page for more information.
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.