What are VA loans?

What is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan issued by private lenders and backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans help U.S. veterans, active-duty service members, and widowed military spouses purchase a home.

This type of loan is an attractive option for Veterans, as it is fairly easy to qualify for and does not require a down payment.

How does a VA Loan Work?

VA home loans are one of two nonconventional (or government) loans available today. VA loans are specifically guaranteed by the government.

What are VA Loan Requirements?

Typically, a Veteran is eligible if you fall into one of these three categories:

  • You are an active-duty service member or an honorably discharged veteran who has 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime or 181 days of active service during peacetime.
  • You have served more than six years in the National Guard or the Selected Reserve.
  • You are the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty.

 
If you decide to go through the application process, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to show mortgage lenders you qualify for a VA loan. You can apply for a COE through the VA website, by mail or through your lender.