Wondering if VA home loan financing can help you on your journey to homeownership in the thriving Greater Seattle area? If you’re a veteran, active-duty service member, or surviving spouse, here’s what you should know about eligibility for VA loans in Seattle.
Military Service Requirements
To qualify for a VA home loan, you must meet the minimum service requirement, which varies depending on whether you are a veteran or currently on active duty.
Active Duty: If you’ve served for at least 90 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service), you meet the minimum service requirement to qualify for a VA loan.
Veterans: The minimum service requirement depends on when you served.
If you served after August 2, 1990 to the Present, you qualify for a VA loan if you served for:
- At least 24 continuous months, or…
- The full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, or…
- At least 90 days if you were discharged for a hardship, or a reduction in force, or…
- Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
For veterans who served between World War II and August of 1990 there are 9 different VA loan qualifying categories. It’s too complicated to list all of the rules here, so if you served during that time period, please contact us at Best Mortgage and we’ll be happy to determine your VA loan eligibility for you.
National Guard: If you’ve served for at least 90 days of active duty after August 2, 1990, you meet the minimum service requirement. If you served in the National Guard prior to August 1990, contact us at Best Mortgage to determine your VA loan eligibility.
Reserves: If you’ve served for at least 90 days of active duty after August 2, 1990, you meet the minimum service requirement. If you served in the Reserves prior to August 1990, contact us at Best Mortgage to determine your VA loan eligibility.
Surviving Spouse: You may be able to qualify for a VA loan if you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran who’s Missing in Action (MIA) or being held as a prisoner of war (POW). The rules are complicated, so please contact us at Best Mortgage and we will determine your VA loan eligibility.
Discharge Status Impact
Your discharge status carries weight in determining your VA loan eligibility. An honorable discharge usually opens the doors to the full spectrum of VA loan benefits. A general discharge under honorable conditions might still confer VA loan eligibility, and even if you do not meet the minimum service requirements listed above, you still may qualify for a VA loan if you were discharged under certain circumstances such as hardship, reduction in force, certain medical conditions, the convenience of the government, etc. It is complicated, so please contact us at Best Mortgage and we will determine if you are eligible for a VA Loan.
Understanding the ins and outs of the military service requirements and discharge status is critical. That’s why you must work with VA Loan Experts like Best Mortgage.
Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document from the VA that verifies you are eligible for a VA loan based on your military service You can request a VA home loan COE online. Or simply contact us at Best Mortgage and we will obtain a COE from the VA for you.
Credit Score and Financial Requirements
The VA understands that veterans and active military borrowers sometimes have “less than perfect credit.” When it comes to the minimum required credit score, VA loans are much more lenient than “conventional loans.” You may be able to qualify for a VA loan with a credit score as low as 580. Financial stability and income matter, too. VA lenders will assess your debt-to-income (DTI)ratio, but again, they are more lenient than conventional lenders. You just have to show that you have sufficient income to live on after paying your monthly housing expenses and other monthly debts.
Entitlement and Loan Limits
VA Loan Entitlement essentially refers to the amount of money that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees to lenders on your behalf. Most qualifying veterans wield full entitlement, letting you borrow up to the VA loan limit with NO DOWN PAYMENT.
In 2023, the VA loan limit for most U.S. counties was $726,200. The VA Loan limit increases at the beginning of each new year. Any VA Loan amount over the “VA Loan Limit” is considered a “VA Jumbo Loan.” Interest rates on VA Jumbo Loans are slightly higher than VA Loan amounts under the standard VA Loan limit. But a major advantage of the VA Jumbo Loan is that you can buy a home with a sales price of up to $2 million with NO MONEY DOWN! No other “Jumbo Loan” program allows that.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Greater Seattle VA Loans Today
Want to see if you qualify for a VA home loan in the Greater Seattle area? Turn to Best Mortgage®. A local, family-owned lender, we have been proudly serving veterans and active-duty service members for more than four decades. Contact Us to learn more about VA loans or call (425) 649-6000 to get started today.