You have to do more than just serve in the military to get your VA home loan benefits. You have to serve enough time and have an honorable discharge.
However, honorable doesn’t mean perfect. There are different types of discharges you can have and still get the VA mortgage benefits. Keep reading to learn just what they are and how they can help you.
The first thing to focus on is the time served. If you don’t serve enough time, it won’t matter what type of discharge you have. In short, you must serve at least 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime. If you are in the Reserves or National Guard, you must serve at least 6 years before you are eligible for home loan benefits.
The Type of Discharge
Where it really comes down to the nitty gritty, though, is the type of discharge you had. Below are the most common that will allow you to use your VA home loan benefits.
The easiest rating that ensures you will have home loan benefits is the honorable discharge. There is no reason for anyone to contest your eligibility for the program because you left the military on good terms. A person with this type of mark on their record showed exemplary service and personally conducted themselves appropriately while in the service.
You may also have a general discharge. While not as good as honorable, it still leaves you eligible for VA home loan benefits. You receive this type if you satisfactorily completed your time in the military but had some type of punishment (non-judicial). In other words, you didn’t meet all of the military’s requirements, but you an overall good service member.
If you received an Other Than Honorable Discharge, you will not be eligible for VA benefits. This means you had some type of violation that could include security, violence, or an offense that landed you in court. You may or may not have served time in jail and you probably cannot re-enlist in the service at a later date.
The final type of discharge is bad conduct. There is no getting around this one as it usually entails a court order which may or may not include prison time. Under no uncertain circumstances could you secure home loan benefits if you have this type of discharge.
Providing Your Records
You will have to provide the VA lender with proof of your service and discharge with Form DD-214. This is usually all that the VA and/or the lender need to determine your eligibility. From there, the lender can request your Certificate of Entitlement, which is required in order to secure a VA loan.
However, if you find that you are not eligible, but do not believe your records are accurate, you can request an ‘upgrade’ or change to your records. In order to do so, you will have to go to the Discharge Review Board to have your records amended. This could take time, but it could mean the difference between eligibility for a VA home loan and not having these benefits.
If you do have VA home loan benefits, you can enjoy 100% financing with the ability to roll your closing costs into the loan. It is a great benefit for veterans to use in order to secure the home they want without having to wait until they can save enough money up for a home. The VA will guarantee 25% of the loan as long as you have the appropriate discharge.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»