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VA Loan Eligibility Explained

Most buyers are surprised to learn how wide-reaching the VA Loan benefit is. If you have any connection at all to the military, it is in your best interest to have an agent who understands VA Loan eligibility and procedures well. While it is not automatically your best loan option, it is certainly one that should be understood and thoroughly investigated before you buy.

Thanks to the new Veterans Benefits and Healthcare Improvements Act signed by Donald Trump before he left office, National Guard troops who have served at least 90 days of qualifying Title 32 active duty service, including a stint of at least 30 days, will be newly eligible for the loan.

 

You can find complete, updated information at https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/home-loans/eligibility/.

 

A summary of information on eligibility is below:

Requirements For Veterans and Active Duty Military
When did you serve? You meet the minimum active-duty service requirement if you served for at least this amount of time:
Between September 16, 1940, and July 25, 1947 (WWII)
  • 90 total days, or
  • Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between July 26, 1947, and June 26, 1950 (post-WWII period)
  • 181 continuous days, or
  • Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955 (Korean War)
  • 90 total days, or
  • Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between February 1, 1955, and August 4, 1964 (post-Korean War period)
  • 181 continuous days, or
  • Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War), or
February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, if you served in the Republic of Vietnam
  • 90 total days, or
  • Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between May 8, 1975, and September 7, 1980 (post-Vietnam War period), or
Between May 8, 1975, and October 16, 1981, if you served as an officer
  • 181 continuous days, or
  • Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
Between September 8, 1980, and August 1, 1990, or
Between October 17, 1981, and August 1, 1990, if you served as an officer
  • 24 continuous months, or
  • The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called to active duty
Between August 2, 1990, and the present (Gulf War)
  • 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, a reduction in force, or for convenience of the government, or
  • Less than 90 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
You separated from service after September 7, 1980, or
After October 16, 1981, if you served as an officer
  • 24 continuous months, or
  • The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, or
  • At least 181 days if you were discharged for a hardship, a reduction in force, or for convenience of the government, or
  • Less than 181 days if you were discharged for a service-connected disability
I’m on active duty now 90 continuous days
Requirements For Those Who Served in Reserve or National Guard Military
When did you serve? You meet the minimum active-duty service requirement if you served for at least this amount of time:
Between August 2, 1990, and the present (Gulf War) 90 days of active-duty service
Any time period 6 creditable years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, and one of the descriptions below is true for you

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • 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