Reservists and National Guard members are entitled to the same VA loan benefits as those in regular military service, with slight exception. It’s important to help these servicemen and women understand their eligibility requirements so that they too can take advantage of the benefits a VA loan has to offer.
In a nutshell, a VA loan is a mortgage issued by approved lenders that’s guaranteed by the federal government. It allows eligible service members and veterans to either refinance up to 100% of their home or buy a new home with no money down.
Members of the National Guard or Reserve may qualify for a VA loan if they meet one of the following qualifications:
- Served 6 years in selected reserve and were either
– honorably discharged
– transferred to Standby Reserve, or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve, after honorable service
If you served after August 1, 1990, the following rules apply when it comes to VA loan eligibility for National Guard personnel.
- Served in the Selected Reserve for more than 6 years
- Served in active duty for more than 90 days during a wartime period
- 90 total days of Title 32 duty provided that at least 30 of those days were served consecutively
- Discharged or released from active duty for a service-related disability
If you served between September 8, 1980 and August 1, 1990, the active-duty service requirement is 181 continuous days.
Once eligibility is determined, the Reservist or National Guard member must obtain their Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE can be obtained through their mortgage lender as long as they have proper proof of service. If necessary, VA Form 26-1880 can be submitted to the Atlanta Regional Loan Center online or by mail.
A VA loan is an incredible – and exclusive – benefit that eligible servicemen and women should take advantage of. They provide opportunities not offered with other loans, like the ability to refinance up to 100% of a home’s worth, no down payments on a home purchase, relaxed credit requirements, and more. If you or your spouse are in the Reserve or National Guard, and you’d like to know more about your options, contact a VA-approved lender, like Quicken Loans, to learn more.
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