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National Guard - Multi Cam - Quicken Loans Zing BlogA VA loan is an incredible benefit for veterans or active duty service members. Unfortunately, many people who are eligible to receive this benefit aren’t aware they qualify, and most of those who aren’t aware are found in the Reserve and National Guard.

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

– retired

– 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 Rocket Mortgage®, to learn more.

This Post Has 37 Comments

    1. Hi Mr. Batten:

      You can use a VA loan on new construction. Quicken Loans only does loans on homes that have been completed. If you’re buying from a builder, you can get a preapproval online through Rocket Mortgage or go ahead and give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at (888) 980-6716. We don’t do construction loans, but there are lenders that do those.

    1. Hi Monica:

      Based on the information provided, it sounds like you absolutely would qualify for a VA loan. If you would like to get started online, you can do so through Rocket Mortgage or give one of our Home Loan Experts a call tomorrow or whenever you’re ready at (888) 980-6716.

      I would like to thank you for your service and I hope this has been helpful. Have a great day!

  1. Hi,

    I wanted to find out if I qualify for a personal loan if I’m currently non-active duty reservist and I’ve served about 10 years?

    1. Hi Tracy:

      There’s no reason you wouldn’t qualify based on your occupation. In terms of ability to repay, lenders don’t necessarily look at how you get the money as long as it comes in regularly and can be counted on. So your profession doesn’t have anything to do with it. In terms of whether you qualify, I think the best thing to do is just check out RocketLoans. You can look into your loan options without doing a hard pull on your credit. That would give you an idea of what you might qualify for. I hope this helps and thank you very much for your service!


  2. So I’m joining the Army Reserves I leave for training in October 2017 my contract is for 6 years. So my question is when I get back from training can the Army help me get a house or do I have to wait until my first 6 years is up?

    1. Unfortunately, you have to have six years of service, so you would have to wait. I’m sorry.

      Kevin Graham

  3. Hello, I am currently serving in the US Army Reserve. I’ve been in the service since 18 September 2014, my contract is six years but I plan on Re-Uping once my ETS comes closer. Would I qualify already or have to complete my first six years?

    1. Hi Michael:

      Unfortunately, you need six years of service time in the reserves. You may have other options. We have some low down payment programs if you’re interested in buying right now. You can go over loan options and get an online preapproval through Rocket Mortgage. If you’d like to speak with one of our Home Loan Experts, they’d be happy to take your call at (888) 980-6716. Thank you very much for your service! Hope this helps!

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Danny:

      I’m going to recommend you talk to someone about this. The VA policies require six years of service in the reserves. Depending on how they do the counting, you may be just short. One of our Home Loan Experts can tell you for sure and if necessary, look into other programs that might work for you. You can get in touch with them by calling (888) 980-6716.

      Kevin Graham

  4. I did boot camp in 1987 and attended school. I was a active reservist until 1994 with a honorable discharge. Desert Storm had begun, I was pregnant so my commander allowed me to be discharged did I hurt my chances to qualify for a VA loan?

    1. Hi Carol:

      It depends on when you get done with training and started serving as an active reservist. You have to have served six years as an active reservist. It also depends upon whether you served any period of active duty over that time. One of our Home Loan Experts could talk you through whether you qualify. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 980-6716. You could also check the VA website for the guidelines on whether you qualify for a certificate of eligibility that we would need to see for you to qualify for a VA loan. Hope this helps! Thank you very much for your service!

      Kevin Graham

  5. Joined the Air National Guard in Dec 2011. Coming up on six years this December, however, I have done a over a year of active duty orders in this almost 6 year time frame. Would I qualify?

  6. i was in the navy reserve for 8 years, and honorably discharge…. but was never activated, served my mandatory yearly training, never got activited.. do i qualify…?

    1. Hi Joe:

      Based on what you’re telling me, it sounds like you qualify. You can find out for sure through the VA eBenefits website. If you get your certificate of eligibility, you can get a full preapproval or refinance online through Rocket Mortgage or call (888) 728-4702. Hope this helps!

      Kevin Graham

  7. I was in the National Guard for three years enlisted for six is there any loans that I can qualify for my service in the Guards with good credit? Thanks!

  8. I am currently still in the US Army Reserves serving Nov 11, 2011 – present. A total of just over 5 years. Does Basic Training and AIT count towards active duty time? That was a total of 180 days if it does count and i would be eligible correct?

    1. Hi Dylan:

      Unfortunately, training time does not count toward active service time. I’m sorry I can’t give you a more positive answer. Thank you so much for your service!

      Kevin Graham

  9. So reserve time does not start till your first day at reserve unit?
    Graduated OCS Mar 2011
    TBS Oct 2011
    MOS Mar 2012
    First day at reserve unit APR 2012.

    Trying to see if I’m eligible for my six years right after OCS graduation, MAR 2011…. or is it six years after first day at unit APR 2012.


    1. Hi TK:

      The timeline doesn’t include training time, so it would be six years after you join the unit. Hope this helps!

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Michael:

      Unfortunately, you have to be in the reserves for six consecutive years of active duty. I’m sorry I can’t give you better news.

      Kevin Graham

  10. I served from 1993 to 1999 in the national guard. I was then on inactive duty for an additional two years until 2001 and then honorably discharged. I didn’t serve for more than six years which is how it is worded. Can it be six years exactly or does it have to be seven or more. Would that disqualify me or would I be eligible? Please let me know if you can. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi George:

      I’m not sure exactly how it works in this case, so I’m going to get you to a Home Loan Expert who will know the requirements for VA loans. They’ll be reaching out.

      Kevin Graham

  11. I served in the navy reserves from 11/2010-05/2015 I was honorable discharged due to a service related disability. Would I qualify?

    1. Hi Ezequiel:

      According to the VA website, you may be eligible on the basis of your service-connected disability. I’m going to have someone reach out to you with more information on next steps, but you might start with contacting the VA to find out more information.

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Michael:

      Based on the fact that you were in the reserve for seven years and were honorably discharged, you would qualify. You can find more information on the VA website. I’m going to forward your information to someone to help you get started if you’re interested in a loan. Thank you for your service!

      Kevin Graham

  12. I was in the Army Reserves from 1991- 1999. My unit deactivated in 1994. I went into Inactive Ready Reserve status. I was honorably discharged in 1999. Can I qualify for a COE for VA home loan?
    Thanks, Alison

    1. Hello, Alison. We appreciate your service, and I’ll be sure to have a home loan expert research your situation. They’ll send you an email to ask some more questions.

        1. Hi Henry:

          Without knowing the specific details on your service dates, it’s difficult for me to give a definitive answer here, but there’s an eligibility table on this page that should help you out.

          Kevin Graham

  13. How much is the funding fee for a National Guard who meets the criteria above on a 267k sales price with 20k down payment(roughly 7%)?

    Also can that person request his own COE through ebenefits if he feels it is faster than mailing the form in?

    1. Hi Lisa! I’ve passed this on to our team of mortgage experts who will reach out to you with more information.

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