It is now even easier for a veteran to get a loan for home ownership through the new loan program from the VA. The most important part of VA loan eligibility is military servie including the National Guard or Reserves. Qualification means that you will be able to purchase a home or property generally at a much lower interest rate then conventional programs and with little of no down payment. Here are some frequent questions and concerns about VA loan guidelines and eligibility:

  • How Do I Qualify For A VA Loan?
  • What Will A VA Loan Guarantee?
  • Applying For A IRRRL Streamline Refinance?

How Do I Qualify For A VA Loan?

The benefits of a VA home loan are only available to veterans or military personnel. However, in order to qualify for a VA home loan, the length of your service or deployment will be factored into determining your eligibility. For the most part, honorably discharged service members or active duty personnel will qualify for the VA home loan. Specific requirements for a VA Loan include: 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves; 181 days of service during peacetime (active duty); 90 days of service during war time (active duty); you are the spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty. Only by an individual that has already used a VA loan can a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) can only be used to refinance a property or home. With the IRRRL you won’t have to re-qualify for your loan in order to refinance your existing mortgage. For more information about eligibility please visit

What Will A VA Loan Guarantee?

Because the VA assumes some of the risk of the loan, the lenders are protected from any substantial loss. Mortgage banks and companies provide the funds for VA loans not the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information about VA home loan lenders click here. VA loans and guidelines will differ from lender to lender, but various state regulations may also change loan programs. Because of theses differences from state to state, all veterans must still qualify because all may not be eligible for the program.

Applying For A VA Streamline Refinance?

In order to help individuals with VA home loans lower their rates the VA Streamline Refinance. An individual must speak with a loan officer to apply for a VA IRRRL. All the necessary paperwork can be completed but the loan officer and they can answer any question that you may have. Usually, the process won’t take more than 20 minutes. Keep in mind that if you meet over the phone with a loan office they will have to send you the necessary paperwork to be completed.

Frequently Asked Questions about VA Streamline Guidelines

Almost everyone has questions regarding the VA streamline refinance program, because the guidelines are so specific. The difference in rates between lenders also includes guidelines, they will be different for each lender. One common example is credit score, the minimum credit score will be different from lender to lender. Again, don’t forget to shop around because not every lender is the same! Here are some common guideline questions:

Does the VA streamline require a minimum credit score?
In 2013, many lenders have set their minimum credit score to 640 for the VA streamline. That said, not every lender has set 640 as the minimum credit score and if you have less than a 640 it is very important that you shop multiple lenders if you want to do a VA streamline. If you shop around enough, you might be surprised to learn that some lenders may not require a credit score at all!

Does the VA streamline require an appraisal?
In 2013, it is common for some lenders to have a VA streamline with appraisal program and a VA streamline without appraisal program. The key about an appraisal is that if you owe more on your mortgage than the house is worth – then you will want to get a VA streamline without an appraisal done. Not every lender will have a VA streamline without appraisal, but if you shop around you should be able to find a VA approved lender who can help you get a streamline done without an appraisal.

What are VA non allowables?
VA non allowables are charges that are associated with your streamline transaction that the VA will not let the borrower pay or they will not insure the loan. The is very good news if you are the borrower.

Do I have to work with the same lender I make my payments to if I want to streamline?
No. You can work with any VA approved lender that you would like to. In fact, if you want to get the best deal – be sure to shop multiple lenders. Rates and fees and guideline overlays are often different between VA approved lenders.

Do I have to work with a VA lender?
Yes. The lender you choose to work with must be “VA approved”.

Are there other places I can learn about the VA streamline program?

Official online sources regarding VA home loan guaranty