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A VA loan is a mortgage for members of the military, veterans and their spouses that allows the borrower to buy or construct a home without a down payment, and often at a favorable interest rate. If you’re a military spouse, here’s how to know if you’re eligible for a VA loan.
Do you qualify for a VA loan?
If your spouse is a service member or veteran and eligible for a VA loan based on minimum service standards, you both can co-borrow the mortgage. This also applies if you’ve both served. At minimum, you’ll each need:
- A credit score of at least 620 (although some lenders accept as low as 580)
- A debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of no more than 41 percent
In addition, unless you’re on active duty, both you and your spouse need to move into the property within 60 days of closing the mortgage. Here’s more on VA loan requirements.
VA loan surviving spouse requirements
If you’re the spouse of a deceased veteran, you could qualify for a VA loan under these circumstances:
- The veteran died while in service (or from a disability related to service) and you didn’t remarry; or the veteran had been disabled and died, but their disability might not have been the cause of death
- The veteran died while in service (or from a disability related to service) and you didn’t remarry before Dec. 16, 2003 or turning 57 years old
- The veteran is missing in action or a prisoner of war
To apply, you’ll first need to obtain the veteran’s certificate of eligibility (COE) and DD Form 214 (record of service). You can get these online through the VA website or by contacting a regional VA office.