Ed is standing by to answer all your VA loan questions! Request a Private Call with Ed
Who is eligible for a VA Loan?
Three Minute Read
Written by Ed Andrews III on July 29th, 2020
Can all veterans of the armed forces qualify for a VA loan? Short answer....no. Is it possible for a civilian who never served a day in the military to qualify for a VA loan? Actually....yes. Stick with me guys, I’m going to give you all the details.

So first let’s talk about the VA’s service requirements for veterans. The biggest variable in the amount of service time you need to be eligible for the VA loan program is heavily dependent on whether or not you served during wartime or peacetime. Specific wartime dates have been established, and are as follows:

Korean War – 6.27.1950 to 1.31.1955 
Vietnam War – 8.5.1964 to 5.7.1975
Gulf War – 8.2.1990 to To Be Determined

If you did not serve during those time periods you are considered to have served during peacetime. If you have been separated from service your discharge will need to have been under conditions other than dishonorable. If your discharge was other than honorable, it may call for more investigation by the VA.

For those with wartime service they will become eligible for VA loan benefits after 90 days of service. For those with peacetime service they will be eligible after 181 days of continuous service.

However, there are additional stipulations for those who enlisted after September 7th, 1980 or became officers after October 16th, 1981. The VA requires that you have completed at least 24 continuous months of active duty service.

Otherwise you must have completed the full period for which you were called to active duty, but not less than 90 days during wartime or 181 continuous days during peacetime. This time in service requirement can be waived if you were discharged for a service connected disability.

For members of the Guard or Reserves who do not meet the above requirements, they can become eligible after six years of service. Again in the case of separation for a service-connected injury, this time requirement can be waived. If separated your discharge must be honorable, as a general discharge will not qualify you to use the loan program. 

Civilians Who Can Get VA Loans

Now let’s talk about civilians who can use the VA loan program. Let’s start with military spouses that have survived the veteran. Surviving spouses can use the program under one of the following circumstances:

• Un-remarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service-connected disability

• Spouse of a servicemember missing in action or held as a prisoner of war

• Surviving spouse receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits in cases where the veteran’s death was not service connected

• Surviving spouse who remarried after the age of 57 and on December 16th, 2003 or later.

Now lets dive into the list of other civilians who can be eligible for VA loan financing. The list is as follows:

• Members of the Public Health Service

• Cadets at any of the military service academies

• Merchant Seaman (additional stipulations may apply)

• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

If it sounds like you’re someone who may be eligible for a VA loan you may be asking, what are maximum loan amounts for a VA loan. So be sure to watch my video “what is the maximum loan amount for VA” where I’ll be breaking that down in detail.   
All Your Information is Protected When You Sign Up
About VA Loans With Ed
VA Loans With Ed was created by a veteran for veterans. This is the premier source for veterans to learn everything they need to know about the VA loan, and get the most out of the benefit they earned.

About the Author:
Ed Andrews III

Ed Andrews III is a mortgage loan officer, and U.S. veteran of the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars. He is an expert on VA home loans, and dedicated to helping veterans achieve home-ownership.
Related Articles & Videos
Learn more about the VA home loan
If you have questions I'm here to answer. Schedule a call with me.
If you're ready to take the next step in becoming a homeowner this is where you start.
Share Us on Social


VA Loans With Ed - Nulli Secundus - NMLS #156853
Powered By: Cardinal Financial Company Limited Partnership
1600 W 7th St, Suite 401, Fort Worth, TX 76102 - (682) 429-3443 - ed@edandrewsiii.com

VA Loans With Ed - Copyright 2020 - All Rights Reserved