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.