VA Loan Requirements for 2022
Are you considering purchasing a home in 2022? Wondering if you qualify for a VA home loan? Here are the latest VA loan guidelines, how to qualify for a VA loan, and an overview of all other VA loan requirements for 2022.
Who Qualifies for a VA Loan?
You may qualify for a VA loan if:
- You are currently serving in active duty and have served at least 90 continuous days.
- You are a veteran who has served in the military for 90 days during wartime or 181 days in peacetime.
- You have served for 90 days in active-duty service or six years in the National Guard or Selected Reserve.
- You are a surviving spouse of a veteran who died serving in the military or from a service-related disability and you have not remarried. Or if you married after the age of 57 or Dec. 16, 2003.
- You are a spouse of a service member who is missing in action or a prisoner of war.
Other terms and restrictions may apply to these requirements. You also may still qualify for a VA loan even if you don’t meet the length-of-service requirements. The best way to determine your eligibility is to review the VA’s requirements and reach out to a loan specialist for any questions you may have.
If you were dishonorably discharged or were discharged with an “other than honorable” discharge, you might not qualify for a VA loan. But you can apply with the VA to upgrade your discharge status.
Additional VA Loan Requirements
Additional requirements for qualifying for a VA loan include credit, income, and DTI requirements. The VA also has specific requirements regarding residual income, a qualifier that is exclusive to this type of loan.
Residual income is the amount of income you have left each month after all of your debt payments. Expenses including childcare and child support are factored into your debt-to-income ratio and out of your residual income. The required residual income will change based on the number of individuals and dependents in your household. This requirement ensures that after you pay your mortgage, you still have the money you need to cover basic living expenses.
The VA does not have specific requirements for credit scores, but private lenders will. The qualifying credit scores may vary depending on what lender is servicing your mortgage. This is also why it is important to shop around before you decide which VA-approved lender to service your mortgage loan.
Typically credit score requirements fall within the 620-640 range but can go as low as 600 depending on the housing market climate.
The VA prefers a debt-to-income ratio of 41% but if your DTI exceeds this minimum but you have enough residual income, you can still qualify for a VA loan.
Down Payment Requirements
Typically, the VA does not require a down payment for VA loans. However, there may be closing costs you are still expected to cover and if the price of the purchase property is greater than the appraised value, you may also be expected to make up the difference if the seller is unwilling to negotiate the selling price.
The VA has minimum property requirements for any home being purchased with a VA loan. These standards guarantee the home is safe, sanitary, and structurally sound.
As soon as you are under contract and have signed a purchase contract, your lender will procure an appraisal from a VA-approved appraiser to assess the value of your purchase property and to make sure it meets the VA’s minimum property requirements.
Requirements for Other VA Loans and Grants
There are other housing grants provided by the VA for veterans and service members with service-connected disabilities, as well as home loans for Native Americans.
Native American Direct Loan
The NADL is available to members of specified Native American tribes and their spouses. It is also available to Alaska Native corporations and residents of Pacific Island territories.
To qualify for the NADL, begin by verifying that your community participates in the NADL program. Next, apply for a VA certificate of eligibility and contact the VA regional loan center for your state.