Many veterans, active duty service members, and their families have benefited from the helpful home ownership guarantee offered by the VA loan program. However, many individuals have been uncertain and questioning if Reservists and National Guard members have access to VA loans.
Reservists and National Guard members can apply for the VA loan program and be eligible for all the benefits offered by the program if they meet specific requirements. If you are a reservist or member of the National Guard and you’re considering what VA options are available for you, this article will explain in detail all that’s required for you to get a VA home loan.
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What is a VA Loan?
A VA loan is a loan program offered through the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs to veterans and active duty service members for the purchase or refinance of a home. In order words, the VA loan allows current or past service members and their surviving spouses looking to purchase a home with low-interest rates, little or down payment, and a government agency guarantee.
Members of the National Guard or Army Reserve can qualify for a VA loan, but they have to meet certain requirements before they can be eligible to access the loan. However, the issue is that many reservists or National Guard members are unaware that they can qualify for a VA loan.
Let’s examine how a Reserve or National Guard member can go about getting a VA home loan.
Are Reservists and National Guard Members Eligible For a VA Loan?
One vital documentation a Reservist or National Guard needs in order to apply for a VA loan is the certificate of eligibility. Before you can proceed with your application for a VA home loan, you will require this documentation.
If you don’t have the certificate of eligibility documentation, you can file for it online using Form 26-1880. You can solicit the help of a VA-approved lender to get your certificate of eligibility “COE” from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This makes it much faster for you to get the document.
In addition to having the COE, you need to have a good credit score. This is another important determinant of obtaining a VA loan. At American Security Mortgage, we can help you review your credit score and income sources verification to facilitate your eligibility.
VA Home Loan Benefits For Reservists And National Guard Members
There are various VA home loan benefits available to veterans and their families if they qualify for the VA loan program. The benefits that can be derived from this program include approval of loan requests with lower interest rates, no predetermined down payment, limits on closing costs, no monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI), and competitive interest rates. The VA home loan benefits can assist eligible veterans to save enough dollars when purchasing or refinancing their homes.
Most people pegged the biggest benefit of the VA home loan to be the fact that you don’t have to pay a down payment on your home. However, another interesting VA home loan benefit is that of credit score. The Department of Veterans Affairs makes it possible for mortgage lenders to be lenient on the credit score requirement for veterans, service members of the National Guard and Reserve, and their families to qualify for a VA loan.
Therefore, there’s an off chance that if you have a lower credit score, you may be eligible for a mortgage under the VA loan program and receive a competitive interest rate.
Qualifications To Apply For a VA Loan As a Reservist or a National Guard Member
Served at least six years honorably
Before you can be eligible for a VA loan, you need to have six years of active service in the National Guard or Reserve. This requirement is all-encompassing.
Once you attain six years of honorable service, you are automatically eligible for a VA home loan.
Mobilized for 90 consecutive days in active duty service under Title 10
There are instances where the government can grant home eligibility to members before the six years stipulated interval. Over the years, National Guard or Reserve members called to active duty service under Title 10 have been granted VA loan eligibility, on the occasion that they serve at least 90 consecutive days.
Activated under Title 32 after serving at least 90 days, 30 of which are consecutive
National Guard members activated under Title 32 orders and have served 90 days of full-time active duty, out of which 30 must be consecutive, are also eligible for a VA loan.
In cases of non-active duty service due to disability, a reserve or National Guard member must be honorably discharged for service-connected disability before they can be eligible for VA loans.
Aside from the six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, another eligibility requirement is being placed on the retired list or continued service in the selected service.
Transferred to standby reserve after honorable service
Another VA Loan eligibility thing to consider is being transferred to a Standby Reserve or some part of the Ready Reserve different from the Selected Reserve. The service must be characterized as honorable service.
Additional VA Loan Consideration a Reservist Will Need
Reservists are not excluded from paying the VA funding fee when applying for a VA loan and expect to take hold of the benefits they offer. The VA funding fee is a one-time added to the cost of the VA loan paid by veterans, service members, or their spouses as the case may be.
The VA funding fee is included in VA loans to help finance the program so that other service members and their families can access the same privilege provided by the program in the future. Also, the VA funding fee helps cover losses incurred from defaulted loans. The VA funding fee is usually paid at closing.
Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs)
The essential significance of VA loans is to ensure and promote home ownership. It is on this premise that the VA exerts effort to ensure that the homes purchased with VA loans meet some required levels of habitability, especially their safety, soundness, and sanitary. This is the basis of the Minimum Property Requirements.
To ensure these standards are meant, the VA imposes MPRs on all properties bought using VA loans. Before your loan is finally approved, the VA will send appraisers to check the property. Your VA loan may suffer delays if there are any issues discovered on your property by the appraisals.
it is until all issues relating to MPRs are resolved either the buyer, seller, or both before your VA loan will be approved.
Considering the homeownership benefits offered to National Guard and Reserve members when they get a VA loan and the objectives, VA loans cannot be used to purchase an investment or real estate For properties. When you purchase or refinance a home with VA loans, it needs to function as your primary residence only.
To enforce these standards, the VA imposes an occupancy requirement. The occupancy requirements imply that within 60 days of closing your VA mortgage loan, you must occupy the home and make it your primary residence. You must also live in the residence for at least a year.
It’s important to note that there’s an exception to these requirements for activated or deployed National Guard and Reserve members. As long as your spouse adheres to and meets the occupancy requirements.
VA Loan Documents Required For Reservists or National Guard Members
The required paperwork and documentation for VA loans may slightly differ for Reservists and National Guard members compared to Veterans. However, the VA loan application process is similar for borrowers. They both have access to similar home purchasing benefits using this process.
To begin your mortgage process using the VA loan program, Reservists will be required to present a pointed statement and a copy of the discharge statement. Whereas for National Guard, lenders may request a DD-214 and NGB-22 document. These documents will be accompanied by a certificate of eligibility which can be obtained by filling the Form 26-1880 online or through a VA-approved lender.
A quick summary of specific documents needed by lenders for VA loan processing is listed below:
National Guard members: NGB-22 or NGB-23
The NGB-22 or 23 form is the National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service. It is a document required by members of the Guards which shows the proof of service and conformation that they have served the required time to qualify for VA loan.
Army Reserve Members: DARP Form FM 249-2E or ARPC Form 606-E
DARP Form FM 249-2E is a form that shows the Chronological Statement of Retirements Points of the Army Reserve members. They essentially indicate the six qualifying years of active service, which is required to get a VA loan.
Navy Reserve Members: NRPC 1070-124
The NRPC 1070-124 form is the Navy Reserve Annual Retirement Point Record. The form is required to indicate that a particular service member completed his years of service.
Air Force Reserve Members: AF 526
AF 526 is used by the Air Force Reserve members to record their point credit information. This document is needed by the Air Force Reserve Members as an eligibility requirements in acquiring a VA home loan.
Marine Corps Reserve Members: NAVMC HQ509 or NAVMC 798
NAVMC HQ509 is the Reserve Retirement Service Report issued to Marine Corps Reserve Members and it required to qualify for Va home loans.
Coast Guard Reserve Members: CG 4174 or 4175
The form CG 4174 is the Coast Guard Reserve Point Statement. It is one of the most essential documents for a reservist and it’s required when they seek to obtain a VA loan.
Receive A VA Loan Quote From Security American Mortgage
To ascertain if you qualify for a VA loan as a Reservists, National Guard, and Military Service member, contact us at Security American Mortgage. We are proud to provide service members, veterans, and their families with some of the most demanding VA loans in the U.S. We will provide you with all information and assistance you need to apply for VA loans as a reservist.