VA loans are an effective way for military families to buy a house. This powerful home loan option is offered by private lenders like Security America Mortgage and supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s important to know what you and your spouse should expect from the loan application process and how you can get the VA loan benefits. Here are some questions you might have on the VA loan spouse requirements.
Your spouse cannot use your VA loan without you unless you meet specific requirements. The exceptions are if you become missing in action, a prisoner of war, or pass away in service or due to a service-related disability. Also, if you are totally disabled from service and you pass away due to unrelated causes, your spouse can use the VA loan without you.
Also, your spouse is not allowed to marry for a specific period if they want to use your VA loan. Your spouse can also use your VA loan with you by becoming a co-signer or co-borrower as long as they meet specific qualification requirements. A surviving spouse can also get a Certificate of Eligibility to get a VA-backed home loan.
How Can You Apply For A VA Loan With A Civilian Spouse?
You can apply and qualify for a VA loan with a civilian spouse by making them a co-borrower or a co-signer. Surviving spouses can also take out the VA loan on their own. A military spouse can co-sign with a civilian spouse on the house loan, but the income and credit standing will affect the loan details.
If the military spouse has a high income and credit rating, it will help the couple qualify for a larger loan or better interest rates. On the other hand, a military spouse with poor credit scores will increase your interest rates. Based on this, it is possible for a civilian spouse to get a VA loan.
Spouses can be co-borrower on a VA loan, and this would increase the amount that you and your spouse qualify for. Your spouse does not have to be on the VA loan as a qualified service member or veteran, but you can consider this to reduce your financial burdens and increase your loan amount.
A co-borrower is different from a co-signer on a VA loan. The co-signer is not added to the title, but the co-borrower is and will share in the responsibility for mortgage payments. The co-borrower will also own a stake in the property’s equity too. As a couple, there are more VA home loan benefits as a co-borrower than a co-signer.
How Can You Check Your VA Loan Eligibility?
If you are a veteran, you can check your VA loan eligibility with the Veteran Affairs website. You are eligible for a VA home loan if you meet the minimum active-duty service requirement, which is 24 continuous months. For service members, you must have served 90 continuous days without a break. Your eligibility also depends on when you served and your credit scores.
If you are a surviving spouse, you can get a Certificate of Eligibility to show the lender that you qualify for VA-backed home loans. You can apply for a COE if you are receiving Dependency & Indemnity Compensation. If you are not receiving DIC benefits, you would have to fill out an application for DIC, Survivors Pension, and Accrued Benefits.
A military transfer does not change the spouse requirements of a VA loan. If you transfer from one branch of the military to another, you can still apply for a VA loan. But keep in mind that the minimum active-duty service requirements are different depending on where you served, whether you’re a service member, veteran, reserve member, or national guard member.
Can my wife use my VA home loan without me?
Your wife can’t use your VA home loan without you. Generally, the spouse of a veteran or service member cannot use the VA loan by themselves. The veteran is always the primary borrower of the VA loan. But your wife or any other spouse can become the co-borrower or co-signer of the loan.
It’s important to note that VA loans are assumable. That means that the borrower can take over an existing VA loan, even if they were not eligible to take out the loan in the first place. That means that your wife can assume the loan if you are MIA or you passed away.
A co-borrower can affect your VA mortgage approval, especially if they have a low credit score and a low income. If the co-borrower has late payments and a lot of debt, it would actually reduce your chances of getting a VA loan. If you do get the loan, you can expect a higher interest rate in the long run.
Can A Service Member’s Spouse Get A VA Loan?
A service member’s spouse can get a VA loan, but only if they are a surviving spouse. If you want to get a VA-backed home loan, you would need a Certificate of Eligibility. This shows that you qualify for the VA loan. You also have to meet the income requirements and the lender’s credit scores. You can get a VA loan if the veteran is missing in action, died while in service or from a service-related disability, didn’t remarry, or the veteran is a prisoner of war.
There are no VA loans for dependent children. Children of veterans are not eligible for a VA loan, but they must have served and met other requirements. The VA loan is meant for veterans and their spouses to buy a home. As the child of a veteran, you can get benefits from localized VA programs. But, you would have to get a standard loan for your home.
A surviving spouse can get a VA loan as long as they are eligible and have received a Certificate of Eligibility. For a surviving spouse to qualify for a VA loan, they need to apply for a COE, and this depends on if you are receiving Dependency & Indemnity Compensation benefits or not. You can get a COE if you are the spouse of a veteran and the veteran is missing in action, died in service, or is a prisoner of war.
Divorce impacts VA home loan eligibility because a divorced military spouse is not eligible. A divorced spouse can only get a VA loan if they remarry another military member or they are a veteran themselves. Only surviving spouses of veterans are eligible for VA loans, but ex-spouses are not.
An ex-spouse cannot qualify for a VA home loan after a divorce. But the veteran can petition to allow the ex-spouse to assume the mortgage if the ex-spouse was a co-borrower and jointly liable on the loan before the divorce.
Are Military Spouses Eligible for a VA Home Loan?
Military spouses are only eligible for a VA home loan as a co-borrower, co-signer, a veteran themselves, or a surviving spouse of a disabled, MIA, or dead veteran. If you are a co-borrower or a co-signer with your military spouse, you can get the loan with them.
Two married veterans can only be co-borrowers on a loan when they both use their entitlement or one of them use their entitlement. A veteran and veteran spouse can apply for a joint loan to purchase a house.
Your spouse’s credit score will affect your VA loan if you add them on as a co-borrower. If your spouse’s credit score is low and they are a co-borrower on a loan, it can reduce the amount that you are eligible for, and it would also increase your interest.
You can purchase a home in a community property state on a VA home loan, even if your spouse is non-purchasing. A non-purchasing spouse is one where one spouse has a lower credit history, employment history, or income than the other, so the other spouse can qualify for the loan. Also, a couple can do this if they are in the midst of a divorce.
The parties that can be on the title for a VA home loan are the veteran or service member, a veteran or service member and their spouse, two veterans or service members, and in some cases, a veteran and non-veteran.
Take the first step toward buying a home or building a home with a new VA loan.
As a veteran or service member, you and your spouse can take the first step towards buying or building a home with a VA home loan. You can work with Security America Mortgage to easily navigate the VA home loan process. If you are a surviving spouse, you can also work with our licensed loan officer to apply for a VA home loan.
The Bottom Line for VA loan spouse requirements
With our detailed FAQ on VA loan spouse requirements, you have all the answers you need to start applying for your loan. We provide a seamless VA loan process to veterans and their spouses while meeting all the necessary VA loan spouse requirements.