Whether it’s their first time purchasing a home or not, many veterans who are prospective home buyers may have questions regarding the government’s VA loan program. With that in mind, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on VA loans.
Who is eligible for a VA loan?
Before qualifying for a VA loan, veterans must obtain a certificate of eligibility; a general rule is that this certificate is granted when a minimum of 90 days were served during wartime, or 181 days were served during peace time and the service member received an honorable discharge. Here, we list the requirements for a VA loan certificate of eligibility as they apply to specific service time periods and branches of service: post-WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, current active duty, National Guard and reserves.
Do veterans need good credit for a VA loan?
While good credit is necessary for most home loans, lenders are allowed to set their own minimum credit scores for VA loans – and because of this, they may allow special credit provisions for their VA loan applicants. At Wholesale Capital Corporation, it may be possible for VA loan applicants to qualify without meeting a minimum credit score (as opposed to FHA loan borrowers, who must have a credit score of 580 and conventional loan borrowers, who must have a credit score of 620). We do this as a service for our credit- challenged veterans who are otherwise qualified for a loan; however, VA borrowers should ask their loan officer for details.
Can veterans rent out a home purchased with a VA loan?
While a borrower who is benefiting from a VA loan must sign a statement certifying that he or she intends to occupy the property as their own home, the home is theirs once they move in. They should intend for the home to be their primary residence (not a vacation home, second home or investment property). We explain the owner occupancy rule for VA loans, in addition to Wholesale Capital Corporation’s policy on VA loan owner occupancy, in full detail here.
Can a spouse’s income help veterans qualify for VA loans?
Yes, it can! Please see the next question for a full list of income sources that are eligible for VA loan income requirements.
What income sources are eligible for a VA loan?
Applicants for VA loans can claim the following income sources:
- Salary, overtime, bonus and commission income from one’s employer
- Self-employment income
- Spouse’s salary, if the spouse is co-signing on the loan
- Part-time employment income, if the applicant has two years of employment history without interruption.
- Retirement income, provided that the income will extend beyond the next three years
- Social Security
- Alimony or child support, with proof that the last 12 months of payments were made on time
- Rental property income from properties you rent out (not roommate income)
What other financial requirements must be met for VA loans?
There is some personal criteria that applicants for VA loans in California will be asked to meet, including no unpaid liens, no judgements and no bankruptcies in the past two years (Chapter 7) or one year (Chapter 13).
What are the VA loan limits?
VA loan limits vary by county, as do all conforming loan limits. In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, VA loans in California should not exceed $417,001 – but if the borrower needs a loan that exceeds that amount, it may be possible to apply for a VA jumbo loan at Wholesale Capital Corporation. We will be happy to answer your questions if you believe you qualify for this option.
Although this addresses some common VA loan FAQs, we understand that not all VA loan questions are answered here. If you need more information on VA loans and you plan to buy a home in our areas of service, Wholesale Capital Corporation will be glad to speak with you. Contact us at (855) 640-2020 to speak with a knowledgeable loan officer.
Wholesale Capital Corporation is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Veterans Affiars (VA) or any government agency/government-sponsored entity. WCC is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate, Broker License #01147747 and CA Finance Lender’s License #603K610. Also licensed in Arizona by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, MB #0926199. Equal housing lender.