To be eligible for a VA Loan, veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members and reservists must meet the basic service requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may also be eligible.
It's ultimately up to the VA to determine eligibility for the home loan program, but prospective borrowers can get a good idea by looking at the VA's basic eligibility guidelines.
You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR
You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR
You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
Veteran buyers interested in the VA Loan aren't required to reach any kind of income threshold to use their home loan benefits; however, borrowers are expected to have stable, reliable income that will cover monthly expenses – including their new mortgage payment.
Additionally, the VA requires that borrowers maintain a certain amount of income left over each month after all major expenses are paid. The excess is meant to cover typical family needs, such as food, transportation and so forth and is referred to as residual income. Residual income is a large reason why the VA Loan maintains one of the lowest foreclosure rates of all major lending options.