Documentation and Requirements for VA Loan

posted 9/10/2015 in Mortgage

If you’ve ever been in the military, you know that there are rules and a process for everything. So, it’s not surprising that getting a VA home loan, even for veterans, involves some rules and process beyond what a traditional home loan involves.

First, to obtain a VA loan, the law requires that you meet these basic requirements:
  • You must be an eligible service person or veteran as determined by VA regulations.
  • The loan must be for VA approved property and purpose.
  • You must live in, or intend to live in, the home within a reasonable time of closing on the VA loan.
  • You must be a satisfactory credit risk.
  • You must be able to show stable and sufficient income to meet the mortgage payments, cover the costs of owning a home, meet other financial obligations and expenses, and have enough left over to support yourself and your family.
When it comes time to process your loan, your lender will do most of the footwork, but there are some documents you’ll need to provide to get started.

If you are a veteran, you’ll need to request a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880). This form must be completed and sent in with a service record (DD-214). If you do not have your DD-214, you can request it from the National Personnel Records Center using a Standard Form 180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records).

If you are an active duty member of the armed services, you’ll need to obtain a current statement of service signed by the appropriate military personnel showing your full name, SSN, DOB and entry date on active service.

If you are a member of the National Guard or a Reserve member, or if you are a surviving spouse of an eligible service member, there will be additional paperwork to complete that you should discuss with your lender.

Verification of debt, income and eligibility for eligible borrowers also includes a few extra steps. You’ll need to prove that you have adequate residual income after all your standard monthly expenses. Residual income requirements vary by region and are updated regularly by the VA.

The VA Loan Process

When an eligible borrower contacts a lender to request a VA guaranteed loan, the lender obtains a VA number for the request via the Internet. The VA number is used to monitor progress of the appraisal and loan application. The lender is also responsible for sending a VA form to a state-licensed real estate appraiser who will provide the market value of the property. The appraisal tells the lender and the VA whether the property is adequate collateral for the requested loan. 

Once these steps are completed, the process for obtaining the loan is very similar to other loan products and programs.

If you think a VA loan may be right for you, you can start the mortgage process online in just a few minutes at no cost to you by visiting our Mortgage Launchpad.

If you prefer personal assistance rather than online help, you can contact us at one of our many Iowa locations and one of our mortgage experts will be happy to answer your questions.

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender
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