Learn About Requirements for VA Home Loans and Housing Assistance

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides a multitude of benefits for veterans, including housing assistance. The VA housing assistance program gives veterans, service members and their surviving spouses the opportunity to purchase a home or refinance a loan. There are two types of housing assistance the VA provides: home loans and grants. Each requires applicants to meet different criteria to qualify.

Home loans are often backed by the VA so you can get better pricing and rates from creditors whereas grants are provided to veterans under special circumstances. Knowing how you can qualify for VA home loans and grants is crucial to leveraging your veteran benefits. Continue reading the sections below to find out how you can qualify for VA housing assistance.

About Requirements for VA Housing Assistance

The eligibility requirements for veteran housing assistance can vary depending on the type of help you are seeking. If you are applying for a home loan, then you will first need to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This document verifies your time on duty and discharge. 

The main requirement that VA home loan applicants must meet is the income limit. Additionally, you must meet criteria for citizenship and time served on duty.  Moreover, your lender will enforce specific credit and income loan conditions. Eligibility for veteran housing grants are specific to the kind of grant you are applying for.

If you do not meet the minimum service requirements, then you can receive benefits if you have been discharged for a specific reason.  There are even ways to qualify even if received another type of discharge.  

Learn About VA Home Loans

In order to get a VA home loan, you must meet income and service requirements. Veterans and service members have plenty of options when they are searching for home loans. The options are categorized by two types of loans: VA direct and VA-guaranteed loan.

With a VA direct loan, the Department of Veteran Affairs provides a home loan directly to applying veterans. These types of loans are usually targeted to rural veterans, Native American veterans and veterans with disabilities. They are also given to veterans who defaulted on a loan.

The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) is one type of direct loan. It is available to Native American veterans and their spouses. This loan can be used to build and improve homes on Federal Trust Land. 

One example of a VA guaranteed loan is the purchase loan. Lenders will offer competitive interest rates on this loan type. With a purchase loan, veterans are not required to contribute a down payment toward their homes. Additionally, they can secure favorable terms for interest rates. Furthermore, you will not be required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) with a VA purchase loan. 

Find Out About Housing Assistance Grants for Veterans

Certain grants are available for veterans who have specific housing needs. Typically, veterans with a disability or who are experiencing homelessness qualify for these grants. One grant that is available is the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant. This grant is for eligible veterans with service-related disabilities who want to change their home to assist in their mobility. The money can also be used to remodel a home by installing ramps or widening doorways. 

To qualify for the SAH  grant, you or a family member must own the home as well as must meet the VA’s definition of a service-connected disability. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Blindness in both eyes.
  • Severe burns
  • Specific respiratory or breathing issues.

Most VA housing grants are provided to veterans with specific needs, but every area has its own programs. Remember to contact your local veteran benefits office to find out which grant programs you qualify for.