Usually, eligible VA Loan borrowers are on active duty with the regular military, Guard or Reserves, or have been honorably discharged from a branch of the military.
In most cases, the VA has your records on file. It can provide your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to your lender almost instantly through it WebLGY system.
If any one of the following is true, you may be eligible for a VA mortgage
Served 181 days during peacetime (Active Duty)
Served 90 days during war time (Active Duty)
Served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
Your spouse was a service member who was killed in the line of duty
There are other instances in which you may be eligible – the rules depend on when you served.
Re-using VA eligibility
You can use your VA eligibility more than once. Normally, to re-use it, you sell your home, pay off your existing mortgage and restore your eligibility.
You can’t, however, have more than one VA loan at a time. If you pay off your VA mortgage without selling the property, you can restore your eligibility and get another VA mortgage. However, you only get to do this ONE time.
What if someone assumes your VA mortgage?
If you sell your home with a VA assumption, your eligibility can be restored only if the buyer is also an eligible veteran who is willing to substitute his or her eligibility for yours. Otherwise, your eligibility won’t be restored until your buyer pays off your VA loan.
What about partial eligibility?
If you used only part of your eligibility, and it cannot yet be restored, you can still use any leftover eligibility. You need to check with a lender to see if what’s left is enough for the loan you want, and if you need a down payment.
What if you get a divorce?
If property is awarded to your former spouse, your entitlement cannot be restored unless he or she refinances the property and/or repays the VA loan in full. Or your ex is a veteran who substitutes his or her entitlement.