The VA loan program is available exclusively to active or retired military service members and their families. The military service eligibility guidelines for a VA loan are as follows:

  • If military service was during peacetime, you must have served at least 181 days, active duty.
  • If military service was during wartime, you must have served at least 90 days, active duty.
  • If military service was in the Reserves or National Guard, you must have served at least 6 years.
  • If you are a surviving spouse, you must be an unmarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service-connected disability, or you must be a spouse of a service member missing in action or a prisoner of war. Surviving spouses of certain totally disabled veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death may also be eligible.

Regarding your eligibility for a VA loan, you should also know:

  • The VA has specific qualification guidelines and rules for their loan program.
  • The home you are planning to purchase or refinance with a VA loan must be your primary residence.

For more information, please review the other articles in our VA Loan Guide. Your VA loan advisor can also help answer additional questions about VA loan eligibility.