VA Loan Requirements & Eligibility for Orange County Veterans

va loan requirements(Updated for 2018) A common question among Orange County Veterans is “what are the VA loan requirements” and “am I eligible“. Because for several years in Orange County, the VA loan limits were too low to help a Veteran purchase a home, the VA program was seldom used. But now, with the $0 down loan limit in 2018 at $679,750, the VA loan program has become very popular. With low 30 year fixed rates, no down payment requirements, and flexible qualifying, any active duty military or Veteran thinking of purchasing a home in Orange County should learn about the VA loan program and the benefits it provides.

Eligibility Requirements for VA Loan Program

Orange County Veterans with active duty service (who were not dishonorably discharged) during World War II and later periods are eligible for VA loan benefits. World War II (September 16, 1940, to July 25, 1947), Korean conflict (June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955), and Vietnam era (August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975) veterans must have at least 90 days of service.

Orange County Veterans and active duty military personnel who served during peacetime must have had more than 180 days of active service. Veterans of enlisted service starting after September 7, 1980, or officers with service beginning after October 16, 1981, must in most cases have served at least 2 years.

The VA does not require that you have a certain credit score in order for approval. Mortgage lenders, however, are allowed to set their own standards for VA loan requirements. Most Orange County direct VA lenders require a minimum FICO score of 620 for loan amounts under $453,100. For loan amounts over $453,100, known as “high balance VA loans”, the FICO may need to be higher.

Since early 2010, most VA lenders in Orange County, and throughout the country, have tightened their lending and credit score requirements, making home financing harder to come by for those with credit issues or other criteria that makes their loan riskier.

To learn more about this, our article Credit Score Requirements For Orange County, CA VA Mortgages is a great place to start.

There are three specific pieces of documentation a lender will need to determine your eligibility:

  • A DD214 for discharged veterans.
  • A statement of service for active military personnel.
  • A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to determine you have VA entitlement. Most Orange County VA lenders can quickly retrieve your Certificate of Eligibility on your behalf.

Because each VA lender has different qualifying guidelines, the next step is to contact your local Orange County VA loan expert to find out if you meet their VA loan requirements such as minimum FICO/credit scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios, and find out what your California county’s maximum loan amount is.

Lastly, if you have either had a divorce, filed bankruptcy, or had a previous home go into foreclosure, you are not immediately disqualified from a VA loan, although there are some additional restrictions.

You can find more information regarding these topics in our articles titled Divorce And VA Loan Eligibility, Does A Bankruptcy Mean I Can’t Get A VA Loan? and Can I Get A VA Loan If I’ve Had A Recent Foreclosure?

Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County, CA FHA and VA Loan Officer – Please contact my office at Home Point Financial for more information about an Orange County, CA home loan. 949-640-3102.  MLO 223456


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