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Paycheck Chronicles

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VA Loan Eligibility: Surviving Spouses

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The military mortgages that many service members enjoy can also be obtained by certain surviving spouses. VA loans have many attractive features:

  • Un-remarried and a survivor of a military member who died while in service or from a service-oriented disability 
  • A survivor of a service person missing in action (MIA) or a prisoner of war (POW) (limited to one-time use)

In order for a surviving spouse to qualify for a VA loan, he or she must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and have ample credit and income. COE can be obtained through a VA specialty lender or by submitting VA-Form 26-1817 to the Winston-Salem Office of Eligibility.

VA loans have many attractive features:

  • Zero down payment within conforming loan limits
  • No mortgage insurance premiums
  • Interest rate advantages
  • More lenient qualifying standards than conventional programs
  • No pre-payment penalties
  • Available in 15- to 30-year terms

There are other notable benefits for surviving spouses who use the VA home loan program:

  • All surviving spouses are exempt from the VA funding fee
  • A spouse, whether VA-eligible or not, who co-signed on VA mortgage with a veteran who has since deceased, regardless of whether the death was duty related, may obtain a VA guaranteed Streamline refinance loan

For more information on VA loan benefits for surviving spouse contact a VA home loan professional.