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VA Loan Eligibility and Requirements for 2017

The iServe Blog

While your VA home loan benefits are usually ready and waiting, you have to do more than just let the military know you’re ready to buy a home. Learning more about VA loan eligibility and requirements and working with the most up-to-date information can ensure you know how the process works and that you take full advantage of all the benefits you are entitled to. Changes that happened in 2017 basically expand the program’s offerings and may make it more accessible to disabled veterans and other service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses.

A VA mortgage does not come from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); it comes from a bank or mortgage other lender. The VA simply guarantees a portion of the loan, which helps enable a lender to offer more favorable terms. Lenders must follow strict requirements to be able to offer a VA loan, and a VA loan is designed to be accessible and user-friendly for service members.  

If you get a VA loan, you may benefit in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Relaxed credit requirements
  • No or very low down payment requirements
  • No mortgage insurance requirement

2017 Eligibility for a VA Loan

You are eligible to apply for a VA-backed loan if you are an active duty military member or are honorably separated from the service. If you are a member of the National Guard, a reservist or even the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may also be eligible. A lender or the VA can assist in determining if you are eligible.

Changes to VA Mortgage Loans in 2017

VA loans underwent a few changes in 2017; many of these were upgrades to previously existing but little-known benefits, like veterinary assistance for disabled vets with service dogs. The biggest changes for 2017 come for disabled veterans and Native American veterans; both updates are good news for those who qualify.

Specially Adapted Housing Grant

If you are a disabled veteran and require adaptations to use and enjoy your home, then this grant will be of interest as you shop for a new place to live or refinance and renovate your existing property. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant allows disabled vets to:

  • Construct a home that has the adaptations they require, from ramps to wider hallways and specifically designed bathrooms and kitchens; the home could be on land the vet owns or land he or she will acquire.
  • Remodel an existing home if renovations would make that home more usable to the vet.
  • Put proceeds from the grant toward an existing mortgage on a home that already has modifications.

Native American Direct Loan

The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program is designed to assist Native Americans in renovating, buying, building or improving homes on federally recognized trust lands. Available to tribes, Alaskan natives and Pacific Island Territory residents, this loan program functions as a VA loan with the same requirements; the only difference is in the Certificate of Eligibility. If your tribe or community participates, then you should be eligible to get a mortgage under the NADL plan. As with other VA loan products, the best way to start is to talk to a VA-approved and -friendly lender.

Get the Help You Need With a VA Mortgage

Whether the standard VA program is the perfect option for your family or you are interested in the Native American Direct Loan or a Specially Adapted Housing Grant, we can help. We love our service members and take great pride in our lineup of VA loan offerings; if you’re a veteran or service member and are ready to buy or refinance, we’re here to help. As always, we thank you for your service!



iServe Residential Lending, LLC is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of the VA or the Federal Government.

Programs, terms and guidelines subject to change without notice. Not all applicants may qualify. All loans subject to underwriter and investor approval. Arizona Mortgage Banking License BK-0920658; Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CRML License  413-0646; Colorado Supervised Lender #988552; Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee License #19613; Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance License # 512567; Licensed Mortgage Banker—New York State Department of Financial Services License # B501014; ( iServe Residential Lending, LLC, NMLS #2914-15015 Avenue of Science Suite 250, San Diego, CA 92128 Phone: (858) 486-4169