When you decide to use a VA Loan, you may be excited about the prospect…
VA Loans, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and providing a path to homeownership that does not require a large down payment, are open to military service members and Veterans. They began as part of the original post-World War II GI bill but are now governed by the VA as a separate benefit from the GI Bill.
In most cases, the VA Loan is for Veterans and active duty service members. Military spouses are not included in this group and are not eligible to use the VA Loan on their own.
The exception to this is when the spouse is the surviving spouse of a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran who is Missing in Action (MIA) or a Prisoner of War (POW). If your spouse was killed while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability, you are eligible to use the VA Loan as their surviving spouse. If you remarry before age 57, you might not be eligible for the VA Loan.
Spouses of Veterans who received a 100% disability rating from the VA and later died, even if it was not connected to their disability, may also be eligible in some cases. If this applies to you, it is a good idea to look into your eligibility for the VA Loan as well as other programs and benefits offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Like others using the VA Loan, you will need to get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This requires submitting certain paperwork that shows your status as a spouse of a military Veteran as well as their death certificate and findings. In most cases, your lender will walk you through what documentation to submit. They can even apply for the COE on your behalf with your permission.