• Nichole Fox

VA Loan Eligibility

To determine if your military service meets eligibility requirements, check the VA categories below. The categories below assume you were not dishonorably discharged.


Wartime Eligibility



Includes service during the following time periods:

War Time Period

  • World War II:  September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947

  • Korea:  June 17, 1950 to January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam:  August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975

For those who served in wartime, you must have at least 90 days on active duty and not have been dishonorably discharged. If you served less than 90 days, you may be eligible if you were discharged for a service-connected disability.


Peacetime Eligibility


Includes service during the following time periods:

  • July 26, 1947 to June 26, 1950

  • February 1, 1955 to August 4, 1964

  • May 8, 1975 to September 7, 1980 (enlisted)

  • May 8, 1975 to October 16, 1981 (officer)

For those who served in peacetime periods, you must have served at least 181 days of continuous active duty and not have been dishonorably discharged. If you served less than 181 days, you may still be eligible if you were discharged for a service-connected disability.


For Enlisted Service after September 7, 1980 and for Officer Service after October 16, 1981


If you began enlisted service after September 7, 1980, or officer service after October 16, 1981, you need to meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a VA loan:

  • You must have completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 181 days) for which you were ordered or called to active duty and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

  • You must have completed at least 181 days of active duty and been given a hardship discharge (10 USC 1173) or Early Out (10 USC 1171), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability.

  • You have been discharged with less than 181 days of service for a service-connected disability.

  • Some individuals may be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or for the convenience of the government. Consult your local Veterans Affair officer to evaluate the specifics of your case.

Gulf War – For Enlisted Service from August 2, 1990 through the Present


If you served on active duty during the period August 2, 1990, through the present, you need to meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a VA loan:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

  • Completed at least 90 days of active duty and been given a hardship discharge (10 USC 1173) or an Early out (10 USC 1173), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected discharge.

  • Been discharged with less than 90 days of service for a service connected disability.

Some individuals may be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or for the convenience of the government. Consult your local Veterans Affair officer to evaluate the specifics of your case.


If You Served in Selected Reserves or the National Guard


You must have completed a total of six years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (you must be a member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and two-week active duty for training) and meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a VA loan:

  • Were discharged with an honorable discharge.

  • Were placed on the retired list.

  • Were transferred to the Standby Reserves or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable.

  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves.

You may be able to establish eligibility if you are a United States citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II. Also individuals with service as members in certain organizations such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military Academy, Air Force Academy, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and merchant seamen with World War II service. Consult your local Veterans Affairs office to evaluate the specifics of your case.


You may still be eligible if you completed less than six years but were discharged for a service-connected disability.


Who Else is Eligible for a VA Loan?


You may be able to establish eligibility if you are a United States citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II. Also individuals with service as members in certain organizations such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military Academy, Air Force Academy, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and merchant seamen with World War II service. Consult your local Veterans Affairs office to evaluate the specifics of your case.


The unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died on active duty or as the result of a service-connected disability is eligible for the VA Home Loan benefit.

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