Getting a VA Loan While Deployed - It Can Be Done!

Getting A VA Loan While Deployed - It CAN Be Done!

Even when far from home, it is possible for active-duty military abroad to get a mortgage, VA loan or another type of loan, and to purchase a home, all thanks to remote capabilities. The VA mortgage loan program is one of the most valuable military benefits, allowing you to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage with attractive rates and terms.

These include:

  • No credit minimum – VA loans have no minimum credit score requirement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, allowing lenders some flexibility when qualifying a borrower.
  • No down payment – Mortgage lenders generally prefer borrowers to make a 20 percent down payment on a home. VA borrowers need nothing at all upfront.
  • No mortgage insurance – Many other low-down payment programs require mortgage insurance if the borrower puts down less than 20 percent. There are no mortgage insurance premiums for a VA loan, but there is an upfront funding fee that is calculated on any down payment you may have paid, and how many times you have used the VA loan program.
  • There is a minimum service requirement for a VA loan: 90 consecutive days. Once you meet that minimum, you can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which you will need to obtain the VA loan. If you are active duty, you will need a signed statement of service from your commander, adjutant or personnel officer. Once you have this statement of service, you can easily apply for your COE through the eBenefits portal.

A big reason that the military has provided this benefit is based on the fact that a large part of serving in the military involves the possibility of needing to move, often on short notice. Some of the advantages of purchasing a home include:

  • With low mortgage rates, monthly mortgage payments are often less than rent.
  • No lease agreements.
  • Housing stability for you and your family members. 

When you are deployed and are in the market for a home, you will need the assistance of your spouse, or other family member(s), and a real estate agent. You may be able to have video walk-through tours taken of the homes that you are considering. You will need help managing the process of obtaining your mortgage. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Power Of Attorney | You can appoint someone to represent your interests in the purchase of a home with a power of attorney (POA). To grant a POA, you will need the assistance from an attorney, legal clinic, or Judge Advocate General (JAG). Any of these professionals can recommend additional legal measures to take, depending on your circumstances.  In many cases, military members grant a POA to their spouse so they can sign paperwork etc. on their behalf.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if and who to appoint:

  • What powers will you allow the person to have? You can specify.
  • How long will the POA term last?
  • Can you revoke the POA at any time?
  • Can you name a backup or alternate?

Additionally, confirm with your closing or title agent what POA documentation they’ll need to close your mortgage.

Occupancy Requirements | A condition of your VA home loan is that you must live in the home, which can be concerning if you are deployed. You will have reasonable time to move in once your VA home loan closes (60 days in most cases). A spouse or dependent can live in the home to satisfy this requirement. 

Verifying Military Status | It is important to have your military status verification before you begin your home search or apply for your VA home loan. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), you have access to benefits such as foreclosure protection. For this reason, mortgage lenders need to verify your active-duty service and other service-related information. Your lender will have details regarding what you will need.

A VA home loan is your unique benefit that makes buying a home more affordable, and you can still get one while you (or a family member) are deployed, provided your service qualifies you. Contact us to connect with a Military Relocation Specialist that can guide you through the process, wherever you are!

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