How Long Is VA Loan Pre-Approval Valid?

VA loan approval is subject to two things: your certificate of eligibility from the VA and the pre-approval you gained on your independent mortgage loan. The certificate of eligibility does not expire. The loan pre-approval on the private loan does, however. The length of time before the pre-approval expires is dependent on the lender, not on the VA. The VA is not actually issuing the loan, so the private lender takes the lead on this issue.

Getting a Certificate of Eligibility

The first thing you need to do to qualify for a VA home loan is get your certificate of eligibility from the VA. This can take place entirely online as long as you have the materials needed to complete the questionnaire. In addition to basic information like your name, address and Social Security number, you will need to include information from your DD214 or your statement of service if you are on active duty. The VA will verify this information, and then you can view your certificate online and even print it out directly. If you have been dishonorably discharged, you will not qualify; if your discharge status is other than honorable or dishonorable, you may need additional forms and information.

Pre-Approval for a VA Home Loan

Once you have your certificate, you can present it to any home lender. You will be approved for a home loan based on your income and credit. The VA home loan guarantee will simply add additional security on the loan, perhaps reducing your interest rate or finance charges. The main purpose of having the pre-approval is to know what size mortgage you are eligible for before you go house shopping. That way, you know the mortgage will be sufficient to cover the offer you eventually make on a home of your choice.

Terms of a House Contract

When you are using a VA home loan to purchase a home, you will want to add special terms into the contract. Make sure to make it clear that the offer is conditional upon the approval of your loan as well as your VA guarantee. When you make an offer, you are on the hook for the sum you disclose. This means you can stand to lose money in settling the contract if you back out. Making the offer contingent on these items will keep you free of that obligation just in case your home loan falls through.

Re-Applying for a VA Home Loan

You may find your pre-approval is no longer valid if you have waited more than three months before making an offer. It is also possible your approval may become invalid if you have changed jobs or experienced significant financial alterations since the initial loan amount was determined. The lender will have to re-evaluate you for the loan, and you may even have to apply all over again. In this case, it is a good thing you made your offer subject to your ability to secure the VA home loan you previously qualified for. You can simply reapply and make the offer again if the home is still for sale.

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