Can a Reservist Get a VA Loan?

When most people talk about VA loans, they focus on active duty veterans. So, you might be wondering if you can get a VA loan if you were or are a reservist. The answer? Absolutely. Most reservists can use a VA loan to buy a home--your requirements will just be a little different. 

What additional qualifications will a reservist need?

The qualifications for a VA loan are slightly more demanding than they are for regular, active military service members. For example, you need to have served for a total of six years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and one of the following:

  • Were honorably discharged
  • You were placed on the retired list
  • You were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Service

Your VA loan funding fee

Every veteran who takes out a VA loan pays a funding fee. The VA loan program is set up to help borrowers avoid defaulting on their loans, but it does happen. And when it does, it ends up costing taxpayer money. The funding fee helps offset that cost to taxpayers and is what makes it possible to keep offering loans with no down payment, no mortgage insurance, and a low-interest rate. Borrowers who served in the Selected Reserves or National Guard are charged a slightly higher funding fee than those who served in one of the main branches of the military. 

Other restrictions

As a reservist, your qualifications for a VA loan are more strict than for active duty servicemembers, but your restrictions are the same. The most notable is that the home you buy with your VA loan has to be your primary residence within 60 days. That means you can't use the loan to buy an investment property or a vacation home. But if buying a second home is a goal for you, the money you save on your downpayment and interest rates when you use a VA loan can help you get closer to achieving that goal!

If you're a reservist looking to buy a home, make sure you use your benefits! And if you didn't realize you were eligible for a VA loan, you might still have options. 

Still have questions? Get the facts about VA loans.