Using Your Spouse's VA Loan Benefits While They're Deployed

Buying a house can be a stressful process for anyone. But for an active-duty member of the military, things can get especially hairy if you get deployed during the VA home mortgage loan process. Or maybe your family's growing and your spouse and kids need a bigger place before you get home. The good news if you absolutely can use your VA Loan benefits while you're deployed. There are just a couple of extra steps. 

Become a Power of Attorney (POA)

If your spouse is deployed overseas, chances are they've already given you a General Power of Attorney to act on their behalf in a number of different situations. In this case, you'll need a Specific Power of Attorney as well that shows everyone involved that you and your spouse are on the same page in terms of what house you want to buy and for how much. Your Specific POA should include: 

  • Your spouse's expressed intent to get a  VA loan to purchase or refinance a house
  • A clear identification of the property
  • The sales price, loan amount, interest rate, and any other information that's relevant to the loan
  • Your spouse's intent to occupy the property as their primary residence 
  • Your spouse's intent to use all or a specified amount of entitlement

Make it Your Spouse's Primary Residence 

To qualify for a VA Loan you have to use the home you're buying as your primary residence--and you usually have to do it within 60 days of buying. The good news is you can get an extension for up to a year if you're deployed and:

  • Your spouse plans on retiring in the home when you get back
  • There are repairs to make on the home
  • You have unusual circumstances (talk with your VA Loan specialist and see what you can work out)
  • You plan on living in the house while your military spouse is away 

Verify Your Spouse is Alive and Well

The lender of your VA loan also has to verify that your spouse is alive, well, and not missing in action (there is an exception for you to use the benefit if your spouse is MIA). They can usually do that with a simple phone call right before you sign the papers. 

So, even if your spouse is going to be deployed, don't let that stop you from using the VA Loan program to finance the house of your dreams.

Unemployed and seeking to utilize or access your spouse's VA benefits to purchase your home? Get the information you need to know here.

Still have questions? Get the facts about VA loans.