Category Archives: CUSTOMERS
- Poor Credit History
Your credit history is a great way for a lender to tell whether you’re a risky investment or not.
- Insufficient Income
A lender can tell if you’re able to afford a mortgage payment by looking at your income to debt ratio.
- Down Payment is Too Small
A lender looks at the down payment as an investment in their future home, so a low down payment does little to put their mind at ease.
- Problems With the Property
A denial doesn’t always have to do with the homebuyer. Sometimes a property’s value isn’t enough to back the amount of the mortgage loan being applied for, and therefore is denied.
- Inadequate Employment History
A consistent employment history can be a very valuable thing when applying for a home mortgage loan. Source: bluewatermtg.com
We’re all familiar with interest rates. Most of us have a credit card, student loan, or mortgage, and some of us have all three. And although consumers often are able to lock-in fixed interest rates on certain financial products like certificates of deposit (CDs), interest rates nevertheless are constantly in flux. For example, the federal funds rate—the rate at which banks lend to other banks and the basis for most consumer interest rates in the United States—has moved about quite a bit, from 0.25% to 19% since 1954. What causes rates to vary so much? There are many reasons, but two key factors are the supply of money and inflation.
The Money Supply
The US central bank—better known as “the Fed”—has two primary goals: full employment and stable prices. The Fed seeks to achieve these goals through monetary policy that can increase or decrease the money supply. The Fed primarily controls the supply of money by buying or selling government bonds through a process known as open market operations. Banks hold reserves at the Fed and through open market operations the Fed enters into transactions with banks to buy or sell government bonds. When the Fed buys securities from a bank, the Fed increases the amount of money in the bank’s reserve account at the Fed. With a greater supply of money on hand, the bank has an incentive to reduce the rate of interest it charges borrowers.
The interplay between borrowers’ demand for money and lenders’ supply of money also has an impact on interest rates. At the micro level, if a bank experiences greater demand for its loans relative to its supply of deposits, then its interest rates tend to rise. In order to lend additional money, the bank must incur additional costs—either from borrowing money from another bank, raising capital, or increasing the rate it must pay depositors to attract additional deposits. Ultimately, the bank passes these costs on to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates.
Interest rates also can vary because of inflation. When determining the interest rate to charge borrowers, lenders factor in their estimates of what future price levels will be in order to ensure lenders will profit from the loan. High inflation, or anticipated inflation, will result in higher interest rates. For example, in the 1970s, the United States experienced greater levels of inflation after the Federal Reserve “loosened” the money supply. The Fed’s intention was to reduce unemployment, but it not only failed to keep unemployment in check, but also resulted in inflation that averaged almost 10 percent from 1974 to 1981. In response, the Federal Reserve “tightened” the money supply, taking money out of circulation by selling government bonds. As a result, the federal funds rate skyrocketed from five percent in 1976 to over 13 percent in 1980, in large part because there was significantly less money to loan out than was being demanded by consumers and businesses.
From the early 1980s through today, interest rates have fluctuated significantly. After the hyperinflation of the 1970s, interest rates remained high during the early 1980s, peaking in 1981 at over 16 percent. During the mid 1980s and early 1990s, the federal funds rate declined, ranging from 5 to 8 percent. Spurred by the economic boom of the 1990s, interest rates hovered between 3 and 6 percent, hitting the top end of the range as the dot-com and housing bubbles burst during the early 21st century. At present, the federal funds rate is below 0.25%, near an all-time low.
The Federal Reserve has kept the fed funds rate low in an attempt to stimulate borrowing, investment, and the economy as a whole. Whether or not low rates will bring about a speedier recovery is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: when interest rates start to rise, supply and demand and inflation considerations will almost certainly be the driving forces behind it.
Source: simple.com by by Ted Iobst
El proceso de obtener una hipoteca puede parecer muy complejo debido a la cantidad de personas que participan. Aunque en ocasiones pueda parecer abrumador, es importante reconocer que cada persona con la que trabajes te brinde un servicio específico, que te ayudará a convertirte en propietario de una vivienda.
A continuación un resumen de nuestros miembros claves:
Agente de Préstamos.
Los agentes de préstamos son especialistas en hipotecas; usarán tu información de crédito, finanzas y empleo para ver si calificas para una hipoteca, y luego te presentarán opciones de financiamiento hipotecario que se ajusten a tu capacidad financiera.
Agente de bienes raíces.
Los agentes de bienes raíces te pueden ayudar a encontrar el tipo de vivienda que buscas, examinar viviendas comparables y comparar diversos vecindarios.
Procesador de préstamos.
La tarea del procesador de préstamos es preparar la información y la solicitud de tu préstamo hipotecario para presentarla al evaluador de solicitud de préstamo hipotecario. El procesador de préstamos te solicitará muchos documentos, incluso documentos sobre tu ingreso, tu empleo, tus facturas mensuales y el dinero que tengas en el banco.
Evaluador de solicitud de préstamo hipotecario.
El evaluador de solicitud de préstamo hipotecario es el profesional autorizado para evaluar si eres elegible para el préstamo hipotecario que solicitas. El evaluador aprobará o rechazará tu solicitud de préstamo hipotecario basado en tu historial de crédito, historial de empleo, activos, deudas y otros factores. Source: Freddie Mac
Your Loan in the Valley
While this is a bit of a broad question, most banks and mortgage lenders are looking for the same basic thing, your ability to repay the home loan.
After all, as long as you make your mortgage payments on time each month, there isn’t much else for them to worry about. You hold up your end of the bargain and they’ll be more than happy to extend financing.
Pinpoint Potential Red Flags Before the Lender Does
Think of a home loan application like a job interview. You want to put your best foot forward. This means taking a hard look at yourself and determining what your weaknesses and strengths are. This is exactly what a lender will do.
So before your loan application is actually submitted to a bank or mortgage lender, it is imperative to ensure that every possible red flag has been addressed.
Typically, borrowers know what these issues are, but if you don’t, consider shortcomings in asset, income, employment and/or credit departments.
Ultimately, you want your loan application to be as strong as possible and to make sense so approval will be the only option; underwriters tend to love common sense. As long as it makes sense, they can approve it knowing they won’t get any flak for letting a bad loan slip through the cracks.
Don´t forget that one of the biggest things lenders are concerned about is credit. It’s key to know where you stand before looking to purchase or refinance.
Your Loan in the Valley
While it’s important to do your research during the home-buying process, you can’t believe everything you hear.
We’ll help you spot the popular mortgage myths and reveal the truth behind them.
Myth 1: Once you’re pre-qualified, you’re guaranteed the loan amount.
If you are thinking about purchasing a home, getting pre-qualified is essential to give you a general idea of your budget.
But it’s important to remember that you haven’t been officially approved for that amount yet.
During pre-qualification, your lender looks at your assets and credit report to determine how much you can reasonably expect to be approved for. This doesn’t entail a deep dive into your finances, so the lender isn’t making any commitment at this point — it’s simply a ballpark figure with which to begin your house hunt.
A pre-approval, on the other hand, is much more comprehensive. Your lender will find out everything that they need to know about your financial well-being to approve you for a loan amount.
Note: Once you get pre-approved, it doesn’t mean you can stop worrying about your credit.
Lenders still have the right to check your credit at any time before your mortgage closes, and any additional credit obtained before you close on your home will have to be counted in your debt to income ratio. Depending on the amount of the increased credit, you could nullify your pre-approval.
Myth 2: Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages are always the best.
When people think of a traditional mortgage, it’s a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that comes to mind.
While these mortgages are a common and popular option, they aren’t necessarily the best choice for everyone. Today, conventional wisdom maintains that the average homebuyer lives in his or her home for around 7 years. This makes potential fluctuations in adjustable-rate mortgages a less important factor.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have a stigma attached to them because the interest can fluctuate. What people fail to consider is that these types of loans have interest rate caps to limit how high the rate is able to go. If you’re looking to stay in your home for a long time, a fixed-rate mortgage may be a great option. If not, some ARMs may be more suitable.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each lender and mortgage is different, so it’s important to read the fine print and understand all of the terms before deciding which type of loan is right for you.
Myth 3: If you’re looking to save money, it’s better to rent.
People often think that renting is less expensive than owning a home.
The fact is, it’s almost always less expensive to pay a mortgage than to rent a comparable home. When you rent, the landlord, real estate company, or apartment complex is responsible for maintenance.
Of course, this convenience is baked into the price you pay each month for rent. As a homeowner, these expenses are your responsibility, but if you are prepared for them, it will almost always cost less than the premium you will pay to rent.
Another perk of owning a home is that it gives you the opportunity to build equity. When the lease is up on your rented apartment, you are free to leave, but the money you paid throughout your lease term is gone.
Owning a home allows you to build wealth slowly over time instead of throwing your hard-earned money away every month.
Myth 4: You should always pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible.
While it’s natural to assume that you want to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible, it may not be the best use of your money.
Paying down your mortgage may lower your principal but it’s not the same as instant equity. When you pay your mortgage, the only guarantee is that you’re lowering your overall loan balance.
Rather than paying more into your mortgage each month to pay it off sooner, consider investing that extra money.
The interest you earn on these investments may be higher than the interest you pay on your mortgage. Also, keep in mind that the interest you pay on your mortgage may be deductible at tax time.
Myth 5: You can’t get a good loan unless you have a 20% down payment
The old rule of thumb used to be that you needed to put at least 20% down on a home. If you put down less, your interest rate would be worse and you’d have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Today, there are many more options out there for mortgages. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers mortgages with as little as 3.5% down.
In addition, “piggyback” mortgages have become more popular in recent years. These loans enable the borrower to take out a second mortgage in order to lower their loan-to-value ratio under 20%. By doing this, the borrower is no longer required to get private mortgage insurance.
Now that you know the truth about these mortgage myths, you may be ready start the home-buying process.
This article originally appeared in Homestead, our home-buying and personal finance magazine. Source: localfirstbank.com
Your Loan in the Valley
An ITIN home loan is designed to allow borrowers to obtain a mortgage despite not having a social security number. While this may be good news for people who live within the United States undocumented, these loans have promoted plenty of debate as to who should be allowed to purchase a home and who should not.
ITIN Home Loan Explained
ITIN is an acronym for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Not everyone is eligible for a social security number, so the Internal Revenue Service issues an ITIN to people who live and work within the United States in an effort to track their income and allow them to pay taxes. An ITIN home loan makes it possible for these undocumented workers to purchase a home, even if they reside within the United States illegally.
People are supposed to be able to obtain an ITIN from the IRS without fear of the information being forwarded to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The IRS is only concerned with getting the proper tax income from people and is not in the business of searching out illegal immigrants within the borders of the United States. For this reason, people who may not have otherwise ever paid taxes have no reason to avoid paying, but now also have the capability to request credit.
Lack of Documentation
Mortgage loans used to be issued routinely without much documentation from the applicant. These were called No-doc loans and have become quite undesirable to lenders because of the high degree of risk associated with lending money to borrowers who cannot document employment histories, income history, or other documentation.
Nonetheless, lenders still remain who are willing to make these types of loans. It is these lenders who are most likely to offer ITIN home loans to applicants who do not have social security numbers or permanent residency within the United States.
Extra Costs and Wait Time
Applying for an ITIN home loan is a little more complicated than applying for a conventional home loan. Potential complications with an ITIN mortgage application include:
Lack of credit history. Credit histories are based on social security numbers, and therefore it may be difficult – if not impossible – to gauge the creditworthiness of an applicant who has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number instead of a social security number.
Problems with income verification. Employers are reluctant to document the wages they pay to workers who are not authorized to work within the United States. Many undocumented workers receive cash and have no way to prove their incomes.
Problems verifying a good payment history. Some mortgage lenders will give loans to people who don’t have credit histories as long as they can prove a payment history of some sort. Since undocumented workers may not have utilities and other bills in their own name then applicants may have difficulty with proving they can make payments in a timely manner.
ITIN home loans are issued to people, but the process takes much longer on average and the amount of fees can be astronomical compared to a conventional loan. The lender takes on much more risk when approving an ITIN loan and expects to be compensated accordingly. Since people without social security numbers don’t have many other options available to them, if they want to own a home they either need to save up the money to buy the house in cash or instead seek out a loan designed for people in their situation.
The interest rates with these loans are usually much higher than with traditional mortgage loans.
Not everyone who has a ITIN illegally resides within the United States. There are some immigrants who reside within the country legally and with full documentation, but do not have social security numbers. ITIN mortgages are for this population as well.
The more documentation available regarding an applicant’s income and credit history, the easier the application process will be. Source: lovetoknow.com
Your Loan in the Valley
Si se ha planteado esta pregunta, no está solo, pues muchas personas que se encuentran en aprietos de crédito se la están planteando. Pero antes de tomar la decisión de suspender sus pagos, tome en cuenta las consecuencias de dejar de pagar sus deudas.
A continuación hacemos un esfuerzo por reconstruir lo que típicamente podría ocurrir a lo largo del tiempo con el balance de una deuda que se ha dejado de pagar. Esto es una generalización, pues cada deuda que deja de pagarse evolucionará de manera distinta dependiendo de las prácticas particulares de cada institución financiera, del estado en el que usted reside, del monto de la deuda y de si usted tiene posesiones que el banco pueda embargar o recuperar.
DESPUÉS DE 30 DÍAS DE ATRASO:
Le cobrarán cargos por tardanza.
Posiblemente usted recibirá una llamada del banco como recordatorio.
El atraso podría aparecer en su reporte de crédito, bajando su puntaje de crédito.
En el caso de las tarjetas de crédito, es posible que le suban el interés anual de la tarjeta.
En el caso de préstamos hipotecarios, después del primer pago tardío el banco intentará ponerse en contacto con usted y, si no lo logra, podrían emitir una orden de ejecución hipotecaria (foreclosure en inglés) a partir de ese momento. Para mayor detalle sobre el proceso particular de préstamos hipotecarios, véase el artículo “Foreclosures at a Glance” en Bankrate.com.
DESPUÉS DE 60 DÍAS DE ATRASO:
Continuarán los cargos por tardanza.
El banco lo empezará a llamar más frecuentemente.
El atraso de seguro aparecerá en su reporte de crédito, bajando su puntaje de crédito.
En el caso de las tarjetas de crédito, el interés anual que le cobran por concepto de seguro subirá.
Si se trata de una deuda por la compra de un automóvil, a partir de este punto es posible que emitan una orden de recuperación, lo que quiere decir que usted perderá su automóvil, ¡y de todas maneras seguirá teniendo una deuda! Usted aún deberá pagar la diferencia entre el valor actual de venta de su auto y el valor que usted debía en el momento de la recuperación.
DESPUÉS DE 90 DÍAS DE ATRASO:
En este punto, la mayor parte de las instituciones financieras lo considerarán oficialmente moroso. Las llamadas se volverán más agresivas.
El monto total que le cobran seguirá aumentando, porque se continúan aplicando cargos por tardanza y se acumulan además los intereses.
Si la deuda no está asegurada por un automóvil o por su casa, probablemente le ofrecerán opciones de plan de pago y acuerdos para saldar la cuenta pagando el 50% de inmediato. Si no le ofrecen estas opciones, usted puede pedirlas. Tenga en cuenta que, por lo general, las instituciones financieras no negociarán con usted hasta que hayan pasado los 90 días de atraso.
DESPUÉS DE 120 DE ATRASO:
Para el caso de una deuda no asegurada por su automóvil o por su casa, puede que el banco desista de sus intentos de cobrar y venda la deuda (los derechos a cobrarla) a una agencia de colecciones. Las agencias de colecciones son increíblemente agresivas para cobrar, así que tenga en cuenta sus derechos frente a estas agencias de colección revisando la información que ofrece la Comisión Federal de Comercio.
DESPUÉS DE 180 DÍAS DE ATRASO:
Las tarjetas son canceladas. En inglés esto se llama un chargeoff, lo cual es muy perjudicial para su récord de crédito, pues significa que el banco siente que usted nunca pagará la deuda.
La cancelación de la tarjeta no necesariamente lo deja a usted libre de la deuda, pues el banco puede cancelar la deuda en sus propios libros, pero vender los derechos de cobro a una agencia de colecciones.
Si la deuda fue vendida a una agencia de colecciones, ésta puede vender otra vez la deuda y así sucesivamente. Cada venta crea un récord adicional en su reporte de crédito, así que su reporte y puntaje de crédito sufren mayor daño cuando la deuda pasa de manos.
No existe la prisión por deudas en los EE.UU., pero de todas maneras se considera que al no pagar usted ha violado un contrato legal y la agencia de colecciones o el banco puede elegir llevarlo a juicio. Las consecuencias típicas de perder uno de estos juicios son:
– La retención de un porcentaje de su salario.
– El congelamiento de su cuenta de banco.
– Un embargo sobre su casa.
– Daño significativo a su historial de crédito.
DESPUÉS DE 7 AÑOS:
Una cuenta que ya ha sido pagada, normalmente se borrará de su reporte de crédito luego de 7 años. Sin embargo, este no es necesariamente el caso para cuentas que no han sido pagadas.
En el caso de los juicios, aquellos juicios que no han sido pagados pueden permanecer en el reporte de crédito por 20 años – ¡o más! – dependiendo el estado en el que usted reside.
CONSECUENCIAS DEL DAÑO AL HISTORIAL DE CRÉDITO
Como puede ver, al no pagar una deuda no solamente se daña su crédito, si no que se provocan otros dolores de cabeza que lo pueden perseguir por mucho tiempo. En los Estados Unidos, tener una historia de crédito dañada afectará negativamente sus posibilidades de:
Alquilar un apartamento.
Iniciar un contrato de teléfono móvil.
Comprar un automóvil o una casa.
Ser aprobado para más crédito cuando lo necesite (¡por ejemplo para una emergencia médica!).
En conclusión, vale la pena hacer el mayor esfuerzo posible por pagar sus deudas. Si usted no va a poder pagar por un mes o dos, es buena idea llamar al banco para negociar un período de gracia. Se sorprenderá de ver cuán flexibles pueden ser los bancos mientras vean que usted muestra voluntad de pagar, especialmente dada la crisis económica que vivimos. Haga lo posible por ahorrarse complicaciones en el largo plazo ¡y actúe hoy! Source: accioneast.org
- La primer cena de Acción de Gracias fue en Octubre y no en Noviembre, en 1621.
- La cena fue en Plymouth, Massachusetts, entre los colonos de Plymouth y los Indios Wampanoag.
- A la cena atendieron 50 Ingleses y 90 Indios. Muy pocas mujeres asistieron, bueno, eso si es que hubo mujeres.
- La primer cena duró 3 días.
- La cena de Acción de Gracias no fue una celebración, si no que hasta que más tarde los europeos, nativos Americanos y otras culturas se juntaron para celebrar y dar gracias por lacomida y la vida.
- El Día de Acción de Gracias fue primera vez clamado en Octubre 3 de 1789 por el Presidente George Washington.
- En 1863 Abraham Lincoln escogió que la fecha oficial para festejar la cena fuera el último jueves del mes de Noviembre y lo proclamo como día festivo nacional.
- En la primera cena, no hubo leche, queso, pan, mantequilla, puré de papa, maíz o el tradicional pie de calabaza.
- La cena original tenia platillos con langosta, conejo, pollo, pescado, calabazas, frijoles, cebollas, frutos secos, miel de maple, miel de abeja, rábanos, repollo, zanahoria, huevos y queso de cabra.
- Los peregrinos no usaron tenedores, solo cucharas y manos.
- El famoso desfile que organiza la tienda departamental Macy’s empezó en los años 1920’s.
- Desde 1947, el presidente de los Estados Unidos, durante una celebración le perdona la vida a un pavo, para que viva lo que le resta de vida en una granja.
- “Thanksgiving” también es celebrado en Canadá, el segundo lunes de octubre.
- 90% de las personas que celebran la cena de Acción de Gracias comen pavo ese día.
- En promedio la cena tradicional tiene 4,575 calorías.
Your Loan in the Valley
Providing great real estate customer service is an incredible way to build trust and loyalty. Apply these “Golden Rules” diligently to wow your clients and increase referral business.
Let empathy be your guide:
Having empathy means having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand what that person is feeling. No matter the circumstances (first time buyer, investor, downsizer, re-locator) a real estate transaction is a big deal and it’s always personal. Whether you have to deliver bad news or you feel like a client is being a pest, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy not only helps you to relate to your clients, but feeling empathetic will also help guide your ability to communicate, problem-solve, react and at the very least make the customer feel understood.
Be engaged & responsive:
Clients expect immediate follow up (which makes lead nurturing software like Zurple great, especially for new leads). In real estate, you aren’t treated like an organization with business hours – you will get calls and emails after hours and on weekends.
The key isn’t necessarily being available to answer emails at 1am (work/life balance is a great topic for another day). Instead, the key is reacting in a timely manner – and if you don’t have all the answers don’t leave your customer hanging. Keep them updated and try to give accurate timeframes whenever possible. Make it a priority to follow through when you say you will.
Let Conversations help! Our intelligent software automates fast, relevant, effective lead follow-up. See how it works.
Remember abc – always be communicative:
Good, clear communication is highly underrated in a high speed world of “lol” and “omg”. How you communicate and how well you communicate will leave a strong impression on a client. Taking time to construct a thoughtful, well-written email or calling instead of texting for more important discussions will give your client great comfort that they are in good hands.
Go the extra mile:
Give your clients a “wow” moment whenever possible – and keep in mind that wow moments don’t have to be complicated. They can be as simple as providing additional information that was not requested. Think beyond the stated question and seek the implied follow up question – so when your client asks “what are the HOAs at this condo?” don’t just provide the HOAs for that one unit. Follow up with more information – maybe some comparable condos where HOAs are lower and ask questions about what amenities are important to them so you can guide their search.
Show your appreciation:
You are nothing without your customers so be sure to show them how much you care. Make sure your clients feel appreciated for choosing to work with you. Many agents do this with a closing gift (already a great concept), but rather than going the generic route, choose something meaningful. We compiled a list of a few ideas here.
A handwritten “thank you” note makes a great impression too. To show true appreciation let them know why you enjoyed working with them (i.e. were they patient, funny, knowledgeable, easy-going?). Also try sending them a note or give them a call to wish them a “Happy Anniversary” to celebrate the date they closed or moved in. There are countless ways to make people feel special but these small acts of kindness can go a long way in building personal connections with your clients.
Empathy may sound easy, but if you are having a bad day it can be difficult to see someone else’s perspective. It’s easy to have a great idea for a closing gift but it takes effort to make the purchase. It’s easy to find out the HOA fees on that condo but it takes enterprise to dig deeper. Real estate is all about relationships and the strongest relationships take effort. Source: zurple.com by Michelle Salatto
Your Loan in the Valley
In order to obtain a VA home loan, you must first fill out VA Form 26-1880, the request for your Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is issued only through the Veterans Administration, and is the first step towards applying for your loan. Veterans, active duty, guard or reserve, and military spouses potentially qualify for this certificate. Keep in mind that the Certificate of Eligibility, while necessary, only allows an eligible individual to apply for a home loan; it does not guarantee a loan approval.
Eligibility for the Certificate is based on an individual’s (or a spouse’s) military service. Congress establishes eligibility with strict guidelines. Here are five common categories of those who normally qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility:
Wartime – Service During:
- WWII: 9/16/1940 to 7/25/1947
- Korean: 6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955
- Vietnam: 8/5/1964 to 5/7/1975
You must have at least 90 days on active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 90 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.
Peacetime – Service during periods:
- 7/26/1947 to 6/26/1950
- 2/1/1955 to 8/4/1964
- 5/8/1975 to 9/7/1980 (Enlisted)
- 5/8/1975 to 10/16/1981 (Officer)
You must have served at least 181 days of continuous active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 181 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.
Service after 9/7/1980 (enlisted) or 10/16/1981 (officer)
If you were separated from service which began after these dates, 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, or
- Completed at least 181 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1171 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability;
- Been discharged with less than 181 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances for the convenience of the Government.
Gulf War – Service during period 8/2/1990 to date yet to be determined
If you served on active duty during the Gulf War, you must have:
- 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, or
- Completed at least 90 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1173 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability, or
- Been discharged with less than 90 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances, for the convenience of the Government.
Active Duty Service Personnel
If you are now on regular duty (not active duty for training), you are eligible after having served 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service.
Selected Reserves or National Guard
If you are not otherwise eligible and you have completed a total of 6 years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and 2-week active duty for training) and
- Were discharged with an honorable discharge, or
- Were placed on the retired list, or
- Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable service, or
- Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves
Individuals who completed less than 6 years may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.
You may also be determined eligible if you:
- Are an unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or
- Are a spouse of a serviceperson missing in action or a prisoner of war
Note: Also, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit. However, a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.
Eligibility may also be established for:
- Certain United States citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in WW II.
- Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with WW II service, and others. Source: military.com