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Debunking the Myth: Discharged Veterans Can't Get a VA Loan


At ONE Presidential Mortgage, we understand the unique challenges veterans face when transitioning back to civilian life. One of the most pervasive myths is that discharged veterans are ineligible for VA loans. This misconception can prevent many veterans from taking advantage of a benefit designed to help them achieve homeownership. In this article, we'll set the record straight and provide clear information about VA loan eligibility for discharged veterans.


Understanding VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers the VA home loan program to assist veterans, active-duty service members, and certain surviving spouses in buying, building, or improving a home. VA loans come with several advantages, such as no down payment requirement, competitive interest rates, and no private mortgage insurance (PMI). These benefits make homeownership more accessible and affordable for those who have served our country.


Eligibility Criteria for VA Loans

To qualify for a VA loan, veterans must meet specific service requirements, which depend on their period of service and discharge status. The basic eligibility criteria include:


  1. Length of Service: Veterans who served during wartime typically need at least 90 days of active duty, while those who served during peacetime generally require 181 days of continuous active service. For Reservists and National Guard members, the requirement is generally six years of service unless called to active duty, in which case the active duty criteria apply.

  2. Type of Discharge: The discharge status is crucial. Veterans must have a discharge that is other than dishonorable. This includes honorable, under honorable conditions, and general discharges. Veterans with less favorable discharges may still be eligible under certain conditions or by applying for a discharge upgrade.

  3. Certificate of Eligibility (COE): Veterans need a COE to prove their eligibility for a VA loan. This document can be obtained through the VA, and many lenders, including ONE Presidential Mortgage, can assist veterans in obtaining it.


Debunking the Myth

Myth: Discharged Veterans Can't Get a VA Loan

This myth likely arises from misunderstandings about discharge statuses and eligibility criteria. Here are the facts:


  • Honorable Discharge: Veterans with an honorable discharge are fully eligible for VA loan benefits. This type of discharge indicates satisfactory service and meets all VA loan requirements.

  • General and Other than Honorable Discharges: Veterans with a general or other than honorable discharge may still be eligible for a VA loan. These discharges do not automatically disqualify a veteran. The VA evaluates each case individually, and many veterans with these types of discharges have successfully obtained VA loans.

  • Dishonorable Discharge: Veterans with a dishonorable discharge are generally not eligible for VA loan benefits. However, there are processes in place for veterans to appeal or upgrade their discharge status, potentially restoring their eligibility.


Addressing Concerns and Questions

  • I Was Discharged Years Ago. Am I Still Eligible?: Yes, there is no time limit on when you can apply for a VA loan after discharge, provided you meet the service requirements.

  • I Have a Less than Honorable Discharge. What Can I Do?: Veterans with less than honorable discharges should consult with a VA representative or a veterans' service organization. They can guide you through the process of applying for a discharge upgrade or exploring other avenues of eligibility.

  • How Do I Get My Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?: You can apply for your COE online through the VA's eBenefits portal, by mail, or through your lender.


The belief that discharged veterans can't get a VA loan is a myth that can prevent many eligible veterans from accessing a critical benefit. Understanding the eligibility criteria and knowing the options available can empower veterans to take advantage of the VA loan program. If you're a veteran considering a home purchase, don't let myths and misinformation stand in your way. Contact ONE Presidential Mortgage today to explore your options and secure the home you deserve. Our team is dedicated to helping veterans navigate the VA loan process and achieve their homeownership dreams.

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