Who Can Be on Title on a VA Loan?

You may have heard that only military personnel can get a VA loan. That’s not entirely accurate. Find out who is eligible for this type of loan.

Checkout this video:

The Borrower

The borrower must be a bona fide resident of the United States. The spouse of a veteran can also apply for a VA loan. In order to be eligible, the spouse must not have remarried since the veteran’s death or have remarried after a divorce from the veteran.

The Veteran

The Veteran is the only person who can be on title on a VA loan. In order to be eligible, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime, or at least 181 days of active duty during peacetime, or at least 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves.

The Non-Veteran Spouse

The non-veteran spouse of a Veteran may also be eligible for a VA-guaranteed loan. Non-veteran spouses may be eligible if the Veteran:
* Is unable to obtain financing in sufficient amount or terms to purchase the property without the spouse assuming liability for the Veterans indebtedness;
* or
* Chooses not to assume such liability on another mortgage loan, even though obtaining such financing is possible.

The Co-Borrower

A co-borrower is typically a spouse, but there are other circumstances in which another person may help you qualify for a loan. In order to have a co-borrower, that person must have a clear title to the property in question. The co-borrower must also go through the credit check and loan approval process.

The Veteran’s spouse

The veteran’s spouse is the most common co-borrower on a VA loan. But it’s not the only type of borrower who can help make a loan work. Other family members like siblings, parents and even children can sometimes be co-borrowers, depending on circumstances.

Here are some things to know if you’re considering having someone else help you with a VA loan:

The Co-Borrower Must Be Related by Blood, Marriage or Law
The Veterans Administration puts strict guidelines in place for who can and cannot be a co-borrower on a VA loan. The borrower and co-borrowers must be related by blood, marriage or law. That means siblings, parents, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and first cousins can all potentially qualify as co-borrowers.

There Are Exceptions for Unmarried Couples
The rules around co-borrowing get a little bit more complicated when it comes to unmarried couples. The VA recognizes common law marriages in some states, but not all of them. If you’re not sure whether your common law marriage will be recognized, it’s best to check with your lending institution before you fill out a loan application.

Someone Else Can Be on Title Without Being on the Loan
It’s also important to understand that just because someone is on title to the property doesn’t mean they have to be on the loan itself. In other words, you can have someone help you qualify for the loan without their name appearing on the note. This can often be helpful when one person in the couple has bad credit or is otherwise unable to qualify for the loan on their own.

An unmarried person who has a close relationship with the Veteran

In order for an unmarried person to be eligible for a VA loan, he or she must either be the Veteran’s spouse or have a close relationship with the Veteran. The Veteran’s spouse is automatically eligible for a VA loan, regardless of whether the Veteran is active duty, retired, or deceased.

An unmarried person who is not the Veteran’s spouse may still be eligible for a VA loan if he or she can demonstrate a “close association” with the Veteran. The Department of Veterans Affairs has not provided a definitive list of what qualifies as a “close association,” but common examples include:

-A parent who served as the Veteran’s primary caretaker during childhood
-A child who has been raised by the Veteran since birth
-A brother or sister with whom the Veteran has served in combat
-A life partner who has been in a committed relationship with the Veteran for at least 10 years

The Property

A Veterans Affairs (VA) loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The loan is provided by a private lender, such as a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association. The VA does not make the loan. The VA loan program was established in 1944 to help returning WWII veterans purchase homes with no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance premiums.

The home must be for the Veteran’s own personal occupancy

The Veteran may not be the only person on title. The spouse of a Veteran can also be on title. However, non-spouse family members, such as children, parents, siblings, or in-laws, cannot be on title. All owners on title must occupy the property.


In order to be eligible for a VA loan, you must be a veteran, active duty service member, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves. You must also have a good credit history and sufficient income to make your monthly payments. You will also need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.

The Veteran must have satisfactory credit

A veteran must have satisfactory credit to be eligible for a VA loan. Often, the veteran’s credit score is too low to qualify for a conventional mortgage, so the VA loan becomes the only viable option. The VA requires that the veteran’s debt-to-income ratio not exceed 41%, which gives the veteran a better chance of being able to afford his monthly mortgage payment.

The Veteran must have a stable and reliable income

The Veteran must have a stable and reliable income in order to qualify for a VA loan. This means that the Veteran must have a full-time job, or other source of regular income, and must be able to demonstrate a history of timely payments on previous debts. In addition, the Veteran’s income must meet the lender’s guidelines in order to qualify for the loan.

The Veteran must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility

The Veteran must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility. The spouse of a Veteran can also apply for a VA Loan as long as the Veteran is not currently eligible for a loan. In order to be eligible for a VA Loan, the Veteran or spouse must have served in the military, or be the surviving spouse of a Veteran who died in service or from service-connected disabilities.

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