Losing a spouse is a devastating event. For the surviving spouses of veterans and military members, VA home loan programs can help ease the burden of getting life back on track. The Department of Veterans Affairs backs purchase, cash-out refinance, and interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRL) that can make purchasing or refinancing a home more affordable.
Here are key facts to know about eligibility and benefits. Please speak with one of our Loan Advisors for more details. Freedom Mortgage is the #1 VA Lender1 in the USA.
Are surviving spouses eligible for VA loans?
Surviving spouses of veterans and military personnel can be eligible for a VA loan. To be eligible, at least one of these conditions should be true:
- The veteran is missing in action
- The veteran is a prisoner of war (POW)
- The veteran died while in service or from a service-connected disability and the spouse didn't remarry
- The veteran died while in service or from a service-connected disability and the spouse didn't remarry before they were 57 years old or before December 16, 2003
- The veteran had been totally disabled and then died, but their disability may not have been the cause of death (in certain situations)
To buy or refinance a house, the surviving spouse will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The Department of Veterans Affairs website has more information on how to get a COE.
What are VA loan benefits for surviving spouses?
One benefit surviving spouses enjoy is they do not need to pay the funding fee when they get a VA loan. Other benefits include:
- Competitive interest rates
- Flexible credit requirements
- 0% down payments on many loans
- Up to 100% refinancing of a home's appraised value
- No monthly mortgage insurance premiums
- No penalties for early payoff or balance reduction
Surviving spouses can re-use their VA benefit to buy homes. Once you pay off a loan or decide to move into a new home, you can use the benefit again for your next home purchase. Keep in mind that eligible surviving spouses need to meet credit, income, and financial requirements to get approved for a VA loan. Also note the benefit does not extend to children or other family members.
1. Inside Mortgage Finance, Jan-Mar 2021