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Can a Surviving Spouse Get a VA Loan?

VA Loan Benefits and Requirements for Surviving Spouses

The surviving spouses of Veterans and military personnel can be eligible to buy homes, refinance homes, and get cash from their homes’ equity with loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The benefits of VA loans include competitive interest rates, 0% down payments, lower minimum credit score requirements, and no monthly mortgage insurance payments. Surviving spouses often do not have to pay the VA funding fee.

What Makes a Surviving Spouse Eligible for a VA Loan?

Surviving spouses of Veterans and military personnel can be eligible for VA loans when at least one of these conditions is true:

  • The Veteran is missing in action, or
  • The Veteran is a prisoner of war (POW), or
  • The Veteran died while in service or from a service-connected disability and the spouse didn't remarry, or
  • 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, or
  • The Veteran had been totally disabled and then died, but their disability may not have been the cause of death (in certain situations)

Do Surviving Spouses Need a Certificate of Eligibility?

Yes, surviving spouses will need to get a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to apply for a VA loan. How you apply for this certificate depends on whether you are receiving Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Visit the VA website to learn more.

What Are the VA Loan Requirements for Surviving Spouses?

The requirements for VA loans that apply to Veterans and active-duty military personnel also apply to surviving spouses. You’ll need to complete a mortgage application, provide documents, and meet credit, income, and financial standards to have your VA loan approved.

Your VA loan will probably include closing costs which you will need to pay. In some cases, you may be able to finance these closing costs into your loan amount. In other cases, you may need to pay these costs in cash at closing. Learn more about VA loan requirements.

Are Other Family Members Eligible for VA Loans?

No. The children of Veterans and other family members are not eligible for the VA loan program. Only surviving spouses who meet the eligibility requirements may qualify for VA loans.

Do the Surviving Spouses Qualify for Other Benefits Besides VA Loans?

Yes. Surviving spouses may qualify for other benefits from the VA. You may be eligible for health care, education and training programs, survivor’s pensions, compensation for surviving spouses and dependents, and other benefits. Visit the VA website to learn more.

Freedom Mortgage is a top VA Lender in the U.S., Inside Mortgage Finance, 2023.

Last reviewed and updated March 2024 by Freedom Mortgage.

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