Older Veterans With Families: Things To Do Before You Apply For A First Home

If you want to purchase your first home after years of serving in the armed forces, you may apply to numerous banks to obtain the financing you need. But if you don't receive favorable results, you may want to apply for a VA-backed home instead. Here are things you or your family may do to prepare for your applications.

Improve Your Credit

Like most traditional banks and lending companies, many VA-backed loan companies require you to have good to excellent credit and a stable job history. If your credit score isn't as good as it needs to be, you might not receive the right loan to purchase your home. To secure a loan that benefits your family the most, take steps to improve your credit score.

The first thing you and your loved ones might do is clean up your credit reports. Credit reports can be inaccurate, outdated, and even untrue at times. If you have paid debts, old debts, or erroneous debts on your reports, find a way to remove the errors. You can dispute the items online, or you can dispute the items over the phone or by snail mail. If you're in a hurry to apply for your VA-backed loans, consider applying online through the creditor agencies' websites.

There's something else you can do to prepare for VA loan financing. You can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility.

Become Eligible

The VA created the Certificate of Eligibility program to help service men and women achieve home ownership during and after they discharge from their posts. The certificate provides proof of your service time in the armed and unarmed forces. However, you must meet certain criteria before you receive a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.

The most important step you must take is to go through the eligibility list and find the one that fits your standing as an active or nonactive service member. The list also contains specific eligibility requirements for veterans and the families of service members. 

Some active and nonactive service members may need to have specific documents on hand before they apply for certification, including:

  • signed discharged papers
  • statements of service affidavits
  • surviving spouse forms

Once you find your standing on the list and secure your documents, you can apply for a certificate. The VA may send a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the banking institution of your choice. 

If you need help applying for VA loan financing, contact a financial institution for information or assistance.