VA Home Loans – Benefits for a Widowed Wife

Home ownership is not out of reach for the widows of our military thanks to the VA home loan guaranty program.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a home loan guaranty to individuals who have served in the nation’s armed forces. The guaranty program and underwriting rules make it easier for military families to afford homes with little or no money down. Widows of servicemen are generally eligible for a VA loan, but special rules apply depending on whether the serviceman died in or after service and whether the widow remains unmarried. VA loans are also available to spouses of soldiers who are missing in action or prisoners of war; widows also qualify for the VA’s refinancing options. Here are the basic eligibility rules:

Basic Eligibility

  • A widow whose spouse died in the line of active-duty service is eligible for the VA’s home loan benefit. In addition, the widow of a spouse who died after service and died as a result of a service-related disability is also eligible. In most cases, the veteran must have been honorably discharged for this eligibility.

Remarriage

  • A widow can remarry and retain her eligibility for the VA home loan program under certain conditions. She must be 57 or older, and the subsequent marriage must have taken place after December 16, 2003.

Determining Eligibility

  • If a widow or her spouse received a VA loan before he died, she may be eligible for a VA-guaranteed interest rate reduction refinancing loan (IRRRL). An IRRRL is a loan that refinances an existing VA loan into a new VA loan with a lower interest rate, or from an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage. A certificate of eligibility is generally not required for this, but the widow must still contact the Eligibility Center to begin the process.

Refinancing Available

  • If a widow or her spouse received a VA loan before he died, she may be eligible for a VA-guaranteed interest rate reduction refinancing loan (IRRRL). An IRRRL is a loan that refinances an existing VA loan into a new VA loan with a lower interest rate, or from an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage. A certificate of eligibility is generally not required for this, but the widow must still contact the Eligibility Center to begin the process.

Documentation Needed

  • Widows of servicemen who died during their tour of duty typically receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which supplies most of the documentation the Eligibility Center needs to begin processing a VA home loan benefit. If a widow isn’t receiving DIC, she needs to send in a copy of the Report of Casualty (DD 1300 form) and a copy of her marriage certificate. The VA recommends that she also apply for DIC during this process.
  • If her husband died after service but as a result of a disability caused by his service, the widow needs to send in a copy of her DIC award letter. If she doesn’t receive DIC, the Eligibility Center will need a copy of her spouse’s DD 214 form (Separation Report), his death certificate and her marriage certificate. She should also apply for DIC at this time.
  • The deceased spouse’s Social Security number must be on all documents.

Spouses of MIAs and POWs

  • The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program makes special provisions for VA loans to be given to spouses of servicemen who are missing in action or prisoners of war. An affected spouse must contact the Eligibility Center for details on how to apply to take advantage of this benefit.

If you would like more information or have a question about how to get started, you can email Brenda Wild today!

 

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About Brenda Wild

I have worked in the mortgage business for over 30 years and am a life time resident of the Illinois Quad Cities. I created my blog to share my knowledge of the mortgage industry to help people qualify to buy homes and realize the dream of homeownereship. I strive to earrn the trust of the clients I serve and remain their mortgage advisor for life. Please email me with any questions you may have regarding qualifying to purchase a home at wild1mort@aol.com
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One comment on “VA Home Loans – Benefits for a Widowed Wife

  1. This is so interesting blog. You are best listing knowledge provide at this site. I am very excited read this nice article.

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