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VA Loan Eligibility Expanded for National Guard

VA Loan For National Guard

Expansion of VA Loan Eligibility to Include National Guard, COVID-19 Vets

The National Guard’s COVID-19 response has created some additional benefits, in the form of veteran home loans, or VA Loans. The latter was activated during the pandemic, thanks to a provision in the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act. Lawmakers from both parties and chambers have joined forces on legislation that would credit service under federal Title 32 toward Department of Veterans Affairs home loans eligibility.


>> You may be eligible for a zero down VA home loan?  For a no-obligation, free consultation regarding your VA Loan eligibility, please go here.

Who’s Eligible?

When the legislation becomes law, National Guard troops who have served at least 90 days of qualifying Title 32 active-duty service, including a stint of at least 30 days, will be newly eligible for the loan.  The expanded eligibility is applied retroactively, too.

Thousands of National Guard members logged qualifying service in 2020 as part of the massive nationwide COVID-19 response. According to National Guard Bureau data report shared with Military Times, 47,100 Guard troops were on Title 32 orders for the pandemic response at the mission’s peak.

According to the VA website, National Guard troops could only become eligible for the VA loan benefit in one of two ways:

  • 90 days consisting of federal active-duty service (Title 10)
  • 6 years of retirement-verifiable service in the National Guard or another reserve elements of the Armed Forces.

Exclusively Title 10 orders –– which occur in response to an event, rather than a federal mobilization for deployment –– counted towards the 90-day criteria.

The National Guard Association of the United States or NGAUS previously stated that the home loan eligibility expansion was a legislative priority for the association, which advocates on behalf of Guard troops on Capitol Hill.

What’s in the Legislation?

According to the legislation, the qualifying Title 32 service criteria consists of active-duty periods served within 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 sections of the national federal law governing the use of active-duty forces.

At a minimum, one of the periods of service must have been for more than 30 days, as well. Most of the National Guard coronavirus activation has been umbrellaed within Title 32 502(f) orders, with thousands of troops passing the 90-day window needed to qualify under the new law and thousands more recording at least 31 days or more.

Time periods served on orders for initial military training does not count even under the new law, but other schools do matter, so long as the orders were issued within the applicable sections of Title 32. The eligibility expansion also means those time periods consisting of annual training orders (AT) –– most of which are within section 503 of Title 32 –– can count towards the VA loan if the guardsman or reservist has finished at a minimum, one order longer than 30 days.

Using this example, so under the new law, a Guard member who has started and finished an 89-day Title 32 order for COVID-19 response — as some did, due to a political issue overextending Title 32 orders in the summer of 2020 — is eligible and verified for the new VA home loan benefit if they have finished or completed even one day of AT in their career.

Benefits Gap Continues to Close

In recent years, the benefits gap between Active-Duty branches and their National Guard or reserve counterpart has drastically closed thanks to the realization that the mission has changed for the guardsmen and reservists. More and more members of the Guard and reserve are being called to active-duty status regularly due to the strategic and domestic needs of the nation and its allies, often filling roles that at one time only Active-Duty units could fulfill.

“VA is ready to ensure that members of the National Guard who qualify with expanded eligibility requirements will have access to their home loan benefits,” said Susan Carter, director of the VA’s office of media relations.  For more information on VA loan eligibility, visit this link.


>> You may be eligible for a zero down VA home loan?  For a no-obligation, free consultation regarding your VA Loan eligibility, please go here.





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