Are Children of Veterans Eligible for VA Loans?

In this article...
  • VA loans help veterans, service members and surviving spouses buy, build or improve a home. Learn whether this benefit applies to children of beneficiaries.

Veterans and their families are entitled to an array of benefits, including home loans. These VA loans can provide a means for veterans to buy, build or improve a home. Because these loans typically require low or no down payments and offer lower interest rates than traditional mortgages, children of veterans may wonder if this benefit extends to them. Learn the ins and outs of VA-backed home loans and discover whether dependent and nondependent children of veterans are eligible for VA loans.

What Is a VA Home Loan?

VA home loans provide the means for eligible U.S. veterans, current service members and surviving spouses to purchase or build a home, finance home improvements or refinance a mortgage. Loans may be issued directly by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, or they may be secured through a private lender with VA backing.  

What Are the Benefits of a VA Loan?

VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. government, meaning lenders are able to recover some or all of their losses if a borrower's inability to pay results in foreclosure. Because VA loans have less risk to the lender, they typically offer borrowers favorable terms such as the following:

  • Lower interest rates than traditional mortgages
  • Low or no down payment requirements
  • No need for private mortgage insurance
  • Reduced closing costs
  • No penalty fees for early payoff

What Types of VA Home Loans Are Available?

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers several types of loans, each supporting a unique need. The following VA loans are available to veterans, current service members and the surviving spouses of deceased veterans:

Purchase Loans

Purchase loans may be used to buy a single-family house, a manufactured home or an approved condo. They may also be used to build a new residence. Purchase loans typically require low or no down payments and often do not require borrowers to maintain private mortgage insurance. Purchase loans usually have lower interest rates than traditional mortgages.

Cash-Out Refinance Loans

If you’re a current homeowner, cash-out refinance loans let you draw on your home equity to get cash for essentials such as tuition, home improvements or repairs and pay off other debt. These loans also let borrowers refinance non-VA loans into VA-backed loans, which may come with better interest rates.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans

IRRRL loans are designed for homeowners who currently have a VA-backed mortgage, but who want to reduce monthly payments. Known as streamline refinancing, an IRRRL can provide a lower interest rate or convert a loan with an adjustable or variable interest rate to one with a fixed interest rate. IRRRLs are issued through private lenders rather than directly through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Native American Direct Loans

Native American Direct Loans are intended for veterans who are Native American or who have Native American spouses, and who wish to purchase, build or renovate a home located on federal trust land. In addition to standard VA loan requirements, NADL borrowers must demonstrate that their tribal government has an agreement with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs that lays out how the program will operate on its trust lands.

Who Is Eligible for a VA Home Loan?

Veterans, service members and surviving spouses of deceased veterans are eligible for VA home loans. Borrowers must also meet the following requirements:

  • Qualify for a VA-backed loan Certificate of Eligibility
  • Meet qualifications for income and credit as determined by the VA and the individual lender
  • Intend to live in the home being purchased

Service commitments, length and character of service and duty status may also impact a veteran's eligibility for specific loan benefits. Additional requirements are in place for applicants of Native American Direct Loans.

Can a Child of a Veteran Get a VA Loan?

No. The children of veterans, deceased veterans and service members are not eligible for VA loans. In addition, preexisting VA loans may not be transferred to the children of veterans, deceased veterans or service members. This applies to dependent and nondependent children.

What Housing Benefits Can a Child of a Veteran Get?

Although children of veterans and service member do not qualify for VA loans, they may be permitted to be the primary resident in a house purchased with a VA loan by a qualified borrower. Applicable occupancy situations can vary by lender and should be discussed with the assigned loan officer at the applicable financial institution.

Where Can I Go for More Information?

Representatives at your regional VA loan center can provide additional information on loan requirements and how to apply. Assistance is also available by calling the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs toll-free at (877) 827-3702.