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What Is a Joint VA Home Loan?

VA home loans are a special type of mortgage backed by the federal government. These loans are only offered to qualifying individuals who formerly served or are actively serving in the U.S. armed forces, or are a surviving spouse. 

There are cases in which a VA applicant may want to apply for a loan along with another person who is not their spouse. For example, the applicant may want a close family member or friend on the loan. In these situations, the additional applicant is considered a co-borrower. If the co-borrower does not have VA entitlement or does not want to use their entitlement, usually the best option is a joint VA loan. 

 

Joint VA Loan Definition

The Department of Veterans Affairs describes a joint VA loan as, “a loan for which the Veteran and other person(s) are liable, and [the] Veteran and the other obligor(s) own the security.” 

In other words, there are two people on the VA loan, one of which will be using their VA entitlement. Additionally, both parties on the loan are responsible for making the mortgage payments. 

 

Who Can Apply?

Joint VA loans can involve any of the following combinations of applicants:

  • A Veteran and one or more non-Veterans (not spouse)
  • A Veteran and one or more Veterans (not spouse) who will not be using their entitlement
  • A Veteran and the Veteran’s spouse who is also a Veteran, and both entitlement will be used
  • A Veteran and one or more other Veterans (not spouse), all of who will use their entitlement.

 

Benefits of Joint VA Home Loans

Buying a home with a joint VA loan can have many benefits such as:

  • Larger loan amount: If you apply for a joint VA loan, you may be able to borrow more and buy a more expensive home. The income of both applicants can be used to qualify. 
  • You can have a co-borrower: A trusted friend or family member can also be on the loan. 
  • No down payment: If both applicants qualify for VA financing, neither one will have to make a down payment.
  • Relaxed qualification requirements: VA loans are insured by the federal government. Because there is additional financial insurance for the lender, qualification requirements tend to be more relaxed.

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