VA Mortgage Eligibility For The Spouse Of A Deceased Veteran

Under certain circumstances, the spouse of a deceased veteran is eligible to obtain a VA mortgage loan. If qualified, the surviving spouse may apply for a VA mortgage based on the record of a service member who died in service or who died after a period of total disability.

The VA mortgage benefit is generally available to surviving spouses who have not remarried. There is an exception to the general rule, and the benefit is also available to a surviving spouse who remarries after reaching the age of 57. The loan application process is slightly different for a spouse than for a veteran. The mortgage features are essentially the same, but there is a cost-saving exception for surviving spouses.

No funding fee

Although VA mortgages are made by private lenders, the loans are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. A major advantage of VA loans is that private mortgage insurance is not required. Instead, a funding fee is normally assessed at the outset of the loan. For a surviving spouse, however, the funding fee is waived.

Up-front costs

An advantage to most VA loans is that there may be no down payment required if the sales price is not greater than the appraised value. The seller of a home is allowed to pay a portion of the closing costs on a VA mortgage. In fact, the buyer of a home with a new VA loan is not allowed to pay for the termite inspection.

Requesting a certificate of eligibility

Before seeking mortgage financing, a veteran or a surviving spouse must first obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The application process for a surviving spouse is slightly different from that of a veteran.

Veterans must submit VA Form 26-1880 to request a certificate of eligibility. Veterans can submit their request online and receive a prompt response. On the other hand, a surviving spouse must file VA Form 26-1817 through the mail. It may take up to three months to receive a certificate for a surviving spouse unless the Department of Veterans Affairs has already decided on the cause of the related death.

As with most VA loans, surviving spouses may reuse their eligibility more than once. If the house is sold and an existing VA loan is paid off, you may apply for a restoration of your eligibility. Alternatively, a qualified veteran may assume your VA mortgage, thereby freeing up your eligibility once again. Contact a real estate agent for more advice on mortgage funding.

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