Are you eligible for a VA Loan if you have applied for it previously?

In order to qualify for a VA-guaranteed home loan, you must have satisfactory credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The home must be for your own personal occupancy. VA home loans can be used for a wide variety of purposes including building or buying a home, home improvement and refinancing to lower an interest rate. If you have already applied for and received your entitlement for a VA loan then there is no need to reapply. There are a couple things you can do with your entitlement if you have already used some of it.

You can have previously-used entitlement "restored" one time only to purchase another home with a VA loan if you (the borrower) has paid off the prior loan but still owns the property, and you want to use your entitlement to purchase a second home. This often occurs with active duty borrowers who PCS (permanently change stations) to a new station but want to keep their existing home for retirement. But you should keep in mind that the law requires that you certify that you intend to occupy the property as your home (6+ months out of the year), but it specifically says that occupancy by the veteran's spouse satisfies the personal occupancy requirement. However, if the prior loan has been paid off and the property is no longer owned, you can have your entitlement restored as many times as you want. You can re-use your VA eligibility for every home purchase from the first to the last. 

Also, veterans who have used a VA loan before may still have remaining entitlement (see chart) to use for another VA loan. A veteran's maximum entitlement is $89,912, and lenders will generally loan up to four times your available entitlement without a down payment, provided your income and credit qualifications are fine, and the property appraises for the asking price. Lenders may require that a combination of the guaranty entitlement and any cash down payment must equal at least 25 percent of the reasonable value or sales price of the property, whichever is less.

For Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands residents, note that maximum original loan amounts have now been increased 50% higher for first mortgages.

While you do not have to go through the application process for a VA loan all over again, remaining entitlement and restoration of entitlement are not automatic. It can be requested through the nearest VA office by completing VA Form 26-1880. 

- Moore