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Senate Bill Would Expand VA Home Loan Eligibility

05-21-24 WR Home Loans WEBSITE
05-21-24 WR Home Loans WEBSITE
Washington Report

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate on May 14 would expand the Department of Veterans Affairs' home loan eligibility to more National Guardsmen and Reservists.

Currently, Guardsmen and Reservists are eligible for VA home loans after six years of service or 90 total days of federal active-duty service (at least 30 of which are consecutive) for purposes besides training.

The Expanding Home Loans for Guard and Reservists Act would amend the eligibility to include 90 consecutive days of active-duty training other than basic training.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., introduced the legislation.

Shaheen and Cramer said in a May 14 press release that their bill fills in an unintended gap in current eligibility.

This gap fails to fully incorporate time spent in active-duty training, such as Special Forces or aviation training.

"Our nation’s housing affordability crisis has widespread impacts, including on National Guard Members and Reservists who have bravely served our country," said Shaheen, the co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus.

"By closing this eligibility loophole, the legislation would ensure that all of our veterans and service members can use VA home loans to access affordable housing options," she continued.

"Our Guard and Reservists answer the call and drop everything to serve our country when needed most," Cramer noted.

"While Congress intended each of them to access these benefits when we expanded the program, a technical error stands in the way," he added. "Our bill corrects the flaw within the program to ensure eligible servicemembers can actually utilize the VA Home Loan benefit they’ve earned."

The text of Shaheen and Cramer's bill is available here.

VA home loans enable eligible buyers to purchase a home with no money down. Additionally, no private mortgage insurance is required for purchases.

More information about the VA's home loans is available here.

A companion bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., and Pat Ryan, D-N.Y., on November 3.

Kiggans and Ryan's bill (H.R. 6225) would amend the current eligibility for Guardsmen and Reservists seeking VA home loans to include 30 consecutive days of active-duty training other than basic training.

The text of this House bill is available here.

— By John Goheen