Same sex marriages have been at the forefront in the news recently. While Federal law
VA Home Lenders
states that veterans and their spouses are eligible to apply jointly for VA loans, unmarried couples (states where same sex marriages are not recognized) could only get support if all parties were eligible for the benefit on their own.
Back in September 2013, the VA was the first government backed mortgage provider to offer VA loans to same sex married veterans. The VA home loan guaranty benefit for same sex marriages is reviewed in the same manner as it is performed for opposite sex married couples.
VA recognizes a Veteran’s marriage for VA loan purposes if:
-the marriage was legal in the place where the Veteran or the Veteran’s spouse lived at the time of the marriage; or
-the marriage was legal in the place where the Veteran or the Veteran’s spouse lived when he or she filed a VA claim or application (or a later date when the Veteran became eligible for benefits).
However, while the federal government recognizes same sex marriages, eligibility is contingent upon the individual state and their stand on same sex marriage. Since this is not recognized by all states, VA loan approval depends on the location of the borrower. In some states, a same sex married couple will need to follow the guidelines for a VA joint loan. VA joint loan rules are as follows:
-the veteran and one or more non-veterans (not spouse)
-the veteran and one or more non-veterans who will not use their entitlement (not spouse)
-the veteran and one or more other veterans, all using entitlements (not spouse)
-the veteran and spouse who is a veteran, both using entitlements (a veteran and spouse who is not a veteran or one that is a veteran but not using their entitlement is not considered a joint loan)
In states that do not recognize same sex marriages, couples will need to utilize the VA joint loan. However, the VA guaranty is only extended to the veteran and their portion of the loan. The other applicant is not backed by the VA loan guaranty. Because of this, some lenders may require a down payment on the non-guaranteed portion of the loan.
It is the intention of the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure all Veterans and their families continue to receive the benefits that they have earned and deserve through their service. While it might be a state issue, the VA recognizes both same sex and opposite sex marriages as equal and the same.
My loan process was very easy and quick. Not to mention a great loan rate. I couldn't be happier!
Capt Sam T. - US Army
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