With nearly 10% of all home buyers in 2021 being unmarried couples, and around 15% of all home buyers using VA financing to purchase their homes, the question “Can an unmarried couple get a VA loan?” is being asked all over the country.
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as “yes” or “no.”
VA loans are backed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, meaning that they guarantee your loan repayment. And since they are accepting some liability for your debt, they are very particular about who gets VA loan benefits.
So let’s take a closer look at joint VA loan options for unmarried couples. By the end of this article, you’ll have a much better idea of whether you can get a VA loan with your girlfriend.
Why Would I Want to Get a VA Loan with My Girlfriend?
VA loans come with impressive benefits, including zero down payment for qualified buyers, competitive interest rates, no PMI, and the ability to purchase a multi-family property up to four units (as long as you occupy one of the units). So people who qualify for VA loans are generally excited to take advantage of these benefits.
There are a few reasons you might want to have your girlfriend on the loan with you. First, with your girlfriend as a co-borrower, you can use her income in addition to your own to meet the VA loan income requirements. And if she has a higher credit score than you do, having her on the loan could get you a better interest rate.
But the VA will only guarantee loans for military service members, veterans, and their spouses. So what are your options if you’re not married?
Options for Getting a VA Loan with Your Girlfriend
You have three basic options for getting a VA loan with your girlfriend.
Option 1: Get a Joint VA Loan (If You’re Both Military)
If your girlfriend also qualifies for VA loan benefits as an active service member or vet, you can get a joint VA loan together. The process for applying for a VA loan, in this case, would be similar to getting a VA loan as a married couple. The VA would review finances and credit scores for both of you to determine whether you qualify for the loan and what interest rate you can get.
Option 2: Put the Loan (and House) in Your Name Only
If your income and credit are good enough to qualify for a VA loan without your girlfriend’s income or credit, you could be the sole borrower on the loan. This means you’d be responsible for the loan, and your girlfriend would have no legal responsibility for the debt.
In most cases, this means that your girlfriend can’t be listed on the deed as a homeowner. Most lenders don’t allow partners to be listed on the deed if they’re not on the home loan.
Option 3: Consider a Joint VA Loan for Unmarried Couples (With Lender Approval)
Some lenders will allow you to get a joint VA loan with a non-military girlfriend, but this can get complicated because the VA will only guarantee the portion of the mortgage belonging to the qualified military member or vet. So, according to VA loan down payment requirements, your non-military girlfriend would need to have the money available to cover the down payment for her share of the purchase.
Learn more about VA loan down payment requirements in the article titled, “Do VA loans require a down payment?”
Where to Get Help with VA Loans
Getting a VA loan with your girlfriend might not be simple, but it is possible. At OVM Financial, we specialize in finding creative financing solutions to help more people become homeowners. And we’d be happy to discuss your options with you. Simply contact us at 757-296-2148 for a free consultation. And when you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, you can start your loan application online at ovmfinancial.com/QuickStart.