The Department of Veterans Affairs administers a nationwide loan program to provide assistance in purchasing a home to those who have served in the military. The Veterans Administration guarantees qualifying home mortgages against default of up to $417,000 per veteran, who can purchase homes with no down payment and generally no primary mortgage interest. Civilian employees are generally not eligible for this program, though the government can make exceptions.
To qualify for a VA home loan, you must be a veteran who has served a minimum 24 months of continuous active duty, and have been either honorably discharged or discharged under honorable conditions. You may also qualify if you served less time but were medically discharged for a service-connected disability. Reservists and Guardsmen must have served at least six years in the selected reserve, or have served at least 90 days on active duty in support of a wartime operation or contingency operation.
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You cannot qualify for a VA home loan solely on the basis of being a Department of Defense civilian employee. This is true even if you were posted to a combat zone in your capacity as such a civilian employee. However, if you are otherwise qualified for a VA home loan, your status as a federal employee will not disqualify you.
Widows and Widowers of Veterans
Certain un-remarried spouses of veterans who died while in service, or of a service-connected illness or injury, or spouses of veterans who are missing in action or prisoners of war, can also qualify for the home-loan program. Additionally, surviving spouses who remarry after age 57, provided they married after December 16, 2003, can also qualify for the VA home-loan benefit.
While there is no blanket allowance for federal civilian employees to qualify for VA home loans, the federal government may grant eligibility for members of certain groups, such as service academy cadets or midshipmen, members of the merchant marine who served during WWII, and officers of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.