One popular question about VA home loans is whether a qualified borrower can apply for a VA loan with another person the same way you can on a conventional mortgage.

The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as applying together. There are some important questions to answer before the application stage and the implications of the answers to those questions are definitely worth thinking about before committing to the loan. In most cases these answers won’t be deal breakers but knowing about them is important for budgeting and planning the loan.

“Will I Be Applying With Another Veteran?”

If the answer to that question is yes, both borrowers should know that the VA loan funding fee will be split equally between all borrowers with VA loan entitlement--UNLESS one borrower is not using his or her VA loan benefit on the loan.

“Will I Be Applying With A Non-Veteran?”

If the answer is yes, the veteran borrower should know that the VA loan guaranty only covers the veteran’s portion of the loan--the nonveteran borrower’s portion of the loan is not guaranteed by the VA. The veteran cannot carry a disproportionate share of the mortgage loan responsibility--the veteran and non veteran must share equal financial responsibility for the mortgage, more or less.

“Are My Co-Borrowers Able To Credit Qualify On Their Own?”

VA loan rules state that all borrowers on the mortgage must be able to qualify--the FICO scores of the veteran cannot make up for the lower FICO scores of the non-veteran borrower, for example. The same is true when more than one veteran applies for the same VA mortgage loan.

“Is My Co-Borrower A Spouse?”

When the answer to this question is yes, the rules are very different--both borrowers in this case are treated equally--the VA loan benefit applies to the entire mortgage loan amount up to the the VA loan limit. Married borrowers are not affected by VA “joint loan” rules that apply to all the other scenarios represented above. The married status of the borrowers is what permits them to apply in this way--other family members or those who live together but are not married don’t have the same privileges when it comes to the VA loan benefit.

VA loans among multiple borrowers are possible--borrowers should discuss the options and responsibilities with a loan officer to learn what the best options are and what co-borrowing means in terms of budgeting and planning for the VA mortgage loan.

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