Does my spouse have to be on my VA Loan?


When it comes time to buy your home with your VA Loan, having your spouse or significant other (more on that in another post) on your VA Loan can be a good thing or a bad thing.


If your spouse works/has stable, dependable income & has decent credit, adding them to the VA Loan may mean you qualify for more house but what if your spouse has bad credit or significant debt?


Well as long as you’re not in a community property state, you can leave your spouse off the loan & you can qualify for your VA Loan based on just your income, assets & credit.


But what if you’re buying in a community property state like Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin?


The answer depends on the lender you’re dealing with & your specific scenario.


Most lenders will tell you that you have to count your spouse’s debts against your income even if the spouse is not going be on your VA Loan in a community property state! This would only apply to your spouse’s individual debt whereas any joint debt you have together would already be counted.


So let’s say your spouse has some credit issues & they do not meet the minimum requirements. You could leave them off your VA Loan application but you would not be able to include their income & you would have to include their debts & qualify under the debt to income ratio requirements with just your income in a community property state. If you’re in any of the other 41 states, this is not applicable!


Now for the good news. If your spouse has their own source of income & it’s enough to cover their individual debts, those debts do NOT have to be counted against your income when applying for a VA Loan in a community property state when the spouse is not on the VA Loan! 

But you need to find a VA Loan expert like John Burke with Great Plains Bank who knows the actual VA Loan guidelines & who has investors that will follow them.


The other benefit is you spouse does not to be counted as a dependent when calculating the minimum residual income requirements for a VA Loan.


To get a VA Loan in a community property state or in any other state, contact John Burke with Great Plains Bank at (877)228-9069 or by filling out the form below.


Take a look at the recommendations from some of my past clients on my Trulia profile by clicking the link;


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Can You Get A VA Mortgage With An Open CAIVRS Report?

Yes you can, depending on why you’re in the system.

Call me at (877)228-9069 for more information or help.

If you have applied for a VA Mortgage and had your loan denied because of the CAIVRS report you probably wondered why and what it is.

CAIVRstands for Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains this system, which includes federal tax liens and information from governmental agencies like VA, FHA, USDA & SBA to name a few. 

For example, Veterans who have yet to settle over-payments on education or disability income may trigger a hit in the CAIVRS system. Perhaps the most common CAIVRS Report issue is tied to defaulted student loans so staying current on federal student loans is critical.

I’ve had several people contact me after getting turned down by other lenders that had filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and included an FHA Mortgage in the bankruptcy.  

The bankruptcy isn’t an issue once it has been discharged for 2 years under the VA guidelines for a new VA Mortgage. The problem is when FHA pays a claim, you end up with a CAIVRS Report. Pretty much every VA Mortgage lender out there will tell you there is no way you can  get approved for a VA Mortgage until you clear up your CAIVRS Report but the only way to do that is to pay off the claim or wait it out! The wait time will be 36 months from when the claim was paid!

The good news is I can get your VA Mortgage approved & closed even though you have an open CAIVRS Report as long as the CAIVRS Report was the result of an FHA or VA Mortgage being included in a bankruptcy or through foreclosure and it’s been at least 2 years since the discharge or the foreclosure sale!


A new update on the whole situation of including a mortgage in bankruptcy & when you’re eligibility starts. A lot of lenders will tell you that if you stayed in the home & did not make a payment on the mortgage, you are not eligible for a VA Mortgage until 2 years after the bank forecloses on the home! This is NOT what VA requires so it’s a lender overlay. I can go by the discharge date of the BK regardless so don’t let anyone tell you that you have to wait longer.


Here are some reviews from Veterans that I’ve helped get a VA mortgage for a new home with an open CAIVRS hit.

These reviews are not made up testimonials on my own site, these reviews are on my & profiles.

Highly likely to recommend

7/29/2016 at 11:01 PM – ibme2009


Excellent experience. We had already lost out on one house due to my husband having a claim in CAIVRS from cosigning his daughter’s FHA loan. I was searching for a solution and I came across John Burke. He answered my phone call (which is a rarity in the mortgage business anyway) and he assured me that he and Great Plains Bank would get the job done. We just closed on our new house on June 22, 2016. I can’t thank John Burke and his staff enough.


Highly likely to recommend

7/12/2016 at 3:14 PM – cadj62


I can’t say enough good things about John Burke and his team. We had to file chapter 7 in 2012 to get out from under a home that got caught in the housing meltdown and had lost over 60% of it’s value and being faced with my job being relocated to CO. We relocated to CO in 2013 and did the right things after BK such as rebuilding our credit and score and applied for a VA loan after 30 months. At this time we were told we had an open CAIVRS and we were instructed to call the government agency to inquire about the date it was filed. We called only to find out nothing was ever filed therefore there’s no date. It’s considered an “open” CAIVRS which is basically a dead end to this agency. The best they could do is tell us to call the mortgage company that financed the house in NY and ask them why they never filed a claim?? I was about to give up for a year and found John Burke’s name and read the stories from others who struggled with similar situations. I contacted John and he took my application over the phone, he asked for copies of a few things and I had my pre-approval letter the same day. Within two weeks we found the perfect home and had an accepted offer. John and Brittany the processor were awesome. In fact my realtor made a comment that it’s probably the smoothest financial transaction he has been involved in. Today a month after closing, me and my family are enjoying our new home. It’s truly a blessing considering the nightmare we endured in NY. If you have a similar issue contact John Burke he will help you in any way he can.

If you have questions or you want to see how much you qualify for, feel free to call me at (877)228-9069 or fill out the form below.


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VA Construction Loans Are Back! – July 1st, 2015

We now offer VA Construction Loans for new modular homes, and one unit stick built single family homes. Our VA Construction Loan is a One Time Close program which provides construction financing, lot purchase and the final VA Mortgage, all wrapped up in one loan. What’s great about our VA Construction Loan is you don’t have to worry about re-qualifying, re-appraisals or incurring additional costs once you’ve been approved!

We will provide the interim financing and administration for a true VA Construction loan on a one-time close staged funded construction-to-permanent loans. Our VA Construction Loans are great for modular housing, and stick built housing, this programs allows us the ability to offer our Veteran clients this unique loan option.

We will underwrite and approve the permanent VA Mortgage portion of the loan before the construction begins. The construction portion of the loan is also underwritten and approved. When all conditions for closing are cleared other than the final construction related conditions, the closing will be coordinated. Once closed, construction can begin on your dream home.

Because the permanent VA Mortgage is closed before construction begins our VA Construction Loan doesn’t require “re-qualifying” the Veteran. This is a true one-time close; therefore, you will not need to return to the settlement agent for a second closing once construction is complete.

Key Benefits Of Our VA Construction Loan:
  • Reduction in total cost due to only one closing
  • Reduces interest rate risk
  • VA 100% LTV financing allowed (not including the VA Funding Fee)
  • Only one closing prior to the start of construction
  • No payments due from you during construction
  • Your first payment begins once construction is complete
  • No credit, document or appraisal expiration once the VA Construction Loan closes
  • No re-qualification of borrower once construction is complete
  • Builder/Retailer is allowed staged funding draws during construction based on line-item percentage completion


Until now if you wanted to use your VA entitlement to buy a brand new home you had to work with a builder that would carry the construction financing part of the process or you had to qualify for a traditional construction loan. Traditional construction loans are hard to find, usually require at least 20% down and 680+ credit scores. This is why our VA Construction Loans are so great, you only need a 620 or better score and you can even use it to buy the lot! 


If you have questions or you want to see how much you qualify for, feel free to call me at (877)228-9069 or fill out the form below.

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Here’s what you need to know if you’re trying to qualify for a VA mortgage and you’re within 12 months of  your ETS.


If the date is within 12 months of the anticipated date that the VA Mortgage will close,
the loan package must also include one of the following four items, or
combinations of items, to be acceptable:
1) documentation that the service-member has already re-enlisted or extended
his/her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12-month period
following the projected closing of the VA mortgage or
2) verification of a valid offer of local civilian employment following the
release from active duty. All data pertinent to sound underwriting
procedures (date employment will begin, earnings, and so on) must be
included, or
3)  a statement from the service-member that he/she intends to reenlist or extend
his/her period of active duty to a date beyond the 12 month period, plus
4)  a statement from the service-member’s commanding officer confirming that:
– the service-member is eligible to reenlist or extend his/her active duty as
indicated, and

– the commanding officer has no reason to believe that such reenlistment
or extension of active duty will not be granted, or documentation of other unusually strong positive underwriting factors, such as:

– a down payment of at least 10 percent,

– significant cash reserves, and

– clear evidence of strong ties to the community coupled with a
nonmilitary spouse’s income so high that only minimal income from the
active duty servicemember is needed to qualify.
Analysis: Base Pay:
Consider the applicant’s base pay as stable and reliable except if the applicant
is within 12 months of release from active duty.

– Analyze the additional documentation submitted.
– If the applicant will not be reenlisting, determine whether:
– the applicant’s anticipated source of income is stable and reliable, and/or
– unusually strong underwriting factors compensate for any unknowns
regarding future sources of income.


Contact John Burke with Great Plains Bank at (877)228-9069 or by filling out the form below.

Take a look at the recommendations from some of my past clients on my Trulia profile by clicking the link;

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Get A VA Mortgage With A 600 Credit Score!

While most lenders require at least a 620 or better middle credit score we will do a VA Mortgage with a 600 Credit Score!

It’s important to note that VA does not have a minimum credit score requirement so any time you hear a lender say they will do a VA Mortgage with a 600 Credit Score it’s what the lender requires or allows. The same thing applies to lenders that require a 620 score or higher. This is what we call a lender or investor overlay.

There are a few lenders that say they will do VA Mortgages as low as 530 or better but you need to be really careful and here’s why. 

While VA doesn’t have minimum credit score requirement they do have credit history requirements.

For example: Here are the VA Guidelines:

VA Pamphlet 26-7, Revised
Chapter 4: Credit Underwriting

In circumstances not involving bankruptcy, satisfactory credit is generally considered to be reestablished after the veteran, or veteran and spouse, have made satisfactory payments for 12 months after the date the last derogatory credit item was satisfied. For example, assume a credit report reveals several unpaid collections, including some which have been outstanding for many years. Once the borrower has satisfied the obligations, and then makes timely payments on subsequent obligations for at least 12 months, satisfactory credit is reestablished.

So this  is telling you that the VA wants to see 12 months of “clean” credit meaning no late payments, collections or charge offs in the most recent 12 months. They will allow 1 or 2 30 day late payments but that’s not really the point. So what is the point you ask? Your credit score is a direct reflection of your most recent credit history in most cases so if you have a 580 or lower credit score that generally means you have multiple late payments, collections or charge offs and that would make you ineligible under the VA guidelines.

What does this mean for you getting a VA Mortgage with a 600 Credit Score? It’s still possible as long as your most recent credit history is fairly “clean”.

You will probably also hear that anyone doing a VA Mortgage with a 600 Credit Score is going to have higher fees and interest rates and that’s just not true. You’ll get the same rate as someone with a 620 score.

So now you know that it is possible to get a VA Mortgage with a 600 Credit Score!

If you have questions or you want to see how much you qualify for, feel free to call me at (877)228-9069 or fill out the form below.

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