Native American Direct Loan Program for Veterans

What is the Native American Direct Loan program?  

The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program was created to help eligible Native American veterans pay for the construction, a new, or improve a home on federal trust land.   

This loan is like a Purchase Loan offered to eligible service members and veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, not all lenders are able to make loans for properties on federal trust land, ask before selecting a lender. 

What are the benefits of a Native American Direct Loan?  

  • No down payment or private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required; 
  • Low fixed interest rate; 
  • Low closing costs; 
  • No loan limits; 
  • Reusable benefit; and 
  • Ability to refinance a current NADL.  

How does the Native American Direct Loan work with Native Tribes?  

Native American Tribes or other sovereign governing bodies first enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the VA. Once the MOA has been agreed on, the service member may apply for a NADL loan.  

The NADL program is a loan and not a grant, the borrowed money needs to be paid back to the lender.  

For properties not located on federal trust land, a different type of VA loan may be used to purchase, improve, or build a property.  

What is a Memorandum of Understanding used for? 

An MOA is an agreement between a Tribe and the federal government. In this agreement, the Tribe is made responsible for entering into a lease agreement for the land where the property is located or where it is going to be built. An MOA also authorizes loan officials to enter the land for appraisal purposes. The MOA also states Tribal foreclosure rules for the lender.  

Which Native American Tribes have a Memorandum of Understanding with the VA? 

The VA has a map of the United States where users can click on each state to see which tribes already have an MOU with the VA.  

MOAs are also available to Natives of Hawaiian Homelands, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and Guam. 

Which Tribes in Arizona have a Memorandum of Understanding with the VA?  

The following Arizona Native Tribes have a MOU with the VA: 

  • Hualapai Indian Nation; 
  • Colorado River Indian Tribes; 
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe; 
  • Gila River Indian Community; 
  • Yavapai-Apache Nation; 
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe; 
  • Fort Mojave Indian Tribe; 
  • Navajo Nation; 
  • Hopi Tribe; 
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe; and 
  • Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. 

What if my Tribe does not have a Memorandum of Understanding? 

If a service member is a member of a tribe without a MOU and want to use the Native American Direct Loan program, they may contact their regional loan center 

Draft language for a NADL MOU may be used and downloaded.  

Who is eligible for the Native American Direct Loan program? 

Native American service members or a non-Native American service member who is married to a Native American may be eligible for a NADL if they meet these requirements:  

  • The tribal government has an agreement—or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)—with the VA detailing how the program will work on its trust lands; 
  • The veteran has a valid VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE); 
  • The veteran has a good credit score; 
  • The veteran makes enough money to cover the mortgage payments and other costs of owning a home; and 
  • The veteran will live in the home they are using the NADL to buy, build, or improve. 

To learn more about VA Home Loan requirements that apply to NADL applicants, visit : [The Ins and Outs of VA Home Loans.] 

How do I get a Native American Direct Loan? 

To apply for a NADL, the veteran must: 

  1. Request a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) 

A COE confirms that a veteran qualifies for the VA home loan benefit.  

Learn if a veteran is eligible for a COE and for how to apply [Certificate of Eligibility Article] 

  1. Contact the VA regional loan center to begin the NADL process. 

Find each state’s VA regional loan center. 

Are there any fees I must pay with my loan?  

Service members eligible for NADL may have to pay a VA funding fee. This is a one-time fee that supports the program. Some service members or their spouses might be able to get this fee waived. The lender will also charge interest on the loan in addition to closing fees.  

What if I have more questions? 

An NADL coordinator can be emailed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 888-349-7541 

Available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm ET.  

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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