Ask your lender if they ran it under Fannie Mae's DesktopUnderwriter (DU) or Freddie Mac's LoanProspector (LP)? LP gives much more favorable underwriting decisions for VA loans than DU does... so if they haven't tried LP, tell them to do so. If they don't have LP (most people use DU and not LP) then you should try a lender who uses LP (we use both DU & LP).
You can also have your loan officer fiddle around with the scenario/run hypothetical situations - such as a lower sales price (to reduce the debt to income ratio), increasing the amount of financial reserves you have (savings, checking, 401k, etc.), paying off debt (again, reducing the debt ratio) or even trying with a small down payment (3 to 5% down). I recently had a VA loan where both DU & LP were giving it a "Refer", so I added 2 months more reserves and it came back as "Approve" so that is what my clients goal is... saving up some more money.
However getting a "Refer" doesn't mean an automatic denial, it just means the underwriter cannot use the automated underwriting system to assist them with approving the loan. They have to manually apply VA's guidelines to determine if you are approved.
If the underwriter has already reviewed it, and cited that the student loan payments after the BK is the reason that they can't approve it... I'm not surprised, as the BK was just a little over 2 years ago and if you have late payments after a BK, usually you have to wait at least 12 months and potentially up to 24 months since the most recent late payment (basically the underwriter applies the BK seasoning requirement to the most recent late payment).
Shane Milne | Lending in all 50 states | NMLS #81195
shane@thebesthomeloans | 949-273-4161 direct