How to Get a VA Certificate of Eligibility

by | Mar 17, 2022 | Education, Military & Vets, The VA Home Loan, VA Loan, VA Loan Requirements

A VA Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs is necessary to be approved for a VA home loan. A COE essentially demonstrates to your lender that you meet all of the VA’s qualifications based on your service history and duty status.

A Certificate of Eligibility does not necessarily mean you meet all of the other requirements related to credit score, DTI, and residual income that are necessary to qualify for a VA loan, but it does mean that you meet the military service requirements.

Collect the Information You Need

Before applying for a COE, you will want to make sure you have all the information you need ready and available. Below is a table detailing the information you will need based on your status.

Veteran Copy of Discharge or Separation Papers (DD214)
Service Member
  • Full name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Date you entered duty
  • Duration of any lost time
  • Name of the command providing the information.
Current or Former Activated National Guard

Current or Former Activated National Guard member:

  • Copy of your DD214 or other discharge documents

Current or former activated National Guard member with at least 90 days of active-duty service including at least 30 consecutive days provide a copy of one of the following:

  • DD214 showing 32 USC sections 316, 502, 503, 504, 505 activation
  • An annual point statement
  • DD220 with accompanying orders
Current member of the National Guard or Reserve who has never been activated
  • Statement of service signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer showing the following information:
  • Full name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Date you entered duty
  • Total number of creditable years of service
  • Duration of any lost time
  • Name of the command providing the information
Discharged member of the National Guard who was never activated
  • Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) for each period of National Guard service
  • Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23) and proof of the character of service
Discharged member of the Reserve who was never activated
  • Copy of your latest annual retirement points
  • Proof of your honorable service
Surviving spouse of a Veteran who died in active duty or who had a service-connected disability
  • Veteran’s discharge documents (DD214) if available
  • Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses (VA Form 26-1817).

 

Apply For Your VA COE By Mail

You can also apply for your COE via mail. Print and fill out the Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and send it in the mail to the address provided on the form. This method is not recommended since it will take exceptionally longer for you to retrieve your COE using this method. However, it is available for veterans who might not feel comfortable filling out an application online or having a lender apply for them.

Have Your Lender Retrieve Your VA COE

The easiest way to retrieve your COE is to have a VA-approved lender get it for you. In most cases, our loan specialists at VeteransLoans.com can get your COE using the Department of Veterans Affairs’ online Web LGY system. Our specialists can also walk you through the next steps of getting your VA direct or VA-backed home loan. Call 1 (888) 232-1428 to speak with a loan specialist today!

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