VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for a VA loan, you or your spouse must meet the basic service requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and satisfy the mortgage company’s credit and income requirements.
You may be eligible for a VA loan by meeting one or more of the following requirements:
– You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR
– You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR
– You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
– You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
While you DO NOT need your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in hand to apply for a VA loan, it is an important part of VA loan eligibility. Your COE provides the mortgage company with confirmation that you qualify for VA loan benefits.
Again, it is not necessary to obtain your COE before applying for a VA loan as most mortgage companies that do VA loans are able to get your COE through the VA’s automated system. In fact, nearly all VA loan COEs are requested electronically, and about two-thirds of certificates are issued immediately, according to the VA.
There are three basic ways you can obtain your COE for a VA loan, which include:
1. Applying through a VA approved mortgage company
2. Applying online through the VA’s eBenefits portal
3. Applying by mail with VA Form 26-1880
Documents Required to Obtain a COE
Proof of service to obtain your COE often comes in the form of the DD Form 214 for regular military, and the NGB Form 22 and NGB Form 23 for National Guard and Reserves. However, this isn’t always the case. See the required forms for each service type below.