VA Certificate of Eligibility for a Home Loan
Say you’ve looked into the qualifications for getting a VA loan and found out that you’re eligible. First of all, congratulations and thank you for your service! Second, before you can actually begin your application for a VA home loan, you’ve got to get a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is to prove that you are eligible so that you may take advantage of the VA benefits designed for you as a veteran or military servicemember. Getting your VA Certificate of Eligibility is the first step you want to take in the VA loan process.
Below Eric talks more about the VA Certificate of Eligibility and the best way to get yours.
VA Certificate of Eligibility Requirements
The evidence you need to apply for a VA loan depends on when and how you served. For example, there are different requirements for active members of the military, military veterans, members of the National Guard or Reserves, retired member of the National Guard or Reserves, and the surviving spouses of veterans. Find out which of these categories suits your situation.
Current Active Servicemember
If you are currently an active duty servicemember, you’ll need a statement of service. This statement needs to include your name, SSN, date of birth, entry date of active duty, and the duration of any time lost during your service. You’ll need the name and signature of the adjutant, personnel office or commander of whoever is providing the information. (The form can also be signed by someone who is acting under the direction of that person.)
Veterans and Current or Former National Guard or Reserve Member in Federal Active Service
If you’re a veteran or if you are/were in the National Guard or Reserves called to active duty, you need a DD Form 214 and Report of Separation. These documents show the character of your service.
Discharged, Never Activated National Guard Member
As a discharged service member of the National Guard who has never been activated, you have two ways to obtain your COE. The first option requires an NGB Form 22 and Report of Separation. The second option requires an NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, and character of service. Either of these options will suffice.
Discharged, Never Active Member of Reserves
If you’re a discharged member of the Reserves who has never been in Federal active service, you simply need evidence of honorable service and a copy of your latest annual retirement points statement.
If you’re a surviving spouse and you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, or DCI, then you’ll simply need to submit a VA form 26-1817 and the veteran’s DD-214. Along with this, you will need the SSN for both yourself and the veteran, which you should put on the form. If you’re not receiving DCI as the surviving spouse, then you will need a VA form 21-534, DD-214, marriage license, and death certificate or DD Form 1300 – Report of Casualty. In this case, you will send these documents the mailing address for your state with a request for the VA 21-534. (In both cases, please note that the DD-214 is only necessary if available.)
How to Request Your Military Records
You can request most of these documents by mail, fax, or online. You’ll need to sign and date your requests. If you’re doing this on behalf of a deceased servicemember, you will also need proof of death (such as a copy of the death certificate). There is no set time on how long it will take for your request to be completed, but the records office asks that you refrain from sending in inquiries about the status of your documents for at least 90 days. Although it’s not required, sometimes it can help if you also include the purpose or reason for your request and a specific deadline if applicable. There are options for Emergency Request if you’re in a tight time crunch. Finally, rest assured that there is generally no cost for these documents, but if your request does somehow involve fees, you’ll be informed beforehand. Visit the U.S. National Archives website for any further details.
Finally, after you’ve gathered all this information, you can apply for your COE online, by mail, or through your lender. Don’t wait to start getting the benefits you’re entitled to as a veteran!
Information in this article was made available by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Archives.