So what are VA Entitlement Codes and what do they have to do with your VA home loan? To be approved for a VA loan, you’ll have to provide a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) with your application. COEs are issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs after sufficient proof of your military service has been provided to the lender. COEs also determine how much money you’re entitled to receive from the VA, or in other words, how much of the loan the VA will guarantee. Because while there are no loan limits on VA loans, there’s only so much money the VA can guarantee to the lender.
If you’ve received a COE in the past, you may have noticed the words “Entitlement Code” followed by a number in the upper left corner of the form, such as “Entitlement Code 10.” What does this mean? Is this code important for you to know as the borrower? Well, simply put, these VA Entitlement codes identifies what kind of veteran or service member you are and is just part of the VA entitlement verification process.
How to Order Your Certificate of Eligibility
To get a COE, you’ll need to provide the VA with evidence that you served in the military. Obtain one of the following forms based on your type of service: a DD Form 214, a current statement of service, an NGB Form 22, or “a copy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service.”
Once you’ve compiled the necessary paperwork, your COE can be ordered by a loan officer, or you can order it yourself online via the Veterans Information Portal. If you’re unsure of how to use the Veterans Information Portal, check out the VA’s detailed, illustrated handbook on obtaining a COE online. If you’d prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, you can also apply for a COE via mail. Scroll to the bottom of this webpage to access a pdf of the COE application, which you can then print, fill out, and mail to:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE (262)
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031
What is VA Loan Entitlement?
If you currently serve or used to serve in the military, were honorably discharged, and have obtained a Certificate of Eligibility, then you have VA entitlement. “Entitlement” simply means the maximum amount of money the Department of Veterans Affairs can guarantee a VA lender for a specific borrower. Entitlement amounts vary by veteran based on service and financial records and the borrower’s ability to pay back the loan. VA entitlement is not a maximum loan limit set by the VA. If the lender has the money and you have the resources to pay it back, you can take out a VA loan of whatever amount you’d like. But the VA may not have the resources to personally guarantee the entire loan; they may only be able to guarantee a portion of it. Sometimes first-time VA loan users will underestimate just how much VA entitlement they are eligible to receive. Many may qualify for $417,000 of VA-guaranteed money. It depends on the state of their credit and income.
There are two forms of VA entitlement: basic and bonus. Basic entitlement can be described as a standard amount of entitlement; something in the $36,000 range. For loans up to $144,000, basic entitlement is normally what the VA will be willing to guarantee. Bonus entitlement is then applied to loans of about $144,000 to $417,000 and covers an additional $68,250 of the loan or sometimes $70,025. If this is your first time taking out a loan, you probably have both basic and bonus entitlement. If you live in a high-cost county such as somewhere in New York or California, the bonus entitlement and the conforming loan limit could be even greater.
What Are VA Entitlement Codes?
So what exactly are VA entitlement codes designed to do? Well, each code corresponds with a period of time in which military service could have been rendered. The VA considers when you served as part of your eligibility, so your code indicates when you served and when you received entitlement. Since VA entitlement is also extended to certain spouses of veterans or service members, there are also certain entitlement codes that describe their position.
Table of Entitlement Codes
Here’s a guide to all the different VA entitlement codes and the war or conflict they correspond with:
|Entitlement Code||Separation, Effective, or Honorable Discharge Era|
|01||World War II|
|06||Un-remarried Surviving Spouse|
|07||Spouse of POW/MIA|
|08||Post-World War II|
Additionally, here’s a guide to which wars fall into which time periods and how many days of service are required for VA eligibility:
|WWII||09/16/40 – 07/25/47||90 continuous days|
|Peacetime||07/26/47 – 06/26/50||181 days|
|Korean||06/27/50 – 01/31/55||90 days|
|Post-Korean||02/01/55 – 08/04/64||181 days|
|Vietnam||08/05/64 – 05/07/75||90 days|
|Post-Vietnam||05/08/75 – 09/07/80||181 days|
|Post-Vietnam||09/08/80 – 08/01/90||2 years|
|Persian Gulf||08/02/90 – undetermined||2 years or period called to active duty, not less than 90 days|
|*If you were discharged because of a service-related disability and so did not serve the minimum amount of time required, you may still be eligible for a VA loan.|
Giving Back to Our Veterans
If you still have questions about your VA entitlement, our loan officers at Low VA Rates are anxious to help you! We’d never want an eligible veteran to miss out on low rates and other VA benefits because of a lack of information. Call us now at 855-223-0705.