Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan
A Veteran can see if they are eligible for a VA backed loan by applying online or applying through a mortgage company. An experienced mortgage Loan Originator will know how to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which does not take long. The eligibility for a VA loan includes having satisfactory credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility.
Lender’s VA Guidelines Vary
Some mortgage companies may have an internal set rule, such as a minimum credit score, for VA loans on top of the VA guidelines called an overlay. At the end of this article, it will explain on what do if the case is a lost DD 214 or evidence required to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan.
The Process of Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility – VA COE
The evidence needed to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan varies depending on the nature of eligibility. A Certificate of Eligibility verifies that a Veteran is eligible for a VA backed loan.
A DD 214 form is required and a copy should be given to whoever is obtaining the VA COE and this applies to the following:
- Veteran, current or former National Guard, or Reserve member.
For Active Duty Service member and Current National Guard or Reserve members who have never been federal active reserves:
- Statement regarding current service should be signed by (or direction of) the adjutant, personnel office, commander of the unit, or higher headquarters showing full name, social security number, date of birth, entry of date on active duty, the duration of any lost time, and the name of the command providing information.
For discharged members of the National Guard who have never been activated for federal active service:
- NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service for each period of National Service; and
- NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, and proof of character in service.
For discharged members of the Selected Reserve who have never been activated for Federal active service:
- Copy of latest annual retirement points statement; and
- Evidence of an honorable service.
For surviving spouses in receipt of Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits:
- Submit VA form 26-1817.
- DD 214 if available.
For surviving spouses that are not receiving DIC benefits:
- VA Form 21-534.
- DD 214 if available.
- Marriage License
- Death Certificate or DD form 1300.
- Mail to the appropriate address by following PMC States.
Applying for a COE
Once a Veteran has the appropriate paperwork, they can either apply online or apply through the mortgage company. Applying online includes going to the eBenefits portal if a Veteran wants to get their COE without the mortgage company, but it may be much easier applying through a mortgage company because they have access to the WebLGY system.
- The WebLGY system allows mortgage companies to either search for an existing approved COE, request an update on an existing COE, or order a new COE.
- The mortgage company process for obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan follows:
- This is done by searching first by entering the Veteran’s name and Social Security Number (SSN).
- If no results for found for the Veteran, a new COE must be ordered by using ACE.
A mortgage company will be able to quickly navigate through this system and start the process of obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan.
Lost DD 214 | How to Get a Copy of DD 214
The NPRC holds historical Military Personnel records of nearly 100 million records and a majority of these records are paper-based. There are a few options when obtaining a DD 214:
- Can request a copy online by visiting the National Archives Website.
- Go to the section to request DD 214/Seperations documents eVetRecs (Online).
Can request by filling out the Standard Form 180 (SF-180) and mailing to the following address:
- NPRC mailing address:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
Louis, MO 63138
- Or fax the standard form (SF 180) to: 314-801-9195.
DD 214 response time varies and talking to an experienced mortgage Loan Originator will help with the VA loan process. After the request has been made, a Veteran can check the status of the military service records requests.