Eligibility for the VA Home Loan Program

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Who’s Eligible for a VA-Backed Loan?

 

  • Veterans
  • Active duty personnel
  • Reservists/National Guard members
  • Some surviving spouses

Go to Eligibility Rules for detailed information.  You might also want to look at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

 

How Do I Prove to the Lender that I’m Eligible?

You’ll need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) before you can get a VA-backed loan.  This section shows how you can apply for one.

Among categories A, B, and C below, find the one that matches your situation.

Category A:  Veterans, Active Duty, and Reservists/National Guard Members Who Have Served on Active Duty

You can get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in any of three ways:

  1. Apply online.  To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal at this link.  If you already have login credentials, click the Login box, and if you need login credentials, please click the Register box and follow the directions on the screen.  If you need any assistance please call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937.  Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.
  2. Apply through the lender.  In many cases, lenders can obtain a Certificate online in minutes.  Check the table below entitled, “Evidence Needed for the Certificate of Eligibility.”
  3. Apply by mail.  Use VA Form 26-1880.  Return it to the address shown on the form. If you can’t print the form, just call 1-888-768-2132 and follow the prompts for Eligibility.  We can mail it to you.

Evidence you’ll need when you apply (Category A)






Category B:  Reservists/National Guard Members Who Have Never Served on Active Duty

You can get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in any of three ways:

  1. Apply online.  To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal at this link.  If you already have login credentials, click the Login box, and if you need login credentials, please click the Register box and follow the directions on the screen.  If you need any assistance please call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937.  Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.
  2. Apply through the lender.  Your lender can submit your application online for you.  Check the table below entitled, “Evidence Needed for the Certificate of Eligibility.”
  3. Apply by mail.  Use VA Form 26-1880. If you can’t print the form, just call 1-888-768-2132 and follow the prompts for Eligibility.  We can mail it to you.

Evidence you’ll need when you apply (Category B)


Category C:Surviving Spouses of Veterans Who Died In Service or As a Result of Service
You must apply for the Certificate by mail.

If your veteran spouse died after service, VA must determine that the death was due to a service-connected disability.  Please allow 2-3 months for this process unless you know that the decision on service-connected death has already been made.

Apply using VA Form 26-1817.  If you can’t print the form, just call 1-888-768-2132 and follow the prompts for Eligibility.  We can mail it to you.

Send the completed form to:

VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE (262)
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031

Evidence you’ll need when you apply (Category C)

Read more: www.benefits.va.gov

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