Eligibility requirements for VA home loan programs

There are some criteria that have to be met for a veteran to be eligible for any of the VA home loan programs. Read on to learn how to apply for a certificate of Eligibility. Certificate of Eligibility proves to your lender that you qualify for a loan based on your duty status and service history. It is imperative to note that for you to qualify for a VA loan, you’ll also need to meet your lender’s credit and income loan requirements.

Can I get a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA direct or VA home loan?

Yes, you can get a certificate of Eligibility if you were honorably discharged and you meet the minimum active-duty service requirement based on when you served.

How do I apply for my COE?

Applying for a certificate of Eligibility is not difficult and can be done online. To apply for your certificate eligibility, go to eBenefits.

What if I don’t meet the minimum service criteria?

Luckily, you might still be able to qualify for a certificate of Eligibility if you meet the following reasons. You must have been discharged for one of the following reasons:

  • Certain medical conditions, or
  • Hardship, or
  • Early out ( if you have you have served 21 months of a 2-year enlistment), or
  • Reduction in force, or
  • A service-connected disability (a disability-related to your military service)
  • At the convenience of the government (you must have served at least 20 months of a 2-year enlistment)

>>More: How do I qualify for a VA loan?

What should I do if I receive bad conduct or dishonorable discharge?

Sadly if you received any of the above discharges, you do not qualify for a VA Loan. However, you can navigate these reasons by applying for a discharge upgrade or the VA Character of the Discharge review process.

Can I get a Certification of Eligibility in any other situation?

You can qualify for a certificate of Eligibility if atleast one of the below listed is true:

You are a citizen of the united states who served in the Armed Forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II, or Served as a member in certain organizations, like a:

  • Officer of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • Merchant seaman during World War II
  • Cadet at the United States Air Force, Military
  •  or Coast Guard Academy
  • Public Health Service officer
  • A midshipman at the United States Naval Academy

Who can get a Certification of Eligibility?

If you satisfy at least one of the conditions mentioned below, you may be eligible for a COE.

At least one of these statements must be right. You are:

  • If you are a US citizen who served in the Armed Forces of a government that was allied with the United States during World War II or served in some organizations, such as:
    • Public Health Service officer
    • A midshipman at the US Naval Academy
    • Merchant seaman during World War II
    • Cadet at the United States Air Force, Military or Coast Guard Academy

Can I use a Certificate of Eligibility I used before?

If you meet at least one of the conditions mentioned below, you might be able to “restore” an entitlement you previously used to purchase another home with a VA direct or VA-backed loan.

At least one of these statements must be right.

  • If you have paid the previous loan completely and sold the home you bought with it, or
  • A qualified Veteran-transferee wants to take over your loan and replace their entitlement for the same amount of entitlement that you used initially, or
  • If you have paid back your previous loan in full but have not sold the home, you purchased with that loan (you can only do this one time)

You can fill out a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) to request an entitlement restoration and send it to the VA regional loan center for your state.

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