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Verifying Eligibility for a VA Home Loan

Signing a document

After establishing that you are eligible, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE verifies to the lender that you qualify for a VA-backed loan. This page describes the evidence you submit to verify your eligibility for a VA home loan and how to submit the evidence and obtain a COE.

Evidence Needed

The evidence you need depends on the nature of your eligibility. Consult the table below to determine your category and the evidence you will need when applying.

Category Evidence to Apply
Veteran, Current or former National Guard or Reserve member who has been activated Federal active service DD form 214 - required ot have a copy showing the character of service (item 24) and the narrative reason for separation (item 28).
Active Duty Servicemember A current statement of service:
  • signed by (or by the direction of):
    the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters
  • showing:
    Your full name
    Social Security Number
    Date of birth
    Entry date on active duty
    The duration of any lost time
    The name of the command providing the information
Current National Guard or Reserve member who hasnever been Federal active service Statement of service:
  • signed by (or by the direction of):
    the adjutant, personnel officer or commander of your unit or higher headquarters
  • showing:
    Your full name
    Social Security Number
    Date of birth
    Entry date on duty
    The total number of creditable years of service
    The duration of any lost time
    The name of the command providing the information
Discharged member of the National Guard who hasnever been activated for Federal active service NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, for each period of National Guard service
-OR-
NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, and proof of the character of service
Discharged member of the Selected Reserve who hasnever been activated for Federal active service Copy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service
Surviving spouse of a Servicemember who died on active duty

If you're already receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), you don't need to send any documents.

If you don't receive DIC, please send us

  • A copy of the DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) from the military
  • A copy of your marriage certificate

It would be a good idea to add a simple signed statement saying that you would like to apply for DIC. If you qualify for the home loan benefit, you probably qualify for monthly payments under DIC.

Put the Servicemember's Social Security number on all documents.

Surviving spouse of a Servicemember who died on active duty

If you're already receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), send us a copy of your award letter. (Generally, you will already have a record on file at a VA regional benefits office.)

If you don' t receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), please send us

  • A copy of the Veteran's DD Form 214
  • A copy of the Veteran's death certificate
  • A copy of your marriage certificate

We recommend that you add a simple signed statement saying that you would like to apply for DIC. If you qualify for the home loan benefit, you probably qualify for monthly payments under DIC.

Put the Veteran's Social Security number on all documents.

Applying for a COE

After gathering the evidence you need, you can apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the following ways.

Servicemembers, Veterans, and National Guard and Reserve Members

To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal. 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.

Most lenders have access to the Web LGY system. This Internet-based application can establish eligibility and issue an online COE in a matter of seconds. Not all cases can be processed through Web LGY - only those for which VA has sufficient data in our records. However, Veterans are encouraged to ask their lenders about this method of obtaining a certificate.

Use VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility.

Surviving Spouses

Spouses must apply by mail using VA Form 26-1817, Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility - Unmarried Surviving Spouses. 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.

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