A VA loan is an incredible benefit offered to men and women of the armed forces who meet certain eligibility criteria. Not only are the benefits exclusive to veterans, they provide opportunities that you can’t get with other loans, like the ability to refinance your home up to 100% of its worth, no down payments on a home purchase, and more!
But to take advantage of the benefits offered by a VA loan, you have to prove you are eligible. In order to do that, you must meet certain guidelines.
To qualify for a VA loan, you must have one of the following requirements:
- Served 181 days during peacetime (Active Duty)
- Served 90 days during war time (Active Duty)
- Served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
- Surviving spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty
But in addition to meeting one of the above criteria, you must request a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Veterans Association. The COE, or Form 26-1880, proves to your lender that you, on behalf of the government, are qualified to receive the loan.
This form will ask you for information about your current living situation and your dates of military service. It is recommended that you provide your proof of service form along with the COE. This is the DD Form 214 (that you can obtain online if you do not have a copy). For veterans who entered service after Sep. 7, 1980 and were discharged after serving fewer than 2 years, proof of service is required.
You can print out a request for your Certificate of Eligibility online and submit it to the VA for approval; however, it’s important to note that it could take up to 6 weeks before you hear back from them.
Fortunately, a VA-approved lender, like Quicken Loans, can request this certificate for you. Talk to your VA-approved lender right now, to take advantage of today’s incredibly low 30-year fixed rates on VA Loans.
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