fbpx

Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and the VA Home Loan

Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and the VA Home Loan 

To qualify for a VA home loan, you must be either active duty military, a Veteran, or surviving spouse and meet specific eligibility requirements. But that’s not all. The Veterans Administration insists you have satisfactory credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Although you can begin the loan application process without a COE in hand, your loan won’t close without it. The VA makes no exceptions. The Certificate of Eligibility is mandatory for all active military members, Veterans, reservists, National Guards, spouses, family members, or disabled military members wanting a VA loan. Don’t put off getting your COE. To ensure your loan goes off without any hiccups, you might want to apply for your Certificate of Eligibility a few months before you try for that mortgage.

What is a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and how do I get one?

Generated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, a COE lets your VA-approved lender know whether you meet certain requirements for home loan benefits based on your military service. It also contains essential information that can help your loan officer calculate your entitlement — how much the VA will guarantee for you — along with fees associated with the loan. The simplest and fastest way to get your COE is through your Aligned Mortgage loan officer. As an approved VA lender, Aligned Mortgage can usually print most COEs right away.

How to qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility.

To qualify and receive your COE, you’ll need to prove that you’re a former or current military member who has either served 181 consecutive days during peacetime or 90 consecutive days during wartime. Members of the National Guard and reserves with at least six years’ experience also qualify as do surviving spouses (not remarried) of eligible Veterans who have passed away while in service or from a service-connected disability. Spouses of servicemember prisoners of war (POW) servicemembers missing in action (MIA) also qualify..

What information do I need to apply for my COE?

When applying for your Certificate of Eligibility, the required paperwork is not that complicated, but certain members will need specific items. Here’s a breakdown: 

Veterans, current or former activated National Guard or reserve members need a copy of their discharge or separation papers (DD214). 

If you’re an active-duty service member, you’ll need a statement of service — signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer — with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • The date you entered duty
  • The duration of any lost time
  • The name of the command providing the information

If you’re a current member of the National Guard or reserves, and have never been activated, you’ll need a statement of service — signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer — with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • The date you entered duty
  • Your total number of creditable years of service
  • The duration of any lost time
  • The name of the command providing the information

If you’re a discharged member of the National Guard and were activated, you’ll need:

  • Your Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) for each period of National Guard service
  • Your Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23) and proof of the character of service.

If you’re a discharged member of the reserves and were never activated, you’ll need:

  • A copy of your latest annual retirement points
  • Proof of your honorable service
Submit the form and discharge or separation papers to your VA lender or the VA  regional loan center serving your state.
If you are not receiving DIC benefits, you’ll need:
  • First, fill out an Application for DIC, Survivors Pension and/or Accrued Benefits (VA Form 21P-534EZ). You can download the form at va.gov.
  • The Veteran’s DD214 (or other separation papers), if available
  • A copy of your marriage license
  • The Veteran’s death certificate
Submit the form and documents to the VA pension management center that serves your state. You can find it at va.gov.
 

What happens after I get my Certificate of Eligibility?

Generally, once you’ve confirmed your Certificate of Eligibility, your lender will check to see if your credit and income qualify. Although the VA doesn’t have any set restrictions, VA-approved lenders have minimum credit score requirements. Currently, at Aligned Mortgage, our minimum credit score is 580 for loans within the county loan limit, and any loan above that amount would need a higher score, 600 or more. Factors other than the credit scores and additional qualifying requirements are also considered when providing loan approval.
Your lender will then request a VA appraisal of the house to estimate the property’s market value. Note that an appraisal isn’t a home inspection or a guaranty of value. During this time, your lender reviews the appraisal and your credit and income information and decides whether to accept your loan application. After the lender accepts your application, they will work with you to select a title company to close on the house and transfer ownership to you.
 

Do you have more questions regarding your Certificate of Eligibility?

At Aligned Mortgage, our highly-trained loan officers are available to answer any questions you might have concerning your Certificate of Eligibility and the process of attaining one. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

BUILD YOUR LEGACY

Learn Your Buying Power.

Register For Our Next Free Online VA Loan Seminar

Skip to content