Why you need a COE

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to buy a house using your VA Home Loan benefit, the next step is to get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You cannot begin the loan application process, and your lender can’t approve a VA Home Loan without it. This document, issued by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, verifies to your lender that you meet the qualifications and are eligible for a VA Loan based on your service history and duty status. In addition, the COE shows you and your lender the amount of your entitlement you have, which means the amount that the Veterans Administration will guarantee should you default on your home loan. The COE also determines if you’ll pay the VA funding fee, the one-time amount paid directly to the VA to help support the VA Home Loan benefit program.

Who qualifies for a COE?

To qualify for a COE, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Veterans are eligible if they served at least 90 days during active wartime or 181 days during peacetime. You won’t need to meet these requirements if discharged due to a service-related disability.
  • Active-duty servicemembers are eligible if they’ve served at least 90 days continuously.
  • National Guard and Reserve members are eligible if they have at least 90 days of active duty or six years of honorable service, or 90 days of service under Title 32, and at least 30 days were consecutive.
  • Surviving spouses of Veterans or spouses of Veterans missing in action or held as prisoners of war (POW) may be eligible. However, only spouses who have not remarried can qualify for a VA Home Loan. 

Note that requirements differ depending on whether you served during peacetime or active wartime.

Download your free VA Mortgage Guide.

Are you ready to take the first step towards homeownership? This comprehensive booklet is filled with expert advice and helpful tips to guide you through the VA Home Loan program and the homebuying process. From understanding your benefits to finding the right home, our guide covers it all. Don’t wait – click below to download your copy now and start your journey towards homeownership!

How to request a COE

There are three methods available for you to get your Certificate of Eligibility: 

  1. By mail: To request a COE by mail, fill out a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility, then mail it to the address for your regional loan center. You can find the address on the last page of the form. This method could take up to six weeks. 
  2. Online: Sign in to VA.gov to request your COE. You can download your COE from eBenefits, a joint VA/DoD web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to Veterans, servicemembers, and their families to research, access, and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information. Note that you must have an eBenefits Premium account to download your COE.
  3. Your VA-approved lender: This is the easiest and quickest way to get your COE. Your lender can request your Certificate of Eligibility through the VA’s online system, Web LGY hub. This option gets your COE right away and is far quicker than the mail option. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our expert loan officers at Aligned Mortgage about getting your COE. The quicker you get your Certificate of Eligibility, the faster your loan can get approved. 

Final word

Although having your COE in hand doesn’t guarantee your VA Home Loan, it is the first and most crucial step in the home loan process. No further steps can be taken without your COE. But as you can see, getting your Certificate of Eligibility is as simple as asking your VA-approved lender to get it for you. And note that your COE doesn’t expire, but you might need to update it in certain situations. For instance, if you were on active duty when you got your COE, you would need to update it once you were discharged. 

Learn Your Buying Power.

Register For Our Next Free Online VA Loan Seminar

Skip to content