VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of the VA's mission to serve you, the VA provides a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.
VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.
Purchase Loans help you purchase a home at a competitive interest rate often without requiring a downpayment or private mortgage insurance. Cash Out Refinance loans allow you to take cash out of your home equity to take care of concerns like paying off debt, funding school, or making home improvements. Learn More
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): also called the Streamline Refinance Loan can help you obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing your existing VA loan. Learn More
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: helps eligible Native American Veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land, or reduce the interest rate on a VA loan. Learn More
You must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. The home must be for your own personal occupancy. The eligibility requirements to obtain a COE are listed below for Servicemembers and Veterans, spouses, and other eligible beneficiaries.
VA home loans can be used to:
|Status||Qualifying Wartime & Peacetime Periods||Qualifying Active Duty Dates||Minimum Active Duty Service Requirement|
|Veteran||WWII||9/16/1940 - 7/25/1947||90 total days|
|Post-WWII||7/26/1947 - 6/26/1950||181 continuous days|
|Korean War||6/27/1950 - 1/31/1955||90 total days|
|Post-Korean War||2/1/1955 - 8/4/1964||181 continuous days|
|Vietnam War||8/5/1964 - 5/7/1975 *For Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, the beginning date is 2/28/1961||90 total days|
|Post-Vietnam War||5/8/1975 - 9/7/1980 *The ending date for officers is 10/16/1981||181 continuous days|
|24-month rule||9/8/1980 - 8/1/1990 *The beginning date for officers is 10/17/1981||
|Gulf War||8/2/1990 - Present||
|Currently On Active Duty||Any||Any||90 continuous days|
|National Guard & Reserve Member||Gulf War||8/2/1990 - Present||90 days of active service|
*If you do not meet the minimum service requirements, you may still be eligible if you were discharged due to (1) hardship, (2) the convenience of the government, (3) reduction-in-force, (4) certain medical conditions, or (5) a service-connected disability.
The spouse of a Veteran can also apply for home loan eligibility under one of the following conditions:
You may also apply for eligibility if you fall into one of the following categories:
Veterans can have previously-used entitlement "restored" to purchase another home with a VA loan if:
After establishing that you are eligible, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE verifies to the lender that you are eligible 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.
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||DD Form 214 - required to have a copy showing the character of service (item 24) and the narrative reason for separation (item 28).|
|Current or former National Guard or Reserve member who has been activated Federal active service|
|Active Duty Servicemember||A current statement of service:
|Current National Guard or Reserve member who has never been Federal active service||Statement of service:
|Discharged member of the National Guard who has never been activated for Federal active service||NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, for each period of National Guard service
NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, and proof of the character of service
|Discharged member of the Selected Reserve who has never been activated for Federal active service||Copy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service|
|If you are a Surviving Spouse in Receipt of DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) benefits||
Submit VA form 26-1817 and veteran's DD214 ( if available)
Include veteran's and surviving spouse's social security number on the 26-1817 form
|If you are a Surviving Spouse and are not receiving DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) benefits||
Submit the following to the appropriate Compensation and Pension office:
- DD214 (if available)
- Marriage License
- Death Certificate or DD Form 1300 – Report of Casualty
- Please find the mailing address for your state to send the VA 21-534 on the following link. PMC States
After gathering the evidence you need, you can apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the following ways.
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.
Spouses can take the VA form 26-1817 to their lender for processing (see Apply Through Lender above) or may mail the 26-1817 and DD214 (if available) to the following address:
If you can't print the form, just call 1-888-768-2132 and follow the prompts for Eligibility and we will mail the form to you.
Send the completed form to:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE (262)
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031