THE VA LOAN CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY: What is it? And how do I get one?

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY?

Paperwork. It's impossible to get around, no matter how streamlined you make the process. The VA Loan is no different. It comes with its own set of required paperwork and among the most important of that paperwork is what is known as the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). 

Although it's not impossible to get a VA loan approval without a proper COE, it makes it very challenging. The COE provides evidence of a buyer's VA loan eligibility and lets a mortgage lender know that the borrower meets minimum VA loan standards.

HOW DO I GET A COE?

There are two ways to get your COE. The easiest is working with a mortgage broker experienced with VA Loans, like those of us here at Patriot Home Mortgage-Pacific Group. We can access the Department of Veterans Affairs website. This website is only accessible by authorized VA lenders, not the general public. We can then quickly establish your VA loan eligibility and issue an online COE. We're done in a matter of minutes--quick and easy!

WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO DO QUICK AND EASY?

Really?! Well, there are people who like to do things manually and we can still help you out with requests made via postal mail. The process done this way will take days and maybe even weeks, but may be necessary for those few cases where the VA lacks sufficient data to process an online request, or for those who really like mailing things.

DOES EVERYONE NEED A COE?

If you are applying for the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (or IRRRL, for short), you do NOT need a COE. This streamline loan refinance process will use the COE you provided when you took out the original loan. We here at Patriot Home Mortgage-Pacific Group are experts in this process as well!

WHAT DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR A COE?

You will need to provide certain evidence depending on the nature of your eligibility, and whether you served (or are serving) as an active service member, a veteran, or a National Guard and Reserve member; or if you are an eligible surviving spouse of a veteran.

Here's a break down on what you need:

VETERANS AND CURRENT OR FORMER GUARD MEMBERS WITH FEDERAL ACTIVE SERVICE

  • DD Form 214 - required to have a copy showing the character of service (item 24) and the narrative reason for separation (item 28).

ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBER

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 WITH NO 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 WITH NO ACTIVE FEDERAL 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 SELECT RESERVE WITH NO ACTIVE FEDERAL SERVICE

  • Copy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service

SURVIVING SPOUSE IN RECEIPT OF DIC 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

SURVIVING SPOUSE NOT RECEIVING DIC BENEFITS

Submit the following to the appropriate Compensation and Pension office:

  •  VA form 21-534
  •  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

If you're ready to apply for your COE and get approved for a VA loan, give one of our licensed, experienced loan officers at Patriot Home Mortgage-Pacific Group a call today. We love working with veterans and are happy to help you through the process.