If you’ve been wondering how to get a VA Certificate of Eligibility in order to apply for a loan through the VA Home Loan Program, there’s no need to look any further. A VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility, which shows lenders that you may qualify for a VA home loan, is fairly easy to request.
It’s important to remember, though, that a home loan is not guaranteed even with a certificate. Potential homeowners must still meet additional requirements in order to obtain a home loan.
Why You Need a VA Certificate of Eligibility
In order to qualify for a low interest VA loan with no down payment, you must have a VA Certificate of Eligibility, which is available to those people who serve or have served in one of the branches of the armed forces. In order to obtain a certificate, you must meet certain eligibility requirements as listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Without the certificate, there is no way to obtain a loan through the VA Home Loan Program.
How to Request a VA Certificate of Eligibility
Before you request a certificate, you’ll need to submit a copy of your discharge papers, showing how you were discharged. Those who are dishonorably discharged are not eligible for a certificate. If you do not have your discharge paperwork handy, you will need to request a copy of your for DD214 which proves military service.
Next, you need to calculate the amount of time that you served. Did you serve for a total of 90 days in a row during a time of war during World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, or the Persian Gulf War? If so, then you are eligible.
In addition, if you served for a total of 180 consecutive days during a time of peace following times of war, then you are also eligible. If you are currently on active duty or are a surviving spouse of a veteran who died in service or as a result of service, you may also qualify.
How to Apply for a VA Certificate of Eligibility
You can apply for a VA Certificate of Eligibility in three different ways. You can apply online at the Veteran’s Information Portal, through a VA approved lender or by mail. If you are unable to print a copy Form 26-1880, you can call 1-888-244-6711 to request a copy.
You’ll need to provide basic information about yourself, like your contact information, what branch of the service you served with, your status, rank, birth date and whether or not you are married when you’re finally ready to request a copy of Form 26-1880.
If, at any time, you need help with completing any of the forms or have a question about eligibility requirements needed to apply for a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility, you can contact the Department of Veteran Benefits for help, or contact an authorized VA Loan lender which can help you navigate through the process, and potentially pre-qualify you for a VA Loan.