VA Eligibility

See if you’re eligible for the VA Home Loan Program

Requirements for VA Eligibility

Understanding your eligibility can be difficult. You or your spouse must meet the basic service requirements set by the Department of Veteran Affairs, and have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Additionally, you’ll also need to satisfy the lender’s credit and income requirements. Below, we’ve put together a list of the things you’ll need to qualify for the VA Home Loan. 

Eligibility Requirements

Meeting any of these requirements will make you eligible for the VA Home Loan: 

Active Duty during Wartime

You've had 90 days of active service during wartime.

Active Duty during Peacetime

You have more than 180 days of active service during peacetime.

Reserves or National Guard

You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves.

Surviving Spouse

You are the spouse of a service member who has died either in the line of duty or as a result of a service-connected disability.

VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is the most important part of VA home loan. Your COE provides us, the lender with confirmation that you qualify for VA home loan benefits. 

As your lender, we’re able to instantly pull your COE through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA’s) automated system. Most, or nearly all COE’s are requested through their electronic portal.

Documents Required to Obtain a COE

Proof of service comes in many different forms. For regular military, your COE usually comes in the form of a DD214. For National Guard, the NGB Form 22 and NGB Form 23. However, sometimes this isn’t always the case. Take a look below to see what document you’ll need. 

Form DD214 (Report of Separation) 

Form DD214 (Report of Separation)

Statement of Service 

Statement of Service

NGB Form 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service) and NGB Form 23 (Retirement Points and proof of the character of service)

Army Reserve: DARP Form FM 249-2E

Navy Reserve: NRPC  1070-124

Air Force Reserve: AF 526

Marine Corps Reserve: NAVMC HQ509 or NAVMC 798

Coast Guard Reserve: CG 4174 or 4175

How a Spouse Can Obtain their COE

Receiving a COE as a surviving spouse is fairly straightforward. It mainly depends on whether or not you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. 

If you are a surviving spouse, and you’re receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits you simply need to fill out VA Form 26-1817 (Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses). You also must obtain a copy of the Veteran’s discharge paperwork. Also known as the DD Form 214. Or DD214 for short

If you’re not receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits, you’ll need to fill out and file the VA Form 21P-534EZ (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Survivors Pension and/or Accrued Benefits) and submit the form to your state’s VA Pension Management Center. You can find the full list here.

 

You will also need to provide a copy of your marriage license, Veteran separation paperwork, and the Veteran’s death certificate (DD Form 1300 – Report of Casualty).

Form DD214 can be requested from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. It can take quite a bit of time for them to find the separation paperwork, so be sure to request this sooner than later. 

If you’re confused or feel like you could use some help, please reach out to one of our VA Home Loan Eligibility specialist. We have representatives available at all times to help guide you through the process.

Additional VA Eligibility Requirements

Even though the VA sets the guidelines for VA loan eligibility, private lenders who finance the home typically carry an additional set of guidelines. These often times include sufficient reliable income to repay the loan, minimum credit score, and reasonable levels of debt. 

VA Loan Credit and Income Requirements

The VA does not set a minimum credit score requirement for eligibility. Because of this, lenders typically require a minimum credit score of 620-660. 

Along with the credit score, the VA requires a certain amount of income be left over each month after all major expenses are paid. This is called residual income. The left over expenses are meant to cover basic needs such as transportation, food, etc. 

The residual income requirement is set by the VA to make sure veterans don’t spend all their income on their monthly housing expense. Additionally, it ensures borrowers will have enough cushion in case of an emergency.