3 Ways to Get Your VA Certificate of Eligibility for a Home Loan

VA certificate of eligibilityVeteran's Administration-approved lenders offer VA home loans, not the Veteran's Administration. Veterans Affairs lenders are obliged to acquire documentation establishing the veteran applicant's eligibility for a VA loan. The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) provides as evidence that the candidate has fulfilled the minimum service requirement.

An eligible veteran can use one of three methods to obtain a certificate (COE)

  1. By Mail
    The veteran will be able to receive the certificate through the mail. All you have to do is print off the Request for a Certificate of Eligibility form and mail it to the address provided on the form.

  2. Online
    Fill out the application completely, after creating an account. The following is a good flyer outlining the procedure:
    Online Application for a Certificate of Eligibility.pdf. However, your lender may be able to determine your eligibility and obtain your certificate of eligibility online in certain situations.

  3. Through the Lender
    Numerous VA-approved lenders have access to a proprietary database and may get the COE in a matter of minutes.

There are instances when the automated system is unable to generate a certificate of eligibility; in this case, have your DD214 on hand.

Who is eligible for a VA loan:

In general . . .

  • You have completed 181 days of active duty in peacetime or;
  • You have completed 90 consecutive days of active duty during a period of war or;
  • You have served in the National Guard or Reserves for more than six years. OR
  • You are the spouse of a military person who died in the line of duty or beme disabled as a consequence of service.

On its website, the Veterans Administration details all of the service criteria for a VA house loan.  web site.

Does the certificate of eligibility guarantee a loan?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. When a VA lender defaults on a loan, the Veteran's Administration (VA) guarantees to make up a portion of the lender's loss. To put it another way, the VA "guarantees" the lender's loan.

The minimal credit score for veteran home purchasers is 620, and they should have an adequate employment record and enough money to cover the numerous closing expenses that are not covered by the house seller.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans Administration

Q. Is it possible for a VA loan to be denied?
A. A VA loan is similar to any other kind of mortgage loan.
The veteran applicant must satisfy the lender's (and VA administration's) income, credit, and duration of work requirements, among others. The phrase "VA loan guaranty" often causes confusion. The guarantee protects the lender against loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Q. Is it possible for a veteran with poor credit to get a VA house loan?
A. The VA does not demand a minimum credit score, and some lenders may be willing to work with applicants with credit scores as low as 620, depending on the circumstances surrounding the bad credit.

Q. How long does it take for the VA to provide a certificate of eligibility?
A. Obtaining the Veterans Administration's certificate of eligibility may take up to six weeks (and longer). Fortunately, automated processes allow VA-approved lenders to get the certificate of eligibility much faster.

Q. Is a DD214 the same as an eligibility certificate?
A. The DD Form 214 serves as evidence of service. The DD-214 typically contains all of the information required by the VA to determine if the veteran is eligible for a VA loan.

Q. Why does my VA Certificate of Eligibility state that I am eligible for $36 000?
A. The VA's maximum guarantee for loans up to $144,000 is $36,000, which is paid to the lender in the case of a loan failure.

How it works is as follows:

You will get a home loan entitlement if you qualify for a VA-backed home loan.
This is the maximum amount we will guarantee the lender in the event of a loan failure.

As long as your income and credit history qualifies you for a loan and the property's worth matches the asking price, your lender is likely to agree to loan you up to four times the amount of your entitlement without requiring a down payment.
This is the maximum loan amount that you may obtain.

You may be able to borrow more than this amount if you are able and willing to make a down payment. The majority of lenders demand that your entitlement, down payment, or a combination of the two cover at least 25% of the loan amount.

SOURCE: US Department of Veterans Affairs

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