VA Certificate of Eligibility: Why It’s Essential and How to Get Yours

The VA requires lenders to obtain validation of a Veteran ‘s military service during the VA loanword march. The Certificate of Eligibility ( COE ) serves as that proof and tells a lender that an applicant has officially met the VA ‘s military service requirement. That said, one of the most crucial things to know about the COE is you do not need a COE in hand to start the VA loan process. It ‘s wholly potential to start the VA lend process and even get a preapproval letter without a COE. however, you or your lender must obtain the document before close. Any delays or questions about the Veteran ‘s military status down the road could halt closing or even upend the integral serve .

What is a Certificate of Eligibility?

A Certificate of Eligibility ( COE ) is a document from the Department of Veterans Affairs that confirms your eligibility for the VA loan plan. The COE besides details your available VA loan entitlement and if you ‘re required to pay the VA fund fee.

There is more than one way to obtain a COE, and while it ‘s a abruptly and simpleton document, it can stir up a fortune of confusion. Let ‘s clear up some of the most common questions around the Certificate of Eligibility.

How do I get my Certificate of Eligibility?

There are three ways to get your Certificate of Eligibility :

  1. Ask your lender. The easiest and best method of obtaining a COE, in our opinion, is going directly to your lender. Veterans United and other VA-approved lenders can tap into the Automated Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) database and often get your COE in seconds.
  2. Apply online. Go to the eBenefits portal and log in or create a new account.
  3. Apply via mail. Print off this form, fill it out and return it to the address on the form.

How to Get Your COE as a Veteran

In most cases, the easiest manner for Veterans to obtain their Certificate of Eligibility is to have a lender draw it directly from the government ‘s automatize database. Lenders can frequently do this with good the Veteran ‘s Social Security act and give birth date. Depending on the nature of your service and early factors, extra documentation can be required, including the Form DD-214, besides known as a Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty. by and large, the member copy 4 is the prefer transcript of the DD-214, as it has the most detail information regarding the Veteran ‘s service. You can determine which copy to submit by looking in the bottom right corner of the document. How can you get your DD-214 ? The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration provides this portal site to apply for your form on-line .

How to Get Your COE as an Active Military Member

Those still serving on active duty may need to submit a current statement of overhaul that denotes :

  • Veteran’s full name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Branch of service
  • Rank
  • Active duty entry date
  • Current date of separation
  • Unit of assignment and current duty location
  • Duration of lost time, if any
  • Last Discharge
  • Type of Discharge, and
  • Name of the command providing the information

There is n’t a standard shape or format for affirmation of service, but this roundup of information is common. The letter should be on official military letterhead .

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How to Get Your COE as a Member of the Reserves or National Guard

Reservists and National Guard members do n’t have a single discharge certificate like the DD-214. alternatively, they should submit their latest annual retirement points compendious along with tell of their honorable service. Army or Air National Guard members can submit NGB Form 22, a Report of Separation and Record of Service, or an national guard bureau Form 23 points statement. Like their Armed Forces counterparts, active members of the Reserves or National Guard must provide a sign instruction of avail that shows the necessitate personal information. The statement besides needs to clearly country that the applicant is an active reservist or Guard extremity .

How to Get Your COE as a Military Spouse

To receive a Certificate of Eligibility as a exist spouse, you ‘ll need foremost to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits. If you presently aren’t receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits, you ‘ll need to fill out VA Form 21P-534EZ, Survivors Pension and/or Accrued Benefits. once approved, follow the below steps. If you are receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits, you ‘ll need to fill out a request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses ( VA Form 26-1817 ). You ‘ll besides need a replicate of the Veteran ‘s DD-214 or early acceptable separation papers.

How to Read a Certificate of Eligibility

once you obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, you ‘ll notice an array of information, including your mention, Social Security number, branch of service and even the mention of the VA employee who issued your COE. Most of it is clear and square, but some items you may not recognize. The one separate that often leads to questions from prospective VA borrowers is what ‘s known as an entitlement code. This two-digit number gives VA lenders more data about your military service history and whether you may be exempt from paying the VA Funding Fee, an upfront cost that goes directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Borrowers receiving compensation for a service-connected disability, Purple Heart recipients on active duty, and eligible survive spouses do not have to pay this fee. There are 11 potential VA entitlement codes, which you can learn about here. Most of the entitlement codes relate to a period of military service. But an important one for Veterans who ‘ve used their VA lend benefit in the past is Entitlement Code 05. This entitlement code notes that a borrower has previously obtained a VA lend, repaid the loanword in entire and restored the entitlement used on the place. Borrowers who ‘ve used a VA lend before are submit to paying a higher support fee on future VA purchases unless their certificate of Eligibility indicates they are nontaxable from the tip. speak with your lend officer if you have questions about your entitlement code or if you believe yours is incorrect .

How Long Does it Take to Get a Certificate of Eligibility?

The time it takes to get a Certificate of Eligibility varies by how you apply. Requesting a COE by mail can take 4 to 6 weeks, while applying on-line or with a lender typically takes fair seconds .

What Does a Certificate of Eligibility Look Like?

See the prototype below. A certificate of Eligibility is a relatively simple document that displays basic information like :

  • The VA reference number for the certificate.
  • The Veteran or service member’s name.
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number.
  • Your branch of service.
  • Your entitlement code

What a Certificate of Eligibility looks like

What if I Lose a Previously Issued Certificate of Eligibility?

It is n’t a huge issue if you lose your COE. You can apply for a modern one through the three methods listed above .

Does the Certificate of Eligibility Guarantee that I’ll Get a VA loan?

If there ‘s one thing the Certificate of Eligibility is not, it ‘s a guarantee. The discussion “ guarantee ” frequently gets tossed into VA lend discussions, but to be clear, no one is guaranteed to receive a VA loanword barely by meeting basic service requirements. The COE simply signifies that you ‘ve cleared one hurdle on the path – namely, that you ‘ve met the military service requirement. Your property still has to measure up to VA criteria, and your borrower qualifications ( credit sexual conquest, income, debts ) must meet VA and lender standards .

My Lender’s Automated System can’t Determine my Eligibility. What Should I do Now?

If your lender ca n’t mechanically obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, it could be from a few reasons that may include :

  • Service members who had a prior VA loan go into foreclosure.
  • Service members who were discharged under conditions other than honorable.
  • Some Reservists and National Guard members.
  • Unmarried surviving spouses.

Do n’t panic if you fall into this group. It occasionally happens, and VA-savvy lenders typically know how to handle it. In these cases, your lender will typically ask for your DD-214 or points argument and send it directly to the VA for evaluation .

Does a Certificate of Eligibility Expire?

Your security of Eligibility does not expire. however, do n’t expect to reuse an old COE if you ‘re impertinently starting the loanword procedure. Your lender will need to verify your entitlement code. additionally, you may need a new COE if you received your first while on active duty .

What other questions do you have?

Have any early questions about the COE ? Please leave them in our comments section below, or contact a Veterans United lend specialist at 855-870-8845 .

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