certificate eligibility va home loans

VA Loans

How to Get a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loans

How to Get a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loans

Unlike traditional mortgages, VA home loans are only available to qualified members of the military. As long as you meet those qualifications, you’re able to buy a house with the VA loan. But you’ll have to show that you’re eligible for the loan before your lender will give you the money you need. To do this, you’ll need a Certificate of Eligibility (C.O.E.). Here’s how to apply for one.

How to Get a COE for your VA Loan

Fortunately, obtaining a COE isn’t too complicated. Here are some tips on how to get started with the process.

Let Your Lender Handle It

Most lenders who are familiar with VA home loans will be willing and able to apply for a C.O.E. on your behalf. They’ll contact the right office, run your credentials through their database, and issue the certificate if you’re qualified. This saves you the step and the potential frustration of applying for the certificate. However, this won’t work for everyone and some lenders just won’t provide the service.

Apply Online

The easiest way to get a Certificate of Eligibility is to apply online through the eBenefits portal. You’re able to do this before you even start looking at your options for VA home loans. The certificate won’t expire, so it won’t matter how long it takes you to find a lender you’re happy to work with.

Mail It In

If you’re not comfortable with online applications or don’t have access to fast internet, you can always apply via snail mail. You’ll need to request a VA Form 26-1880 from your local VA office or you can print one out here. Fill the form out and mail it to your region’s Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters.

The C.O.E. Is Required

Though you can start the application process for VA home loans without a certificate, you won’t be able to buy your house unless you present the lender with a valid C.O.E. If you’re not eligible, contact your VA office and find out what you need to do to meet the requirements and reapply for a C.O.E. once you meet them.

Don’t Wait to Start the Application Process

Though you will need a Certificate of Eligibility to qualify for VA home loans, don’t wait to start shopping around. Contact us to apply for your loan today.