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VA Loan Eligibility Requirements

VA loan eligibility is based on meeting the service requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), obtaining a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and satisfying credit and income requirements set by the lender. Both veterans and their spouses may qualify for VA loans

Discover the key requirements for obtaining a VA loan.

A mortgage option for veterans, active military, and their families. Eligibility may be based on one or more of the following service time requirements:

  1. 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.

  2. 181 days of active service during peacetime.

  3. 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves.

Spouses of service members who died while serving or due to a service-related disability may also qualify for a VA loan.

Discover alternative options for VA loan eligibility - even if you don't meet the standard service requirements. Speak to a VA Loan Officer today.

VA loan: Check Eligibility Criteria

Find out what military benefits you qualify for - speak with a VA Loan Officer today. Take our quick eligibility quiz.

VA loan eligibility: Learn about alternative options. Discharge types that may qualify:


  • Hardship, Government Convenience, or a Reduction in Force.

  • Medical, Service-Connected Disability. 

  • Early-Out (21 months min.)


Speak with a VA lender, check your status today.

Check Your VA Loan Eligibility

As a veteran, you may be eligible for VA loan benefits. To verify your eligibility, lenders require a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This document confirms that you meet the minimum service requirements and helps speed up the loan approval process.

Getting your COE is simple, just provide your lender with your social security number and date of birth. In some cases, the process may be more complex, but don't worry, you don't need your COE before applying for a VA loan.

Speak with a Home Loan Specialist now and get your COE in minutes. This step will ensure a seamless home financing experience and eliminate any potential delays.

Additional Options for Obtaining Your VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

If you are ready to apply for a VA loan and need your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), the VA provides multiple ways for you to obtain it, including:

  1. Apply through a VA approved lender

  2. Apply online through the VA's eBenefits portal

  3. Apply by mail with VA Form 26-1880

The VA reports that nearly all COE requests are received electronically, with two-thirds being issued immediately. Additional documentation, such as DD Form 214 for regular military, NGB Form 22 and NGB Form 23 for National Guard and Reserves, may be required.

Find out the specific forms required for your service type and get your VA loan COE quickly and easily."

Essential Documents for Your VA Lender


DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)

Activated National Guard or Reserves

DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)

Active Duty

Letter from Commanding Officer

Current National Guard or Reserves (Never Activated)

Letter from Commanding Officer and an allocated points statement

Discharged National Guard (Never Activated)

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

Discharged Reserves (Never Activated)

Army Reserve: DARP Form FM 249-2E or ARPC Form 606-E. 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

Need help determining eligibility? Speak with a trusted VA-lending specialist today ›

Surviving Spouses and VA Loan Eligibility: A Guide to Obtaining Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

As a surviving spouse, you may be eligible for VA loan benefits. The first step to accessing these benefits is to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Your COE verifies your eligibility and is an essential document for your VA loan application.

The process of obtaining your COE depends on whether or not you receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. If you receive these benefits, you'll need to complete VA Form 26-1817 and provide a copy of the Veteran's separation paperwork, such as a DD Form 214.

If you don't receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, you'll need to apply via VA Form 21P-534EZ and submit it to your state's VA Pension Management Center. You'll also need to provide a copy of your marriage license, the Veteran's death certificate, and their separation paperwork, which you can request from the US National Archives and Records Administration.


Need help or have questions? Reach out to a VA Home Mortgage loan officer for support and guidance.

VA Loan Requirements: Understanding Credit Score, Residual Income, and DTI

The VA doesn't have a minimum credit score requirement for VA loan eligibility, and we don't either. But, most lenders usually have their own credit score requirements, usually around 620. With us, there's no minimum credit score requirement.

As long as the loan is Approve/Eligible with your VA Loan Specialist, we will close the deal. If we get Refer/Eligible status, we have very flexible manual underwriting programs for both VA Cash Out and Home Purchase.

The VA also requires eligible Veterans to have residual income to cover their family's essential expenses. This is to ensure that borrowers have enough income to meet their financial obligations and have a cushion in case of emergencies.

In addition to residual income, lenders also look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio when determining VA loan eligibility. The DTI ratio, along with residual income, gives lenders a comprehensive view of your financial standing and ability to repay the loan.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a VA Loan: A Comprehensive Overview

Veterans and service members don't need to know their eligibility for a VA loan to start the application process. Loan preapproval is the first step in determining your eligibility for a VA loan.

The VA loan process typically takes 30-45 days from being under contract on a home, but the timeline may vary. The VA loan application doesn't commit you to a specific lender or the homebuying process.

Follow these three steps to apply for a VA home loan:

  1. Contact a VA Lender: Reach out to a VA lender through online, phone, or in-person to initiate your VA loan application.

  2. Verify VA Loan Eligibility: Obtain your Certificate of Eligibility through your lender or on your own.

  3. Complete the VA Loan Application: Submit your loan application and required documents, including W-2s, tax returns, and financial information, to your lender."

Do You Qualify for VA Loan Benefits? Get Answers to Your Eligibility Questions

Expert Assistance with VA Home Loans: Contact Our 24/7 Home Loan Specialists

Have questions about VA loans? Our Home Loan Specialists are available round-the-clock to answer your queries. Call us at 1-833-VA-LOAN-3 or start your application online.

Discover the numerous benefits of VA loans in our next section.

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