Questions about VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
You can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA loan program. You must submit a VA Form 26-1880, along with proof of service (DD Form 214, a statement of active duty, or proof of participation in the National Guard or Reserves) to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Winston-Salem Eligibility Center.
What is a Certificate of Eligibility and how do I get one?
A CEO (certificate of eligibility) is a required document in the VA loan application process. It helps the lender calculate a potential military borrower’s entitlement. An ACE (automated certificate of eligibility) is often easy to acquire because most lenders have access to the ACE system. This Internet application can determine eligibility and release an online Certificate of Eligibility in seconds. Veterans and active servicemen can also apply for a CEO by submitting a completed VA Form 26-1880, to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Winston-Salem Eligibility Center, along with their proof of service.
Can my lender get my certificate of eligibility for me?
Yes, your lender can get a certificate of eligibility for you through the ACE program. Most lenders have access to the ACE (automated certificate of eligibility) system. This Internet application can establish eligibility in seconds, but not all cases can be processed through ACE.
What is acceptable proof of military service?
If you are still serving on active duty, you must include an original statement of service, signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which identifies you and your social security number, and provides your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.
If you were discharged from regular active duty after January 1, 1950, a copy DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty should be included with your VA Form 26-1880. If you were discharged after October 1, 1979, DD Form 214 copy 4 should be included.
If you were discharged from the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, you must include copies of adequate documentation of at least 6 years of honorable service. If you were discharged from the Army, Air Force, or National Guard, you may submit your NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, or NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, or its equivalent. If you were discharged from the Selected Reserve, you may submit a copy of your latest annual points statement and evidence of honorable service. Unfortunately, there is no form used by the Reserves or National Guard which is similar to the DD Form 214. It is your responsibility to furnish adequate documentation of at least 6 years of honorable service.
How can you obtain proof of military service?
You can use the Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, to apply for military service regardless of whether you served on active duty or the reserves. Instructions for mailing the form are provided on the reverse side of the document.
I have already obtained one VA loan. Can I get another one?
Yes, your eligibility is reusable depending on your circumstance. Generally, if you have paid off your previous VA loan and disposed of the property, you can have your used eligibility restored to you. There is also a one-time only basis where you may have your eligibility restored if your prior VA loan has been paid in full, but you still own the property. To obtain restoration of eligibility, the veteran must send VA a completed VA Form 26-1880 to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Winston-Salem Eligibility Center. To prevent delays in processing time, it is advised that you include evidence that the prior loan has been paid in full and disposed of. This evidence can be a statement from the former lender or a copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement.
I sold the property I obtained with my prior VA loan on an assumption. Can I get my eligibility restored so that I can use it for a new loan?
The veteran’s eligibility can be restored if the qualified assumer is also an eligible veteran who is willing to swap his or her available eligibility for that of the original veterans. If not, the original veteran cannot have eligibility restored until the assumer has paid off the VA loan.
Even though I no longer own the home, only a portion of my eligibility is available because my prior loan has not been paid in full. Can I still obtain a VA guaranteed home loan?
Yes, but it depends on the circumstances. If a service member has already used a portion of their eligibility, then the used portion cannot be restored, but any partial eligibility is still available for their use. Veterans who fall under this category should contact a lender and discuss their remaining balance and any down payments required.
Are surviving spouses of deceased veterans eligible for the VA home loan benefit?
An unmarried, surviving spouse of a veteran who died during active duty (or as a result of a service connected disability) qualifies for the VA home loan benefit. If you are a surviving spouse and you wish to apply for the VA loan, contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Winston-Salem Eligibility Center. Surviving spouses, who obtained VA loans with a veteran prior to their death, may also obtain a VA guaranteed interest rate reduction finance loan.
Are children of a living or deceased veteran eligible for the VA home loan benefit?
No, children of eligible veterans do not qualify for the VA home loan.