Who is eligible for a VA loan?
VA loans are available not only to veterans, but also to many other large classes of members of the military, namely:
- Active-duty service members
- Surviving spouses of veterans
- Members of the National Guard
- Cadets at the U.S. Military, Air Force or Coast Guard Academy
- Officers at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
- Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy
The member must have completed a minimum term to be eligible. The minimum term is a function of when the member was in service (i.e. which years) and whether the service was provided during war or peacetime.
For active-duty service members, the requirement could be as short as 90 days to as long as 24 months. For reserves and national guard, the requirement is 6 years of service. To see your exact scenario, you can refer to VA website.
How does one prove eligibility?
To be able to prove to the lender your eligibility for getting a VA Loan, you will need a COE (Certificate of Eligibility).
What is a COE?
A COE is a document that proves to the mortgage lender that the borrower is eligible for a VA loan. If one is above to demonstrate proof of service, getting a COE should not be a problem.
The COE that one needs to submit varies based on whether the individual is a veteran, an active-duty military member, a surviving spouse, national guard, reserve etc.
Veteran: A copy of their discharge or separation papers (DD Form 214).
Active-duty Service member: A statement of service, signed by their commander, adjutant, or personnel officer.
Current (or former) activated National Guard or Reserve member: A copy of their discharge or separation papers (DD Form 214).
Current member of the National Guard or Reserves who has never been activated: A statement of service signed by their commander, adjutant, or personnel officer.
Discharged member of the National Guard who was never activated: Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) for each period of National Guard service, and Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23) and proof of the character of service.
Discharged member of the Reserves who was never activated: Latest annual retirement points, and Proof of your honorable service.
Surviving spouse of a Veteran who died on active duty or who had a service-connected disability: A copy of the Veteran’s discharge documents (DD214), and One or more forms such as 21P-534-ARE or 26-1817 or 21P-534EZ.