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Certificate of Eligibility

Certificate of Eligibility

The COE is primarily used in applying for a VA or CalVet Home Loan. After establishing that you are eligible, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for the loan application. The COE verifies to the lender that you are eligible for a VA-backed loan. This page describes the evidence you submit to verify your eligibility for a VA home loan and how to submit the evidence and obtain a COE.

Evidence Needed

The evidence you need depends on the nature of your eligibility. Consult the table below to determine your category and the evidence you will need when applying.

CategoryEvidence To Apply
VeteranDD Form 214 - required to have a copy showing the character of service (item 24) and the narrative reason for separation (item 28).
Current or former National Guard or Reserve member who has been activated Federal active service
Active Duty Servicemember

A current statement of service:

  • signed by (or by the direction of):
    the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters
  • showing:
    Your full name
    Social Security Number
    Date of birth
    Entry date on active duty
    The duration of any lost time
    The name of the command providing the information
Current National Guard or Reserve member who has never been Federal active service

Statement of service:

  • signed by (or by the direction of):
    the adjutant, personnel officer or commander of your unit or higher headquarters
  • showing:
    Your full name
    Social Security Number
    Date of birth
    Entry date on duty
    The total number of creditable years of service
    The duration of any lost time
    The name of the command providing the information
Discharged member of the National Guard who has never been activated for Federal active serviceNGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, for each period of National Guard service
-OR-
NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, and proof of the character of service
Discharged member of the Selected Reserve who has never been activated for Federal active serviceCopy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service
Surviving spouse of a Servicemember who died on active duty

If you're already receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), you don't need to send any documents.

If you don't receive DIC, please send us

  • A copy of the DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) from the military
  • A copy of your marriage certificate

It would be a good idea to add a simple signed statement saying that you would like to apply for DIC. If you qualify for the home loan benefit, you probably qualify for monthly payments under DIC.

Put the Servicemember's Social Security number on all documents.

Surviving spouse of a Veteran who died as a result of military service

If you're already receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), send us a copy of your award letter. (Generally, you will already have a record on file at a VA regional benefits office.)

If you don' t receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), please send us

  • A copy of the Veteran's DD Form 214
  • A copy of the Veteran's death certificate
  • A copy of your marriage certificate

We recommend that you add a simple signed statement saying that you would like to apply for DIC. If you qualify for the home loan benefit, you probably qualify for monthly payments under DIC.

Put the Veteran' s Social Security number on all documents.

Applying for a COE

After gathering the evidence you need, you can apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the following ways.

Servicemembers, Veterans, and National Guard and Reserve Members

Apply online

To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal. If you already have login credentials, click the Login box, and if you need login credentials, please click the Register box and follow the directions on the screen.  If you need any assistance please call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937.  Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.

Apply through CalVet Home Loans

Most lenders have access to the Web LGY system. This Internet-based application can establish eligibility and issue an online COE in a matter of seconds. Not all cases can be processed through Web LGY - only those for which VA has sufficient data in our records. However, Veterans are encouraged to ask their lenders about this method of obtaining a certificate.

Apply by mail

Use VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility.

Surviving Spouses

Spouses must apply by mail using VA Form 26-1817, Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility - Unmarried Surviving Spouses. If your Veteran spouse died after service, VA must determine that the death was due to a service-connected disability. Please allow 2-3 months for this process unless you know that the decision on service-connected death has already been made.

Download VA Form 26-1817, Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility - Unmarried Surviving Spouses

If you can't print the form, just call 1-888-768-2132 and follow the prompts for Eligibility and we will mail the form to you.

Send the completed form to:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE (262)
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031

Do you have a question, comment, request or complaint not covered by the material on our web site?
Drop us a line via email.

Headquarters

1227 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
1 800 952-5626
1 800 324-5966 (TDD)
1 800 221-8998 (Outside California)

Media Inquiries

916-653-2192
PAO@calvet.ca.gov

Note: For all media inquiries, please call the number above, or visit our Press Releases page.

 

 

  • You must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan or a CalVet Home Loan. The home must be for your own personal occupancy. The eligibility requirements to obtain a COE are listed below for Servicemembers and Veterans, spouses, and other eligible beneficiaries.

    VA home loans can be used to:

    • Buy a home, a condominium unit in a VA-approved project
    • Build a home
    • Simultaneously purchase and improve a home
    • Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy efficient improvements
    • Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.

    Eligibility Requirements for VA Home Loans

    Servicemembers and Veterans

    To obtain a COE, you must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and meet the service requirements below:

    StatusQualifying Wartime & Peacetime PeriodsQualifying Active Duty DatesMinimum Active Duty Service Requirement
    VeteranWWII9/16/1940 - 7/25/194790 total days
    Post-WWII7/26/1947 - 6/26/1950181 continuous days
    Korean War6/27/1950 - 1/31/195590 total days
    Post-Korean War2/1/1955 - 8/4/1964181 continuous days
    Vietnam War8/5/1964 - 5/7/1975 *For Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, the beginning date is 2/28/196190 total days
    Post-Vietnam War5/8/1975 - 9/7/1980 *The ending date for officers is 10/16/1981181 continuous days
    24-month rule9/8/1980 - 8/1/1990 *The beginning date for officers is 10/17/1981
    • 24 continuous months, OR
    • The full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty
    Gulf War8/2/1990 - Present
    • 24 continuous months, OR
    • The full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty
    Currently On Active DutyAnyAny90 continuous days
    National Guard & Reserve MemberGulf War8/2/1990 - Present90 days of active service
    • Six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, AND
      • Were discharged honorably, OR
      • Were placed on the retired list, OR
      • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR
      • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserve

    *If you do not meet the minimum service requirements, you may still be eligible if you were discharged due to (1) hardship, (2) the convenience of the government, (3) reduction-in-force, (4) certain medical conditions, or (5) a service-connected disability.

    Spouses

    The spouse of a Veteran can also apply for home loan eligibility under one of the following conditions:

    • Unremarried spouse of a Veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or
    • Spouse of a Servicemember missing in action or a prisoner of war
    • Surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003
      (Note: a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must have applied no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.)
    • Surviving Spouses of certain totally disabled veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death 

    Other Eligible Beneficiaries

    You may also apply for eligibility if you fall into one of the following categories:

    • Certain U.S. citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II
    • Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with World War II service, and others

    Restoration of Entitlement

    Veterans can have previously-used entitlement "restored" to purchase another home with a VA loan if:

    • The property purchased with the prior VA loan has been sold and the loan paid in full, or
    • A qualified Veteran-transferee (buyer) agrees to assume the VA loan and substitute his or her entitlement for the same amount of entitlement originally used by the Veteran seller. The entitlement may also be restored one time only if the Veteran has repaid the prior VA loan in full, but has not disposed of the property purchased with the prior VA loan. Remaining entitlement and restoration of entitlement can be requested through the VA Eligibility Center by completing VA Form 26-1880

 

 

 

 

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