VA Certificate of Eligibility

Three easy ways to get your certificate of eligiblity for a VA loan.

Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan

VA mortgage graphicIf you're a veteran looking to purchase a home, you'll need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This certificate is proof that you're eligible for a VA loan and is required by most lenders before they'll approve your mortgage.

The good news is that getting your COE is relatively easy. You can apply for one online, through your lender, or by mail. If you're applying online or through your lender, you'll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your military service.

Once you have your COE, you can work with a lender to get pre-approved for a VA loan. Then, you can start shopping for a home that fits your budget and needs. With a VA loan, you can buy a home with no money down and without having to pay for private mortgage insurance.

If you're a veteran or service member looking to purchase a home, getting a VA loan can be a great option. Be sure to get your Certificate of Eligibility, so you can take advantage of all the benefits that VA loans have to offer.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan

House with a for sale signThere are a few different ways to obtain your COE. You can get it online through the VA eBenefits portal, through your lender, or through your local VA regional loan center.

If you obtain your COE online, you’ll need to log in to your eBenefits account. Once you’re logged in, go to the “Apply for Benefits” section and select “Get a Certificate of Eligibility for Home Loan.”

If you’re working with a lender, they will likely help you obtain your COE. You can also complete the VA Form 26-1880 and submit it to your regional loan center.

Once you have your COE, you’re one step closer to getting a VA-backed home loan. Be sure to work with an experienced lender who can help you through the rest of the loan process.

Certificate of Eligibility and VA Loan Amount

US flag patchOnce you have your certificate of eligibility, you'll need to provide it to your lender. The lender will then use it to determine the maximum loan amount for which you'll be eligible.

If you're not sure how to get a certificate of eligibility, don't worry. We've got you covered. Keep reading, and we'll walk you through the process step by step.

Do VA Certificate of Eligibility Expire?

Many people are surprised to learn that VA certificates of eligibility (COE) do not actually expire. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you're trying to get a VA home loan with an expired COE.

For one, most lenders will not accept an expired COE. So if you're trying to get a new VA home loan, you'll need to get a new COE from the VA. This usually involves submitting a new request, and it can take a few weeks to get the new COE.

Additionally, if your COE has been expired for more than a year, the VA may require you to get a new one. This is because the VA considers an expired COE to be invalid after a year. So if you're trying to get a VA home loan with an expired COE, it's best to get a new one as soon as possible.

Finally, keep in mind that even if your COE doesn't expire, it's still only valid for a certain period of time. So if you're trying to get a VA home loan, make sure you do it within the timeframe specified on your COE.

VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility Amount

For most veterans, the COE will be worth $36,000. If you're looking for a jumbo loan, your COE could be worth up to $729,750. But if you're looking for a regular VA loan, the maximum loan amount is $424,100. So, if your COE is worth $36,000, that's the maximum loan amount you could get without a down payment.

Keep in mind that the COE is only one factor in getting a VA loan. Your credit history, income, and other factors will also come into play. But if you're wondering how much your COE is worth, the answer will depend on a few key factors.

Steps to get your Certificate of Eligibility

Veteran and wife at settlementHere's a quick overview of what you'll need to do:

First, you'll need to gather some documentation. This includes your DD-214 (discharge papers), your SF-180 (request for military records), and your most recent leave and earnings statement.

Next, you'll need to fill out a VA Form 26-1880. This form asks for basic information about your service, including your dates of service and your discharge status.

Once you have all of your documentation and the completed form, you'll need to submit it to the VA. You can do this by mail, fax, or online.

Once the VA receives your request, they will process it and issue your COE. The entire process can take a few weeks, so be patient.

Once you have your COE, you're one step closer to getting a VA home loan. The next step is to find a lender who participates in the VA home loan program.

VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility Requirements

There are a few requirements you'll need to meet in order to obtain a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Perhaps most importantly, you must have served in the military for a certain amount of time (this varies depending on when and how you served). You'll also need to provide proof of your service, as well as any discharge documents. If you're currently serving, you'll need a Statement of Service. Lastly, you'll need to show that you have a good credit history and sufficient income to repay the loan.

Certificate of Eligibility for Active Duty Member

Those who are still on active duty may be required to provide a recent statement of service that includes the following information:

Veteran's full name

Active duty entry date

Branch of service

Separation date as of today

Date of birth

Duration of lost time, if any

Last Discharge

Name of the command providing the information


Social Security Number

Type of Discharge, and

The assignment unit and the current duty location

Certificate of Eligibility for a Reserve or National Guard Member

Reservists and National Guard troops, unlike active-duty military personnel, do not have a single discharge certificate, such as a DD-214, to reflect their service. It is ideal if they can submit their most current annual retirement points summary, as well as proof of their honorable service. Members of the Army or Air National Guard may submit their separation and record of service using NGB Form 22, a Report of Separation and Record of Service, or NGB Form 23, a points' statement.

Active Reserves and National Guard members, like their colleagues in the Armed Forces, must provide a signed declaration of service that contains the relevant personal information. Furthermore, the statement must say expressly that the applicant is a current member of the Reserves or National Guard.

What steps must be taken to get an NGB Form 22 from the NGB?

To get a copy of your NGB Form 22/22A, which is issued by the National Guard Adjutant General, you must first contact the Adjutant General's Office for the state in which you served in the National Guard. Please visit the National Guard's website for further information on how to contact the National Guard.

Can I get a COE as a Surviving Spouse of a Veteran?

COE fguidelines for a suviving spouse

Rotating question markFAQs About the VA Certificate of Eligibility

Q. Do VA certificate of eligibility expire?

A. Your Certificate of Eligibility has no expiration date. Veterans who got their certification while on active service are the lone exception. After being released, this veteran would need to get a new Certificate of Eligibility.

Read more about VA loans on the questions and answer page


In conclusion, a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan is an important document that proves you are eligible for a VA Loan. If you are planning to purchase a home with a VA Loan, you will need to provide this document to your lender.

SOURCE: How to Request a Va Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility (Coe)

Recommended Reading

  1. How to Get Approved for a VA Loan with a Cosigner
  2. What is a Good Debt to Income Ratio for a VA Loan?
  3. Do VA Loan Require PMI Insurance: What It Is and What It Does
  4. See Surviving Spouse Requirements