Are you a veteran looking to secure a VA home loan? If so, you’ll need a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to prove your eligibility for this valuable benefit.
The good news is that obtaining your VA COE form in 2024 has never been easier, and you can now do it online yourself at VA.gov in 3 simple steps.
In this short blog post, we’ll show you how to request your VA Certificate of Eligibility Online (VA Form 26-1880) at VA.gov, so you can fast-track the process and get one step closer to achieving your homeownership dreams.
Table of Contents
Step #1: Navigate to VA.gov, Housing Assistance, Home Loans, Request VA COE Form Online
First, click here to navigate to VA.gov. Specifically, the link will take you to the VA’s Housing Assistance page, under Home Loans, and Request VA COE Form online from VA.gov.
Going to the specific URL on VA.gov first is the easiest (and fastest) way to get your Certificate of Eligibility form online for free.
Step #2: Sign-in to Your VA.gov Account
You have multiple options to sign into your VA.gov account. Choose the option that best suits you and login. You’ll need to set-up or enter details for 2-factor authentication as well.
Step #3: Download Your Autogenerated VA COE Form Online
In this step, the system should automatically generate your VA COE Form. If it worked properly, you’ll see a link to download your COE in .pdf format. If the system didn’t autogenerate your COE Form, you’ll need to complete a few other steps below.
VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility Online: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I download a copy of my VA COE online from VA.gov?
Yes, you may be able to get an “automatic” COE online if the VA has all the information they need when you sign in. If the VA doesn’t have enough information to create your COE automatically, the system will ask you to request a COE by completing a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility form. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the process online.
Have you requested a COE before?
If you believe you have previously obtained a VA home loan COE, or if you’ve applied for one and are awaiting a response, the VA will perform an automatic check for you when you log in, displaying your current status and VA home loan benefits.
What if my COE has errors and needs to be updated?
The good news is you can update your VA COE online!
Complete and submit a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) if you need to:
- Make changes to your COE (correct an error or update your information), or
- Apply for a restoration of entitlement.
Do I meet VA home loan eligibility requirements?
Make sure you meet our VA home loan eligibility requirements before you request a COE. You may be able to get a COE if you:
- Didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
- Meet the minimum service requirement based on when you served
What information will I need to request my VA COE?
- Your Social Security number, date of birth and current contact information.
- The property location and dates of past VA loans (if you have or had a VA-backed loan)
- If you’re a Veteran, you’ll need a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214).
- If you’re an active-duty service member, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer.
- If you’re a current or former activated National Guard or Reserve member, you’ll need a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214).
- If you’re a current member of the National Guard or Reserves who’s never been activated, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer.
- If you’re a discharged member of the National Guard and were never activated, you’ll need your Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) and your Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23).
- If you’re a discharged member of the Reserves who has never been activated, you’ll need a copy of your latest annual retirement points and proof of your honorable service.
What is a VA Statement of Service?
A statement of service, signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer, is a letter showing the following information:
- Your full name
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- The date you entered duty
- Your total number of creditable years of service
- The duration of any lost time
- The name of the command providing the information
How do I start a VA COE request online?
Complete the form to request a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility online. It should take about 15 minutes. Make sure you upload a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214) before submitting the COE request. You should hear from someone within 5 business days.
What happens after I request a COE?
After submitting your request, you’ll get a confirmation message. It will include details about your next steps. The VA may contact you if they have questions or need more information.
If you qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility, the VA will notify you by email (normally within 5 business days) about how you can get your COE document.
What information is on my VA COE?
The COE serves as official documentation of the veteran’s eligibility for VA home loan benefits and is a crucial document during the home loan application process. Keep in mind that the format and content of the VA COE may vary slightly based on individual circumstances, the specific VA loan program, or updates to VA policies and forms. Veterans can obtain their COE online through the VA’s official website or by contacting the VA directly for assistance.
A VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Form 26-1880 contains the following information:
- Full name of the veteran or service member.
- Social Security Number (usually partially redacted for security).
- Date of birth.
- Branch of service (e.g., Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard).
- Period and character of service (e.g., active duty, National Guard, Reserve).
- Service number or VA file number (if applicable).
- Funding fee waiver eligibility (service connected with a VA rating of 10% or higher)
- The amount of entitlement available to the veteran, which indicates the maximum loan amount that the VA may guarantee on a VA-backed loan.
- The loan guaranty program under which the veteran is eligible, often based on their length and type of service.
- Any special circumstances or notes related to the veteran’s eligibility, if applicable.
Why does my VA COE say my basic entitlement is only $36,000?
This line on your VA COE is for your private lender. It shows whether you have full VA loan entitlement. The $36,000 isn’t the total amount you can borrow. Rather, it means that if you default on a loan that’s under $144,000, the VA guarantees to pay your lender up to $36,000. For loans over $144,000, the VA guarantees to pay your lender up to 25% of the total loan amount.
Why does my VA Certificate of Eligibility say my basic entitlement is $0?
This line on your COE is information for your VA lender. It shows that you’ve used your home loan benefit before and don’t have remaining entitlement. If the basic entitlement listed on your VA COE form is more than $0, you likely have remaining entitlement and can use your VA home loan benefit again.
What is the VA COE prior loans charged to entitlement?
On your COE form, in the table called “Prior Loans Charged to Entitlement,” the VA lists the amount of your entitlement you’ve already used under the Entitlement Charged column.
Your VA loan entitlement can be restored when you sell your property and pay your VA loan in-full or repay in full any claim the VA has paid.
Can my private lender get my VA Certificate of Eligibility for me?
Yes, so definitely ask your private lender to assist you.
Your private mortgage lender for your VA home loan can request your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for you through the VA’s Loan Guaranty website (known as the “LGY HUB”).
All requests for VA COE’s on behalf of veterans are reviewed in the order received with over 99% completed within five business days.
Where can I view an example VA COE form?
Here’s an example VA COE form that you’ll download from the VA’s website.
About the Author
Brian Reese is a senior advisor and co-owner at District Lending. He is one of the world’s leading experts in veteran benefits, having helped millions of veterans secure their financial future since 2013. Brian is the founder VA Claims Insider, an education-based Coaching & Consulting company whose mission is to educate and empower veterans to get the VA disability benefits they’ve earned for their honorable service. A former active-duty air force officer, Brian deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a distinguished graduate of management of the United States Air Force Academy and earned his MBA as a National Honor Scholar from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.
“As a military veteran, I’ve made it my life’s mission to help people live happier and wealthier lives. District Lending brings this mission to life. We believe in integrity, honesty, and transparency, which is why you’ll see our rates right on our website. You’ll find lower rates and zero lending fees, which means you can buy your dream home for less. The savings are passed on to you — the way it should be.”
– Brian Reese, Advisor and Co-Owner, District Lending