VA Certificate Of Eligibility (COE)

VA Certificate Of Eligibility (COE)

Your VA Certificate Of Eligibility (COE) Paves The Way To Home-Ownership

VA Loan Mortgages is a national lender with expertise in veteran mortgage ­– so you feel like you are speaking to your local expert.

For many Americans, homeownership is a lifelong dream. For Veterans who have served our country, fulfilling this dream is made easier through the VA loan program. By obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and qualifying for a government-backed VA loan, active duty personnel and Veterans can obtain a low interest 15 or 30 year loan with no down payment.

In our society, attaining homeownership is not always easy. Though the housing market has had its ups and downs these last few years, homeownership remains the goal of most people, as a recent survey from Fanny Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group verifies. Ninety percent of respondents aspired to homeownership, but felt that it would be difficult to obtain a mortgage. VA loans have made this dream achievable for more than 20 million Veterans since the program first launched in 1944.

Who Qualifies For A VA Certificate Of Eligibility (COE)?

What are the specific qualifications you need to obtain a VA eligibility certificate? Most important is the service requirement:

  1. You must have served 90 days on active duty during wartime OR
  2. You must observe 181 days on active duty during peacetime OR
  3. You must have served six years in the reserves or National Guard OR
  4. You are the surviving spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty or from service related conditions or injuries OR the spouse of a current service person missing in action or prisoner of war

You May Also Qualify if…

Even if you were discharged from the service before your enlistment term was up, you might still be able to prove your VA eligibility. A certificate may be issued if:

  1. You were discharged from the service because of a hardship OR
  2. You have a service-related disability that you are compensated for OR
  3. You were released from active duty due to a pre-existing medical condition OR
  4. You were laid off from active duty as a result of reduction in force OR
  5. You were discharged or released from active duty due to a non-service related physical or mental condition that interferes with your performance of duty

Two other categories of people may be rewarded for their service to the country with a VA certificate of eligibility:

  1. You are a citizen of the US who served in the armed forces of a U.S. ally in World War II
  2. You served with certain organizations such as the Public Health Service or incapacity such as cadets/midshipman at service academies, officers of National oceanic and atmospheric administration, merchant seamen with World War II service, and more

Obtaining Your VA Eligibility Certificate – VA Certificate of Eligibility

As a Veteran, you can request your Certificate of Eligibility online, but you may not hear back from the government for six weeks. Or, an approved lender, such as VA Loan Mortgages, is able to get this certificate on your behalf more quickly as part of our hassle-free loan process.

With your COE in hand, you need to establish your VA home loan eligibility online. VA Loan Mortgages will help you get prequalified quickly, so you know how much house you can shop for. If you have had credit problems in the past, we can help prepare you to qualify or even help you obtain other types of loans with less stringent credit requirements. Our goal is to help you get the low interest, no down payment, government-backed loan you earned through your service.

How To Obtain A VA Certificate Of Eligibility (COE)

Having a Certificate of Eligibility, when coupled with a proof of service DD 214, is necessary to obtain most VA loans, as well as other Veteran benefits. You can apply for a COE online, but the process sometimes takes months. Authorized VA lenders such as can obtain your form quickly so long as the VA has sufficient records about your service. If there is a delay, having a lender in your corner to help you obtain documentation is an advantage.

Using Your Certificate Of Eligibility

Many former service personnel use their VA certificate of eligibility to simply buy a home, but there are four types of VA loan packages available:

  1. Purchase Loan and Cash Out Refinance that enables you to buy or refinance a home for your own use. To qualify you must have your COE, sufficient income, a good credit score, and meet certain service requirements.
  2. Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) or Streamline Refinance Loan that enables you to receive a lower interest rate by refinancing your current VA loan.
  3. Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program that enables you to finance the purchase, construction or improvement of homes on federal trust land or reduce interest rates on a VA loan if you are a Native American.
  4. Adapted Housing Grants that enables Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service related injury to build, purchase, or modify a home adapted to meet their physical needs.

You will need a new COE for the Purchase Loan and Cash Out Refinance or the NADL, but when you apply for an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, you will not need a new form. To apply for an Adapted Housing Grant, you must complete VA Form 26-4555.

What You Qualify For With Your VA Certificate Of Eligibility (COE)

When you buy a home using your VA Certificate of Eligibility, you can borrow up to $424,100 in most areas, although the limits are higher in certain U.S. counties where the cost of living is higher. There is no limit on the price of the home you buy, but your VA loan will guarantee up to the loan limit. The actual amount of your loan will depend on your credit worthiness. Being eligible for a VA loan does not mean you will qualify with all lenders.

If you are disabled, you can apply for one of two types of adapted housing grants. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant which pays up to $64,960 in fiscal year 2013 for construction or modification of a new or existing home the Veteran wishes to buy. For existing homes, there is also the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant to adapt the Veteran’s current home, which pays up to a total of $12,992 for up to three modifications.

Prequalifying For A VA Loan

To apply for most VA loans, you need your Certificate of Eligibility. With that in hand, you can prequalify for your loan quickly online with At this point, your income, your credit history, and other variables come under review as we determine if you are a qualified applicant and how much you can borrow.

What happens if you do not qualify due to credit problems? If you have a recent bankruptcy, delinquent payments, garnishments, too much debt, or other blemishes on your credit, you may not qualify for a VA loan at this time. When you work with, you work with VA Loan Mortgages we will continue to work with you while you have your credit repaired by a licensed credit repair company.

Credit Problems That Could Be Problematic

What type of credit problems could work against you in getting the loan?

  1. Late mortgage payments
  2. No credit history
  3. Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  4. Collections, judgments, and federal debts
  5. Foreclosure
  6. Participation in a consumer credit counseling program

VA Loan Mortgages will work with you to determine the degree to which blips on your credit history may impact your ability to obtain and repay a VA loan. If you have reestablished good credit, you may still be eligible for a VA loan. Or, we may suggest that you wait and apply after taking some proactive steps to repair your credit.  Even though you might be impatient to become a homeowner, showing a few months of on-time payments may put you in better shape to get the loan, and qualify for a more favorable interest rate.

We’re On Your Side is on your side. We want to help you become a homeowner! To get started, complete our online application form to determine your eligibility or call us at (866) 216-3577 for more information or to get a thorough answer to any questions you may have.