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How to request a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Learn how to request a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is the first step in getting a VA-backed home loan or Native American Direct Loan. It confirms for your lender that you qualify for the VA home loan benefit. Then, choose your loan type and learn about the rest of the loan application process.

How do I prepare before starting my COE request?

Gather the information you’ll need to request your COE. Click on the description here that matches you best to find out what you’ll need:

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—showing this information:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • The date you entered duty
  • The duration of any lost time
  • The name of the command providing the information

If you’re a current or former activated National Guard member, you’ll need a copy of your DD214 or other discharge documents.

If you’re a current or former activated National Guard member with at least 90 days of active-duty service including at least 30 consecutive days, you’ll need a copy of one of these documents that shows your activation date:

  • Your DD214 that shows 32 USC sections 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 activation
  • An annual point statement
  • Your DD220 with accompanying orders

If you’re a current or former activated Reserve member, you’ll need a copy of your DD214 or other discharge documents.

If you’re a current member of the National Guard or Reserve and have never been activated, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer—showing this 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

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) for each period of National Guard service, and
  • Your Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23) and proof of the character of service

If you’re a discharged member of the Reserve and were never activated, you’ll need:

  • A copy of your latest annual retirement points, and
  • Proof of your honorable service

If you’re a surviving spouse who qualifies for home loan benefits, you’ll need the Veteran’s discharge documents (DD214)—if available—and:

If you’re receiving Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC), you’ll need to fill out and send us a Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility—Unmarried Surviving Spouses (VA Form 26-1817).
Get VA Form 26-1817 to download

Or

If you’re not receiving DIC benefits, you’ll need to send us all of these:

  • A completed Application for DIC, Death Pension and/or Accrued Benefits (VA Form 21P-534EZ), and
  • A copy of your marriage license, and
  • The Veteran’s death certificate

Get VA Form 21P-534EZ to download
Find out if you qualify for home loan benefits
Get military service records online

How do I request my COE?

You can request your COE online right now.

Go to eBenefits to request a COE

You can also request a COE:

Through our Web LGY system

In some cases, you can get your COE through your lender using our Web LGY system. Ask your lender about this option.

By mail

To request a COE by mail, fill out a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and mail it to the address listed on the form. Please keep in mind that this may take longer than requesting a COE online or through our Web LGY system.
Get VA Form 26-1880 to download

Next steps for getting a VA direct or VA-backed home loan

Requesting your COE is only one part of the process for getting a VA direct or VA-backed home loan. Your next steps will depend on the type of loan you’re looking to get—and on your lender (for most loans, the lender will be a private bank or mortgage company; for the Native American Direct Loan, we’ll be your lender).

The lender will request a VA appraisal (assessment) of the house. An appraisal estimates the house’s market value at the time of inspection. An appraisal isn't a home inspection or a guaranty of value. 

The lender reviews the appraisal and your credit and income information and decides if they should accept your loan application. 

If they decide to accept your application, the lender will work with you to select a title company (or other entity) to close (transfer ownership) on the house.

What if I have questions about the loan process?

If you have any questions that your lender can’t answer, you can call us at 877-827-3702 to talk to a VA home loan representative. We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

You can also contact your regional loan center directly.
Find your regional loan center

Play a video about VA home loans and how to apply