VA loans

VA Certificate of Eligibility: Reservists and National Guard

March 12, 2019

VA Certificate of Eligibility: Reservists and National Guard

va loanIn the past, we have discussed how regular active duty military members and Guard/Reservists who have served on active duty can apply for their VA certificate of eligibility. Getting that certificate is the very first step in obtaining a VA loan.

A veteran who has technically met all the time in service requirements to qualify for the program may be allowed to apply for a VA loan, but getting eligibility is not automatic. Vets in the Guard and Reserves who have never served on active duty must apply for their certificate of eligibility in the same way their active duty counterparts do, but with different requirements for proof of service.

The VA recognizes three types of military member who have served in the Guard or Reserves but have never been called to active duty. The first group are those currently serving but who have never been activated. These vets must apply for their VA certificate of eligibility by mail, by using the Veterans Information Portal or by submitting the required paperwork through the lender.

Regardless of which method is chosen, the VA loan applicant is required to complete VA form 26-1880 and submit a written statement of military service showing the applicant’s full name, plus:

  • 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

For those who have served in the Guard but were never activated, the VA requires NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, for each period of National Guard service OR an NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting and “evidence of honorable service.”

The VA’s final category is described as, “A discharged member of the Selected Reserve who has never been activated for federal service.” These vets can apply in one of the three ways mentioned above and must submit the most recent “annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service.”

If you have any questions about the process for obtaining a certificate of eligibility, check out the VA’s official site.

18 Comments
  1. Linda Sue Russell

    I requested form 256 and requested how many points I had total to get my elgibility to obtain a VA home loan. I had a VA home loan in 1994 so I am pretty sure I do have sufficient amount of points. I talked with someone on Monday Feb. 20th and was told that they were working on my request. She asked me when I needed the information and I told her NOW. She said that they would do their best to get that sent out. My loan officer is waiting on this information to OK the loan. Can you let me know when that will be sent out or faxed. Thank you. Linda Sue Russell 446-58-5207

    • Joe Wallace

      Hi Linda, Due to the volume of comments and questions we get, we are unable to provide phone replies or personal e-mail messages. Whoever you spoke with originally about your request would be the appropriate person to direct this question to as VALoans.com is a private company--we're not part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sorry we couldn't be of more assistance! Good luck with your loan and I hope you get your requested paperwork soon.

  2. Kirk Hansen

    How does one go about getting their "annual retirement points statement" for your last scenario? I can't seem to find one in my files. Thank you, Kirk

    • Joe Wallace

      Contact your orderly room, first sergeant, or military supervisor--or call the VA directly at 1-800 827-1000 to learn how to access your military records online through the Veterans Information Portal.

  3. charlaina turner

    how many retirements points do you need to qualify for a VA home loan?

    • Joe Wallace

      VA loan eligibility is based on time in service. The VA official site states: " Six years of service in the Selected Reserve, 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 Continues to serve in the Selected Reserve longer than six years, OR Served for 90 days or more on active duty during a wartime period, OR Were discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability"

  4. Mike

    I just sent a copy of my DD214 and proof of honorable discharge to VA for COE letter. They now want my DARP FM-249-2E statement which I do not have, but have requested. The person on the phone at HRC said my DARP form is showing 6 years served with only 5 years credited for retirement. Am I still eligible for VA loan?

    • Joe Wallace

      You'll need to contact the VA directly at 1-800 827-1000 to discuss your individual circumstances.

  5. alison

    I am trying to see if either me or my dad would qualify...he was 5 months training and 5 years reserves. I was 5 months training, 3 years reserve and 3 years inacitve reserves. thanks, alison

    • Joe Wallace

      Have you tried applying for your VA Certificate of Eligibility via the VA official site at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal ?

  6. Niko Qaddadeh

    Hello, I do have my DD-214, and presumably can obtain my annual retirement points statement, but, I had a legal name change of my first name since seperation. I do have a copy I or my lender can submit with my application. My question is do I need anything else? Thanks so much, Niko

    • Joe Wallace

      You may need, depending on the lender, to provide documentation of your legal name change--discuss the situation with your loan officer to be sure.

  7. Melvia D. Weinberg

    How do you apply for your "annual retirement points statement?"

    • Joe Wallace

      You may need to apply through your orderly room, First Sergeant or unit personnel representative.

  8. Ron Garcia

    I was discharged from US Marine Corps Reserves in 2004. I've written St. Louis which states they have no records of me. Quantico,VA only has active time from boot camp,mos training. Who can I contact for my Retirement Points Statement?

    • Joe Wallace

      You may need to contact your last orderly room, personnel office or First Individual.

  9. Doug Beacham

    I'm a retired USAR LTC with over 20 years drawing retirement pay. I tried to get a DD 214 but do not qualify since I did not serve 90 days consecutive active duty. How can I get a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan? Am I qualified to receive a VA loan? Thank you.

    • Joe Wallace

      Contact the VA directly at 1-800 827-1000 for assistance. If the VA tells you that you aren't eligible, that is usually the final word on the matter but it's best to speak to a VA representative directly for advice.

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