VA Certificate of Eligibility: Reservists and National Guard
In 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.