How Do Veterans Who Have Served On Active Duty Apply For VA Loan Eligibility?
The very first step to getting a VA home loan is to apply for a VA Certificate of Eligibility. Veterans who have served the proper minimum time in service for their status as regular active duty, or Reservists and National Guard members who have served on active duty may be technically eligible to participate in the VA home loan program but that eligibility is not automatic. Applying for and getting the VA Certificate of Eligibility is the start of the VA loan journey.
Qualified vets can apply for the certificate once they’ve been in the service for the required minimum time. It’s not necessary to wait until it’s actually time to start looking for a lender or go house hunting, though first time borrowers may feel more comfortable waiting as their VA lender can help them submit the required paperwork.
Vets who have served on active duty as full-time military members and those who have served on active duty as part of the Guard or Reserves can apply for the VA Certificate of Eligibility in three ways. It may be applied for online at the Veterans Information Portal at http://vip.vba.va.gov. Vets need a username and password to access the VIP, so be sure to apply for this before trying to request your certificate.
As stated earlier, VA loan applicants can apply through their lender. According to the VA, “…in many cases, lenders can obtain a Certificate online in minutes.” That speedy delivery is dependent of several factors including the applicant having all the required paperwork. That paperwork varies based on your service status as a full-time military member, Guard or Reserve member. You can check for the required paperwork appropriate for your situation at:
Borrowers may also apply for the VA Certificate of Eligibility by mail. VA form 26-1880 is required to be submitted along with all required paperwork listed here.
Applying by mail is the most time-consuming way to get your Certificate of Eligibility, so it’s best to use this method long before you’ll require the certificate to move the VA home loan process along.