VA Certificate of Eligibility: Your Options For Getting One
The first step in using your VA home loan benefit is to apply for a VA Certificate Of Eligibility. The certificate of eligibility tells your lender that you’re eligible to use the VA loan program, how much VA loan entitlement you have and whether or not you are exempt from paying the VA loan funding fee due to receiving or being eligible to receive VA compensation for service-connected disabilities.
There are several ways to apply for a certificate of eligibility. One way is to apply with the help of your lender. This is by far the easiest way–your lender does need your proof of service documents such as a DD Form 214 (proof of discharge).
For active duty members, a statement of service signed by your commander or otherwise “officially” furnished by your unit orderly room or personnel office is required. Guard and Reserve members need similar documentation–ask your loan officer what’s required in your circumstances.
Another way to apply for a certificate of eligibility is by using the VA eBenefits portal.
You will need to create an account with eBenefits in order to use the service, but it’s definitely worth the time as there are plenty of other things you can do besides apply for a certificate of eligibility via the portal.
A third way to apply is by mail, by completing VA Form 26-1880 and submitting it to the following address:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE (262)
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031
You can learn more about submitting via postal mail at the VA’s official site, which includes links to the VA Form 26-1880 as well as other information you might need to submit in this manner.