VA loans

Restoring VA Eligibility: Eligibility Restoration Forms

June 17, 2013

Restoring VA Eligibility: Eligibility Restoration Forms


A reader asks, “I’m looking at using my VA., I used it once before in 1990, but sold that home. I haven’t used it since. I need to know what steps I need to take in using it again, please let me know and thank you for your time.”

VA loan rules allow a borrower who has used their VA loan benefits in the past to apply for restoration of full VA loan entitlement after the first home has been paid off. In most cases the home must be sold, but on a one-time only basis the borrower can keep the first paid-in-full home and buy another one using a VA loan.

In both cases the borrower is required to apply to have VA loan eligibility restored in full–it is NOT automatic. How is the accomplished? According to the VA official site:

“…to obtain restoration of eligibility, the veteran must send VA a completed VA Form 26-1880 to the Eligibility Center. To prevent delays in processing, it is also advisable to include evidence that the prior loan has been paid in full and, if applicable, the property disposed of.”

“This evidence can be in the form of a paid-in-full statement from the former lender, or a copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement completed in connection with a sale of the property or refinance of the prior loan.”

Contact you original lender to get information on paid-in-full evidence should you need it. Be sure to get more than one copy of this documentation should you need another official copy in the future.

Borrowers can find VA Form 26-1880 as a downloadable PDF on the VA official site or can request a copy directly from the VA by calling 1-800 827-1000. Once the form is complete you will need to submit it to the VA Eligibility Center.

Do you have questions about VA home loans or refinance loans? Ask us in the comments section.

  1. Ron Stepp

    If all information and forms have been sent, how does it take the VA to send a restored COE? Can it be emailed. trying to close on old anr new house the same day. thanks Ron

    • Joe Wallace

      The processing time depends on several factors. You can work with your loan officer on the COE issue to see if it can be delivered electronically.

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