When it comes to purchasing a home, one of the most important things you need is financing. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a large sum of money saved up, you’ll need to obtain a home loan to cover the cost of your new property. However, before you can apply for a home loan, you need to get a Certificate of Eligibility.
What is a Certificate of Eligibility?
A Certificate of Eligibility, or COE, is a document that verifies that you meet the requirements for a VA home loan. The VA, or Department of Veterans Affairs, issues this certificate to qualifying veterans, active-duty military personnel, and reservists.
The COE serves as proof that you’ve met the minimum service requirements to be eligible for a VA home loan. It also lets lenders know that the VA is backing your loan, which can make them more willing to work with you and offer better rates and terms.
Who is Eligible for a COE?
Not everyone is eligible for a COE. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements:
- You must be an active-duty service member, veteran, or reservist.
- You must have served a minimum amount of time, depending on when and how you served.
- You must meet credit and income requirements set by the lender.
If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible, you can check with the VA or a lender who specializes in VA home loans.
How to Get a COE
There are several ways to obtain a COE:
- You can apply online through the VA’s eBenefits portal.
- You can apply by mail using VA Form 26-1880.
- You can apply through a lender who has access to the VA’s Web LGY system.
Regardless of how you apply, you’ll need to provide documentation to prove your eligibility. This may include your DD-214, your current LES or pay stubs, or other proof of service.
What to Do Once You Have Your COE
Once you receive your COE, you can start shopping for a home loan. Keep in mind that having a COE doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a loan. You’ll still need to meet the lender’s credit and income requirements.
However, having a COE can make the process smoother and faster. Lenders who work with VA home loans are familiar with the COE and what it means, so they’ll be able to process your application more quickly.
If you’re a veteran, active-duty service member, or reservist, a VA home loan can be an excellent option for purchasing a home. However, before you apply, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to prove that you meet the requirements. By following the steps outlined above, you can get your COE and start the process of buying your dream home.