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As part of the process to obtain a VA loan, servicemembers on active duty, veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserves and spouses must prove eligibility to the lender and, ultimately to VA. At the time of submitting a mortgage application, there will be specific documents that are needed for VA loan eligibility, some of which may be obtained online by the lender after the borrower has signed related forms.
DD Form 214
The DD form 214 is a certificate of discharge or release from Active Duty.
This is the Request for Certificate of Eligibility which provides the necessary information which is required to obtain the COE. It can be completed electronically by the individual or the lender can submit it for the borrower via the VA portal.
The 26-1880 is short and requires the borrower’s full name, date of birth, telephone number, home address and any alias names that may be used. Also necessary are the dates of service, current service status and any information regarding previous VA loans that the borrower has been approved for in the past.
In addition to this form, active duty servicepersons will need to provide an additional statement of service that is signed by or at the direction of the adjutant, personnel office or commander of the unit or higher headquarters. This statement must show the full name, social security number, date of birth, entry date on duty, total number of creditable years of service, duration of any lost time and name of command providing the information.
Discharged Members of the National Guard or Selected Reserve (never activated for Federal active service)
-These individuals must submit Point Summary or Report of Separation and Record of Service Statements. Depending on the branch of service, these form names may vary. NGB form 22 and 23, and AF526 are some of the more common forms.
– Generally 6 years of participation and evidence of honorable discharge is required to be eligible.
Form 26-1817 – Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses
The 26-1817 must be completed and submitted by reservists, National Guard Members, military spouses and others who may be eligible for a VA loan. Eligible surviving spouses must submit this form by U.S. Postal service; it cannot be done electronically. Since it can take several months in order to receive the Certificate of Eligibility, potential borrowers should prepare for this in advance of finding a home that they would like to purchase.
Surviving Spouse of Servicemember Who Died on Active Duty
If a surviving spouse is receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, also known as DIC, there are no other documents that must be sent.
If a surviving spouse is not receiving DIC, the following documents must be sent:
-a copy of the DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) from the military
-a copy of the marriage certificate
-the servicemember’s social security number on all papers
Surviving Spouse of Veteran Who Died as a Result of Military Service
-If the surviving spouse is receiving DIC, a copy of the award letter should be sent.
-If the surviving spouse is not receiving DIC, the following must be sent:
-a copy of the Veteran’s DD Form 214
-copy of Veteran’s death certificate
-copy of the marriage certificate
-the veteran’s social security number on all papers.
According to the VA website, this is a good time for the surviving spouse of servicemember who died on active duty and surviving spouse of veteran who died as a result of military service to send a signed statement applying for DIC since, if eligible for a home loan, the borrower will also be eligible for monthly payments under DIC.
For many people, obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility is done quickly online. However, this may not always be the case, especially when the applicant is a surviving spouse or discharged member. It is important to send in the required documentation well in advance of applying for a VA home loan.
Many people are not even aware that they qualify for VA loan eligibilitywhich has many benefits, including 100% mortgage financing. A knowledgeable VA lender can help a mortgage applicant with any of these documents and submissions so that they can obtain their VA eligibility status.
My loan process was very easy and quick. Not to mention a great loan rate. I couldn't be happier!
Capt Sam T. - US Army
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