There are a number of reasons why veterans usually prefer a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan including avoiding a downpayment and getting a lower interest rate for starters. Still, you won’t get a VA loan without a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE proves that you meet the requirements to get a VA loan. Really, there are different requirements depending on if you were a servicemember, a National Guard/Reserve member, or even the spouse of a servicemember and the type of discharge from the military. When you were in the military is another factor. Check these requirements out too:
- World War II: 9/16/1940-7/25/1947, served 90 total days
- Korean War: 6/27/1950-1/31/1955, served 90 total days
- Vietnam War 8/5/1964-5/7/1975 (If in the Republic of Vietnam the beginning date is 2/28/1961), served 90 total days
- Post- WWII peacetime: 7/26/1947-6/26/1950, 181 continuous days of service
- Post-Korean War peacetime: 2/1/1955-8/4/1964, 181 continuous days of service
- Post-Vietnam War peacetime: 5/8/1975-9/7/1980 (Officers: 5/8/1975-10/16/1981), 181 continuous days of service
- 9/8/1980-8/1/1990 (Officers dates are different), either 24 continuous months of service or a full period call for active duty that was at least being 181 days
- Gulf War: (8/2/1990-Present) Full period needs to be at least 90 days.
- National Guard/Selected Reserve members have more restrictions, contact the VA to be sure.
- Current active duty servicemembers: 90 days of continuous service.
Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online through the eBenefits website, or allow your lender to help guide you through the process. Lenders have an easier interface that might be less tricky to deal with than the eBenefits site. Keep in mind, this loan isn’t through the VA itself. It’s only backed by it. So, you will still need to meet the lender’s requirements too.
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