The VA home loan program is a great benefit.  With a VA home loan, it is easier for veterans to finance a home than most commercial loan programs. And even better, there is no required down payment and no required private mortgage insurance (PMI) for the loan.

There are no loan limits for VA loans, however, there are limits to the VA’s liability which caps the guaranty amount to $484,350 in 2019 for most loans. Guaranty amounts are higher in high cost areas.

One of great parts of the VA home loan program is that eligible service members have the benefit for life. Even if a veteran has used most or all of their entitlement to purchase a home, that entitlement can be fully restored once the loan is repaid in full.

VA Loan Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a VA Loan, veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members and reservists must meet the basic service requirements set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may also be eligible.

It’s ultimately up to the VA to determine eligibility for the home loan program, but prospective borrowers can get a good idea by looking at the VA’s basic eligibility guidelines.

You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR

  • Served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR

  • More than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR

  • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.


How to Apply for a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Provide proof of your military service.

To obtain a VA home loan, the VA must first certify that you’re eligible for the program.  This is done by issuing a Certificate of Eligibility.  You can apply for a VA Loan Certificate in a few ways:

  1.  Apply by submitting a completed VA Form 26-1880 which can be obtained from any VA regional center of print it from the VA’s website.

  2.  Apply online through the VA’s eBenefits portal by clicking on the link.

  3.  Apply by mail with VA Form 26-1880.

Mail the completed application to VA Loan Eligibility Center, P.O. Box 20729, Winston-Salem, NC 27120. For overnight delivery, VA Loan Eligibility Center, 251  N. Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27155.  When applying for a Certificate of Eligibility, you should include proof of your military service along with your request. In some cases it may be possible for the VA to establish eligibility without your proof of service.  However, to avoid any possible delays, it’s best to provide such evidence.