the first requirements in the VA loan application process is that the borrower must show he or she is eligible for a VA guaranteed home loan. This is done by presenting the lender with a VA certificate of eligibility (COE), or asking the lender’s help in obtaining one.
Borrowers are free to request their own VA COE, which can be done online. The VA official site says the following about getting your COE online:
“To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal. If you already have login credentials, click the Login box, and if you need login credentials, please click the Register box and follow the directions on the screen. If you need any assistance please call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937. Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.”
Borrowers may need to attach electronic copies of their DD Form 214 or evidence of their current military service status as part of the application form.
If you prefer to get your VA COE with the help of a lender, be ready to show required proof of military service including current military orders or a copy of your DD Form 214 report of discharge. You may also need to provide Social Security data or a copy of your Social Security card and other information.
You can also apply for a COE by mail–you’ll need to submit VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility and any required additional paperwork to theDepartment of Veterans Affairs. Call them at 1-800-827-1000 to get the current mailing address for COE requests. Some applicants–surviving spouses of military members who died from a service-connected disability, for example–are required to apply by mail.