Your State VA Loans Common Questions
How do I get a Certificate of Eligibility?
Complete a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility: You can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility by submitting a completed VA Form 26-1880, Request For A Certificate of Eligibility For Home Loan Benefits, to the Atlanta Eligibility Center, along with proof of military service. In some cases it may be possible for VA to establish eligibility without your proof of service. However, to avoid any possible delays, it’s best to provide such evidence.
Can my lender get my Certificate of Eligibility for me?
Yes, it’s called Web LGY. Most lenders have access to the Web LGY system. This Internet based application can establish eligibility and issue an online Certificate of Eligibility in a matter of seconds. Not all cases can be processed through Web LGY - only those for which VA has sufficient data in our records. However, veterans are encouraged to ask their lenders about this method of obtaining a certificate.
What is acceptable proof of military service?
If you are still serving on regular active duty, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which identifies you and your social security number, and provides your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.
If you were discharged from regular active duty after January 1, 1950, a copy of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty should be included with your VA Form 26-1880. If you were discharged after October 1, 1979, DD Form 214 copy 4 should be included. A PHOTOCOPY OF DD214 WILL SUFFICE, DO NOT SUBMIT AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT.
If you are still serving on regular active duty, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which shows your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.
If you were discharged from the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, you must include copies of adequate documentation of at least 6 years of honorable service. If you were discharged from the Army or Air Force National Guard, you may submit NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, or NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, or it’s equivalent.
If you were discharged from the Selected Reserve, you may submit a copy of your latest annual points statement and evidence of honorable service. Unfortunately, there is no single form used by the Reserves or National Guard similar to the DD Form 214. It is your responsibility to furnish adequate documentation of at least 6 years of honorable service.
If you are still serving in the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters showing the length of time that you have been a member of the Selected Reserves. Again, at least 6 years of honorable service must be documented.
How can I obtain proof of military service?
Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, is used to apply for proof of military service regardless of whether you served on regular active duty or in the selected reserves. This request form is NOT processed by VA. Rather, Standard Form 180 is completed and mailed to the appropriate custodian of military service records. Instructions are provided on the reverse of the form to assist in determining the correct forwarding address.
I have already obtained one VA loan. Can I get another one?
Yes, your eligibility is reusable depending on the circumstances. Normally, if you have paid off your prior VA loan and disposed of the property, you can have your used eligibility restored for additional use. Also, on a one-time only basis, you may have your eligibility restored if your prior VA loan has been paid in full but you still own the property. In either case, to obtain restoration of eligibility, the veteran must send a completed VA Form 26-1880 to our Atlanta Eligibility Center.
To prevent delays in processing, it is also advisable to include evidence that the prior loan has been paid in full and, if applicable, the property disposed of. This evidence can be in the form of a paid-in-full statement from the former lender, or a copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement completed in connection with a sale of the property or refinance of the prior loan.
Can I restore my eligibility if I previously sold a home on a VA assumption?
In this case the veteran’s eligibility can be restored only if the qualified assumer is also an eligible veteran who is willing to substitute his or her available eligibility for that of the original veteran. Otherwise, the original veteran cannot have eligibility restored until the assumer has paid off the VA loan.
Is the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran eligible for the home loan benefit?
The unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died on active duty or as the result of a service-connected disability is eligible for the home loan benefit. If you wish to make application for the home loan benefit as a surviving spouse, contact our Atlanta Eligibility Center.
In addition, a surviving spouse who obtained a VA home loan with the veteran prior to his or her death (regardless of the cause of death), may obtain a VA guaranteed interest rate reduction refinance loan. For more information, contact our Atlanta Eligibility Center.
NOTE: Also, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit. However, a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 16, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.
Does active duty for training in the Guard and Reserves qualify for home loan benefits?
No, it only qualifies if the person completes a total of 6 years in the Guard and/or Reserves, and serves under title 10, U.S.C.
Does a veteran’s home loan entitlement expire?
No, home loan entitlement is generally good until used. However, the eligibility of service personnel is only available so long s they remain on active duty. If they are discharged or releases from active duty before using their entitlement, a new determination of their eligibility must be made based on length of service and the type of discharge received.
Does getting a Certification of Eligibility guarantee a loan approval?
No, approvals for VA loans are issued by banks after a credit, income, employment and appraisal underwriting process. The VA guarantees the loan that the lender is making.
Are there exceptions to the "No Down Payment" program?
Yes, there are several exceptions: if the purchase price exceeds the reasonable value of the property, a down payment covering the difference must be made in cash from the borrower’s own resources.
VA requires a down payment on all Graduated Payment Mortgages (GPMs). If a veteran has less than full entitlement available, a lender may require a down payment in order to meet secondary market requirements. The general ’rule of thumb’ in the secondary market is the VA guaranty, or a combination of VA guaranty plus down payment, must cover at least 25% of the loan.
What is the maximum VA Loan amount?
There is no maximum VA loan, except that the loan cannot exceed the lesser of the appraised value or purchase price, plus VA funding fee and energy efficient improvements, if applicable. However, lenders usually won’t make a no-downpayment loan larger than $417,000 ($625,500 in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands) due to secondary market limitations.
Some areas actually have VA programs up to $1,000,000, which are considered VA Jumbo loans.
Contact VA Guaranteed Home Loans at 888-664-9572 for more information about the Your City, Your State VA Loan program.