Federal Benefits: Home Loan Guaranty
VA home loan guaranties are issued to help eligible service-members, veterans, reservists and certain unmarried surviving spouses obtain homes, condominiums, residential cooperative housing units, and manufactured homes, and to refinance loans. For additional information or to obtain VA loan guaranty forms, visit www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/.
Loan Uses: A VA guaranty helps protect lenders from loss if the borrower fails to repay the loan. It can be used to obtain a loan to:
- Buy or build a home.
- Buy a residential condominium unit.
- Buy a residential cooperative housing unit.
- Repair, alter, or improve a residence owned by the veteran and occupied as a home.
- Refinance an existing home loan.
- Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.
- Install a solar heating or cooling system or other energy-efficient improvements.
Eligibility: In addition to the periods of eligibility and conditions of service requirements, applicants must have a good credit rating, sufficient income, a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), and agree to live in the property in order to be approved by a lender for a VA home loan.
A COE can be obtained either directly from the VA Eligibility Center (in hard-copy form), or electronically, either through your lender, or by applying online at VA’s COE Website www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/docs/Veteran_registration_coe.pdf.
In applying for a hard-copy COE from the VA Eligibility Center, it is typically necessary that the eligible veteran present a copy of his/her report of discharge or DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty or other adequate substitute evidence to VA. An eligible active duty service-member should obtain and submit to the VA Eligibility Center a statement of service signed by an appropriate military official. To obtain a COE, complete VA Form 26-1880 -- “Request for a Certificate of Eligibility” -- and mail to: VA Eligibility Center, P.O. Box 20729, Winston-Salem, NC 27120.
Please note that while VA’s Internet-based system can establish eligibility and issue an online COE in a matter of seconds, not all cases can be processed online. The system can only process those cases for which VA has sufficient data in their records.
However, veterans and service-members are encouraged to apply online before seeking a hard-copy COE from the VA Eligibility Center. For more information, or to apply for a COE online, visit www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/purchaseco_certificate.asp