Every service member or veteran must have a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) as part of the loan process to secure a VA loan. The certificate of eligibility confirms that your service meets the type and length required to be eligible for the VA home loan benefit.
You can get your COE directly through the VA’s eBenefits online portal.
Click here to go to the VA eBenefits page for Home Loan Eligibility.
The process is easy an quick to gain proof of your military service and obtain your COE.
Online may be the easiest solution to get your COE, but you can also contact the Veterans Administration directly to fill out a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880).
VA Salt Lake City Regional Benefit Office
550 Foothill Drive
PO Box 581900
Salt Lake City, UT 84158
Can the spouse of a Veteran get a COE?
The surviving spouse of a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran who is missing in action or being held as a Prisoner of War (POW) can check to see if they are eligible the VA’s website link below to get a COE.
Find out how to apply for a COE as a surviving spouse
Other Eligibility Requirements
The VA is not the only party involved when getting a VA loan. In fact, for a VA backed loan the VA is not the lender. The government induces private mortgage lenders to give special terms by guaranteeing that the loan will be repaid to a certain amount. This takes a portion of the risk away from the lenders and provides the incentive to lend on arguably better terms than are otherwise available.
The VA determines who is eligible for the VA Loan benefit, but it is the private lenders who actually finance the home purchase. Those seeking a VA loan must both be eligible for the VA benefit and meet the mortgage lender’s requirements of affordability, sufficient income to repay the loan, and credit requirements.
The VA does not have a specific requirement for credit score, but the mortgage lender generally does (usually around 620 or higher). When you apply for a VA Loan, your credit score from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian (the three largest credit agencies) will be reviewed, as well as, your income documentation.
Additionally, the VA requires that the veteran may not have been discharged under dishonorable conditions to qualify.
The mortgage is not your only expense in owing a home or living in general. Government regulations, and lenders for that matter, are concerned that you have sufficient funds left over from the monthly house payment to afford transportation costs, food, and other needs. This ensures that the probability of the home being lost in foreclosure remains very low.
There are a few things you need to do to get started with your VA home loan. Here are a few basic steps when applying for a VA loan:
- Get your Certificate of Eligibility as noted above (your mortgage lender can help).
- Fill out an application with your Utah licensed mortgage lender.
- Gather and submit income documentation needed for the loan, including W2’s, pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements. Your lender will give you an exact list of which documents are needed.