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3 ways to get your VA certificate of eligibility

There are three possible ways to obtain a COE for a VA home loan. This is an important first step toward getting your VA loan and buying the home of your dreams.

1. Apply online

Go to the eBenefits portal operated by the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to apply for your certificate. You will need to sign in with your DS Logon account.

2. Through a lender

Lenders that work with the VA have access to a special database where they can look you up and get you the documentation quickly.

> Find a Lender: Check Your Eligibility With Veterans United Home Loans

3. By mail

You can print out an application form, fill it out, mail it off — and wait for the paperwork.

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Understanding your certificate of eligibility

Once you have your COE, you'll find a lot of basic information on it: your name, Social Security number, branch of the service, etc.

One important thing to look for is a two-digit number: the VA loan entitlement code. It puts you into a category of borrowers, and part of what the code indicates is whether you're exempt from paying the VA funding fee.

One final point about the certificate of eligibility: Just because you've got yours, don't assume you have a lock on getting a VA loan. Your home will still have to pass a VA appraisal, and your credit will still have to pass muster with a lender.

More: What is a VA loan funding fee?

Who is eligible for a VA loan?

A Veterans Affairs loan is a benefit that's not extended to just anybody. To qualify, you must have completed one of the following:

  • 90 consecutive days of military service during wartime.
  • 181 consecutive days of service during peacetime.
  • Six years of service in the Reserves or National Guard.

Some surviving spouses of service members also are eligible for the VA loan program.

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Where to start

The first step is to determine your eligibility and get your certificate to prove it. Check Your Eligibility Now With Veterans United Home Loans.

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