March 5th, 2018 7:14 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
Current or past members of the U.S. military can finance up to
100 percent of their home purchase with a VA loan that has no mortgage insurance or
loans — backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and made by local
mortgage lenders throughout the country — have a critical first step: proving
you’ve met the VA’s military service requirement.
is done with a document called the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The VA
requires that all lenders making VA-backed loans include this in their loan
approval process. The fastest way to get your COE is through a lender.
VA-approved lenders have access to a lender-only VA website that’s not
accessible to consumers, and they can usually obtain your COE within minutes on
the same day you apply with them.
can also apply for a COE online yourself using the VA’s eBenefits portal. If
you don’t already have a login, you can register. Call the VA’s eBenefits Help
Desk at 800-983-0937 for help with the site.
VA also allows you to apply for a COE by mail by filling out VA form 26-1880 and
mailing it in. This process can take several weeks, however, so one of the
online options is recommended. It’s a good idea to refer to this for the
information required by the VA even if you’re completing the process online.
COEs for each category of eligible VA borrower — whether veteran, active duty
service member, current or former National Guard or Reserve member, etc. — have different
you’ve obtained your COE, a VA lender will approve you in much the same way
they would any other borrower. Be prepared to provide all of your tax returns,
pay stubs, bank statements, and any other information your lender requests.
COE process is very easy for experienced VA lending officers, so you’ll want to find a lender who
specializes in VA loans in your area. You can also estimate the cost of a VA
loan using our VA
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