Administered by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, VA Loans are a home mortgage program with a lot of perks. If you qualify, then your dream of homeownership may be closer than you think. Before you can obtain a VA Loan, you must go through several steps to ensure that both you and the home you wish to purchase will be accepted. In this week’s blog post, Professional Mortgage Solutions is here to help Rego Park, NY homeowners understand the requirements for VA Loans and obtaining a certificate of eligibility.
Your First Step to Obtaining a VA Loan: Eligibility
Before you begin to look for a house in which to use your VA Loan benefit, educate yourself on what it takes to qualify for the program. You may waste a ton of time searching for available homes on the market, only to learn that the house may not meet the VA requirements. Establishing that you’re eligible for a VA Loan should be one of your first steps. Below is a list of criteria to qualify:
- You must be a Veteran who served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime, or
- You must be a Veteran who served at least 181 days of active duty during peacetime, or
- You must be a current active-duty member with more than 90 days of continuous service, or
- You must be discharged due to a service-related injury, or
- You must be reservist or member of the National Guard who served at least six years, or
- You must be surviving spouse of a veteran who was killed during service or because of a service-related injury or who was declared MIA or POW.
Securing a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA
Once you have established that you are eligible for a VA Loan, you can then obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. Be sure that you have checked the VA website to also determine that you served for an eligible period of wartime, peace time, active duty, or period when you may have been in reserves or separated from service. You may also qualify as a spouse of someone who is eligible.
You must present specific documents in order to obtain your COE, these depend upon what criteria you are using to qualify. Here is a general checklist:
- Form DD Form 214 for a Veteran or current or former National Guard or Reserve member who has been activated Federal active service.
- Current statement of service signed by the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters if you are an active servicemember. This is also needed if you are a current National Guard or Reserve member who has never been Federal active service.
- If you are a discharged member of the National Guard who has never been activated for Federal active service, you need NGB form 22 and 23.
- If you are a discharged member of the Selected Reserve who has never been activated for Federal active service, you will need a copy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service.
- If you are a Surviving Spouse in Receipt of DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) benefits, then you will need Form 26-1817.
- If you are a Surviving Spouse and are not receiving DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) benefits, then you will need Form 26-1817, DD-214, Marriage License, and Death Certificate or form DD 1300.
Professional Mortgage Solutions in Rego Park, NY enjoys helping home buyers navigate the many benefits of the VA Loan program, contact our office today for help with establishing eligibility.