General Rules

General Rules for Eligibilityrules-loan

Military Service Requirements for VA Home Loan Eligibility

Note: Applications involving other than honorable discharges will usually require further development by VA. This is necessary to determine if the service was under other than dishonorable conditions.
Wartime – Service During: WWII 9/16/1940 to 7/25/1947
Korean 6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955
Vietnam 8/5/1964 to 5/7/1975

You must have at least 90 days on active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 90 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.
Peacetime – Service during periods: 7/26/1947 to 6/26/1950
2/1/1955 to 8/4/1964
5/8/1975 to 9/7/1980 (enlisted)
5/8/1975 to 10/16/1981 (officer)

You must have served at least 181 days of continuous active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 181 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.

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Service after 9/7/1980 (enlisted) or 10/16/1981 (officer)

If you were separated from service which began after these dates, you must have:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 181 days) for which you were ordered or called to active duty and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Completed at least 181 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1171 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability;
  • Been discharged with less than 181 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances for the convenience of the Government.

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Gulf War – Service during period 8/2/1990 to date yet to be determined

If you served on active duty during the Gulf War, you must have:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Completed at least 90 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1173 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability, or
  • Been discharged with less than 90 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances, for the convenience of the Government.

Active Duty Service Personnel

If you are now on regular duty (not active duty for training), you are eligible after having served 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service.

Selected Reserves or National Guard

If you are not otherwise eligible and you have completed a total of 6 years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and 2-week active duty for training) and

  • Were discharged with an honorable discharge, or
  • Were placed on the retired list, or
  • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable service, or
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves

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Disabled Veterans

Individuals who completed less than 6 years may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.

Spouse of a Veteran

You May also be determined eligible if you:

  • Are an unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or
  • Are a spouse of a serviceperson missing in action or a prisoner of war

Note: Also, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit. However, a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.

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Other Veterans

Eligibility may also be established for:

  • Certain United States citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in WW II.
  • Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with WW II service, and others.

How to Get Your Certificate of Eligibility

The Veterans Administration (VA) determines your eligibility and, if qualified, a certificate of eligibility is issued. Eligibility applications can involve:

  • an original determination of eligibility for the home loan benefit
  • a request to replace a lost certificate of eligibility
  • a request for restoration of the benefit after payment in full of a previous VA home loan
  • issuance of a certificate reflecting a current outstanding loan for refinance purposes

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Requesting a Certificate of Eligibility Through our Certified Lenders

In many cases, we will be able to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for you by using the ACE (automated certificate of eligibility). ACE is a web-based application that is able to determine eligibility and issue an online Certificate of Eligibility in a matter of seconds. Not all cases can be processed through ACE. If there is insufficient data in our records, the certificate will have to be requested from VA using the procedures below.

Requesting a certificate from VA

1. Complete VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits.

2. Send the completed VA Form 26-1880 and any supporting evidence (see 3 and 4 below) to the correct VA Eligibility Center (see below “Where is Your Eligibility Certificate Processed?”). Under normal circumstances a response can be anticipated in roughly 10 days. This time frame will vary during periods of heavy activity

3. Include photocopies of your most recent discharge or separation papers covering active military duty, which show active duty dates and type of discharge. IF YOU SERVED ON REGULAR ACTIVE DUTY (NOT A RESERVIST) AND WERE DISCHARGED AFTER 1975 OR YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY HAD A VA LOAN, IT MAY NOT BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OF YOUR MILITARY SERVICE. However, it is best to provide such evidence with your VA Form 26-1880 if it is readily available so as to avoid possible delays in processing your request.

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If you were discharged from regular active duty

* If you were separated after January 1, 1950, the appropriate documentation of your military service would be DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If you were discharged after October 1, 1979, DD Form 214, copy 4 would be appropriate. A PHOTOCOPY OF DD214 WILL SUFFICE….DO NOT SUBMIT AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT.

If your service was in Selected Reserves

* If you served in the Selected Reserve you must provide documentation sufficient to establish that you served a minimum of 6 years with points earned for weekend drills or active duty for training and received an honorable discharge. Since there is no uniform document similar to the DD214 for proof of service in the Selected Reserve, a number of different forms may be accepted.
* For those who served in the Army or Air National Guard and were discharged after a least 6 years of service, NGB Form 22 may be sufficient.
* Those who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves may need to relay on a variety of forms. Often it will be necessary to submit a combination of documents such as an Honorable Discharge certificate together with a Retirement Points Statement.

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If you remain on active duty

* If you are now on regular active duty and have not been previously discharged from active duty service, you must submit a statement of service which includes the name of the issuing authority (base or command), and is signed by or at the direction of an appropriate official. The statement must identify you (SSN), and provide your date of entry on active duty and the duration of any time lost. If you remain on active Selected Reserve duty, the statement of service should be from your unit CO and should cite the length of time you have served with the reserve unit.

Restoration of Previously Used Benefit

If you are seeking restoration of your previously used benefit, you should include any evidence of payment in full of your prior loan (copy of HUD-1, settlement statement for example) that you have in your possession. Normally VA receives notification that a loan has been paid, but this does not always happen. VA determines your eligibility and, if you are qualified, VA will issue you a certificate of eligibility to be used in applying for a VA loan.

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Where do I send my request for Certificate of Eligibility?

Please send your request to::

VA Loan Eligibility Center
PO Box 20729
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

* Toll free number: 1-888-244-6711
* Secure Online Web Site: https://iris.va.gov

The toll free telephone line to for the VA Eligibility Center in Winston-Salem Eligibility Center is 1-888-244-6711. It has has been included in their VA National Automated Response System. Accordingly, callers are now provided a menu of information regarding the guaranteed home loan program and may exercise options from that menu which allow them to speak to VA Eligibility Personnel. Currently, the most direct route through the menu for those program participants who wish to speak to Eligibility personnel includes menu selections in the following order:
(1) – Touchtone phone
(1) – Eligibility
(2) – Status

Once you obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, then fill out our RESIDENTIAL LOAN APPLICATION here online. We will process your loan and get you moving forward. If you have any more questions, pleasecontact us

* The information above has been reposted from the Veterans Administration web site and is provided herein as a service to our users.


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