Skip to nav Skip to content
Sign In

Determine Your Eligiblity

Read Time: 6 Minutes April 30, 2024

Are you a Veteran, Active-Duty service member, Reservist, or member of the National Guard? Discover if your Military service qualifies you for the valuable benefits of a VA Loan.

Explore the eligibility criteria for Active-Duty servicemen and women, Veterans, Reservists, and the National Guard. Then learn how your service history can unlock opportunities for homeownership with a VA Loan.

First: See if You’re Eligible

You may be eligible for VA Home Loan benefits if your military service history fits one of the following descriptions:

Active Military

You must have:

  • Served in Active Duty for 90 days during wartime OR

  • Served 181 days during peacetime

Military Veterans

You must have:

  • Served at least 24 continuous months in active service, OR

  • A full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to Active Duty, OR

  • At least 90 days if discharged for a hardship, a reduction in force, or for the convenience of the government, OR

  • Less than 90 days if discharged for a service-connected disability

Reserves and National Guard

If not otherwise eligible under Active Duty or Veteran service requirements above, you may still be eligible if:

• You have completed a total of six credible years of service (member of an Active Unit, attended required weekend drills and two-week active duty for training), and ONE of the following:

  • Discharged with an honorable discharge, or

  • Placed on the retired list

  • Transferred to the Standby Reserve, or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve, after service characterized as honourable service.

Surviving Spouses

A spouse that is eligible for, or in receipt of, a qualifying DIC benefit award, and:

  • Unremarried surviving spouse of a Veteran who died while in service (Active, Reserve,or National Guard) or from a service-connected disability, or

  • Unremarried surviving spouse of certain totally disabled (100% rated) Veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death, or

  • Surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, after attaining age 57, or

  • Spouse of a living Service member missing in action (MIA) or a prisoner of war (POW) for more than 90 days, for as long as the Service member is in that status (this is one-time use only)

Other Eligible Borrowers

You may be eligible if one of these applies to you:

• A U.S. citizen who served in the Armed Forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II

• Served as a member in certain organizations, such as:

  • Cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy

  • Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service

  • Officer of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy

  • Merchant seaman during World War II


Second: Get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Apply for your COE. This document confirms to lenders that you are eligible for the VA Home Loan benefit.

Apply Online: You can get your COE online at the VA eBenefits portal, or through where you can log in using your current Digital Service (DS) Logon or by creating a new account using

Apply by Mail: Obtaining a COE by mail may take longer than requesting via Internet or VA system. Fill out VA Form 26-1880 (Request for Certificate of Eligibility) and mail to the address of your state listed on the back of the form.

Veterans Affairs Benefits & Services:
Call 1-877-827-3702 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. ET

Contact Us
Need help getting your COE? We can help!
Email Our Military Family Advisory Council



This is not a commitment to lend. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting, and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply.