Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) can be a fast and easy process done by a lender or veteran. An application for the Certificate of Eligibility can be found at http://www.ebenefits.va.gov/. The application only takes a few moments, and can display the veteran’s results in a matter of seconds. If the veteran is qualified for a Certificate of Eligibility, then the lender should print a copy of it and store it with all other loan documents. If the loan case is identified for a full review, then the lender must submit a loan package with a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility included.
In the case that the Certificate of Eligibility is not obtained immediately, then the lender should submit an application to the Eligibility Center. An application must also be submitted to the Eligibility Center if a reduced entitlement is received. Using the webLGY system found on the VA Information Portal, the lender can upload necessary documentation, such as discharge papers or evidence for restoration. Scanned documents should not be submitted without first completing an online application. While applications can be submitted through mail, electronically is the preferred method. Submitting documents electronically saves a lot of time for both the lender and the VA.
Just because a veteran doesn’t receive a COE does not mean that they are ineligible. The lender should still continue with the veteran’s application because the system may just be lacking sufficient information to make an automatic determination.
Veterans may reapply for a Certificate of Eligibility if it is lost.
The following procedures should be completed by those applying for a COE by mail:
- Complete the VA Form 26-1880 form as thoroughly as possible.
- Attach all required documentation to the form.
- The instructions on the form describe the proof of military service needed.
- Submit the form and attachments to:
Atlanta Regional Loan Center
P.O. Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031
Eligibility for Unmarried Surviving Spouses
Home loan benefits are available for the surviving spouses of veterans who died during active duty. The spouse can qualify if remarried, but must wait to remarry after the age of 57. Spouses of veterans who are MIA or POW are also qualified for a VA loan.
The spouses of veterans who died from non-service related causes may also qualify for a home loan. In these cases, the veteran must have been rated totally disabled for over 10years or have been a former prisoner of war who died after Sept. 30, 1999.
Surviving spouses must first complete and upload the VA Form 26-1817 form before applying for a COE.