Certificate of Eligibility
Form 26-1880 for VA Loans
Before you get a VA loan, you will need a VA Certificate of Eligibility.
Active military and veterans should know that our trusted affiliate home loan specialist is happy to assist homebuyers by requesting a COE on their behalf. This is often faster than using the general request VA Form 26-1880 (Request for a Certificate of Eligibility) that is sent by mail or email.
GENERAL RULES OF ELIGIBILITY
You are eligible for VA home loan veteran benefits if you served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable after either:
- 90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime, OR
- 181 continuous days or more (peacetime)
TWO YEAR REQUIREMENTIf you:
- enlisted (and service began) after September 7, 1980, OR
- were an officer and service began after October 16, 1981
- 24 continuous months or more, OR
- the full period for which ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime)
WARTIME AND PEACETIME
Wartime and Peacetime, as used in the General Rule for Eligibility, refer to the following periods of time:
World War II
9/16/40 - 7/25/47
Post-World War II period
7/26/47 - 6/26/50
6/27/50 - 1/31/55
2/1/55 - 8/4/64
8/5/64* - 5/7/75
5/8/75 - 8/1/90
|Persian Gulf War
8/2/90 - undetermined
|* The Vietnam era begins 2/28/61 for individuals who served in the Republic of Vietnam|
YOU MAY ALSO BE ELIGIBLE IF YOU
- were discharged for a service-connected disability, or
- were discharged for the convenience of the government after completing at least 20 months of a 2-year enlistment, or
- completed not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime), and
- were discharged because of a hardship, or
- were determined to have a service-connected compensable disability, or
- were discharged or released from active duty for a medical condition which pre-existed service and has not been determined to be service-connected, or
- received an involuntary discharge or release from active duty for the convenience of the Government as a result of a reduction in force, or
- were discharged or released from active duty for a physical or mental condition not characterized as a disability and not the result of misconduct but which did interfere with your performance of duty
- are an un-remarried 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.
ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE PERSONNEL
If you are now on active duty, you are eligible after having served on continuous active status for at least 90 days. When an ending date is established for Persian Gulf War service, a minimum of 181 days of continuous active duty will be required for persons who did not have wartime service.
MEMBERS OF THE SELECTED RESERVE
"Selected Reserve" means the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of any of the Reserve components which consists of units and individuals who participate actively in paid training periods and serve on paid active duty for training each year.
SIX YEAR REQUIREMENT
A veteran, who is not otherwise eligible, who completes a total of 6 years as a member of the Selected Reserve (need not be ordered to active duty) is eligible if he or she either:
- received an honorable discharge
- was placed on the retired list
- was transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service in the Selected Reserve characterized as honorable
- continues to serve in the Selected Reserve
The 6 years service need not be continuous nor in the same Reserve or National Guard unit. However, active duty regular military service cannot be combined with Reserve service to reach the 6 year requirement.
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 World War II.
- individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets/midshipmen at service academies, officers of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, merchant seamen with WWII service, and others.