What Is A Certificate Of Eligibility?

certificate of eligibility

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issues a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that verifies your VA loan eligibility. Your VA loan eligibility and whether or not you must pay the VA funding fee is also outlined in the COE.

Lenders must request proof of a Veteran’s military service throughout the VA loan application process. The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is proof that an applicant has successfully completed the VA’s military service requirement.

One of the most important things to understand about the COE is that it is not required to start the VA loan application process.

You can start the VA loan process and get a preapproval letter even if you don’t have a COE. The document must be received by you or your Lender before closing. If there are any further delays or questions about the Veteran’s military status, the loan process may be delayed or the loan denied if it is determined the Veteran isn’t eligible.

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Certificate Of Eligibility GI Bill

If you were awarded Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, your GI Bill Statement of Benefits will show you how much of your benefits you’ve used and how much you have left to utilize for your education or training. These educational advantages may be used to defray some or all of your educational or training costs. This benefit statement will only be visible if you were awarded education benefits.

At this time, family members and dependents are unable to obtain the GI Bill benefit statement online. You’ll need to request a new Certificate of Eligibility letter to check your GI Bill benefit status. Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits may not be available if the name on your account does not match the name on our Post-9/11 GI Bill database. Applications are typically processed within 30 days. If you applied within the last 30 days, you will be considered.


How to get certificate of eligibility

There are three main ways to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility.  The quickest and easiest way is to ask your Lender to obtain it.  The Lender has the ability to request the COE from the VA Portal by entering the applicant’s information in the database.  If the COE is not available, a Veteran will need to provide the DD 214 and an active-duty individual will need to provide a Statement of Service.  These documents will allow the Lender to obtain the COE.

The second way to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility is for the applicant to apply online at the eBenefits portal.  The applicant will need to either log in or create a new account.

The third way to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility is to apply via mail.  This is obviously the slowest and will slow down the mortgage process if it has been started.

So, in summary, the first place to start is with the Lender you select to help with your VA Loan.  This is the quickest and easiest.  Any Lender who regularly handles VA Loans will be able to obtain the COE on your behalf quickly so the applicant doesn’t have to spend the time going online or mailing in the request.


VA certificate of eligibility form

The VA Certificate of Eligibility form is also commonly called the COE, or Certificate of Eligibility. This document shows the eligibility of the Veteran or active-duty member and is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  In order to be eligible, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • 181 days of service during peacetime
  • 6 years of service in the Reserves or National Guard
  • 90 days of service during wartime
  • Surviving spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or passed away due to complications from service-related


VA education certificate of eligibility

All students who wish to access VA educational or vocational benefits must submit an application to the VA. This includes students who have successfully utilized their VA benefits at other universities. We recommend that you complete the application or transfer procedure before attending orientation.You can apply for and transfer VA benefits via eBenefits. Click the green button that says “Find your education benefits form” under the subject “How can I apply?” Then select and submit the appropriate application.

Fill out and submit the New Military Student VA Benefits Form. Use this form as a placeholder while you wait for your Certificate of Eligibility to arrive. All new students must complete this form, even if they have already submitted their COE.

Send a Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. After you submit your online VA Benefits application, the VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility letter within 4-6 weeks. If you have not yet received your letter, contact the VA to confirm your application.


Where can I get my VA Certificate of Eligibility?

You can apply for your VA COE using the Department of Veterans Affairs’ e-Benefits portal.
A veteran’s COE can be requested electronically by their loan officer if they’ve identified a qualifying VA lender. Fill out VA Form 26-1880 to apply by mail.


How long is a certificate of eligibility valid for?

Is there a time limit on how long my Certificate of Eligibility (COE) can be used? Your Certificate of Eligibility does not expire. However, many Lenders will want you to get a new one within 60 days of closing to ensure they have the most current information.


Does a certificate of eligibility for a VA loan expire?

Your Certificate of Eligibility will never expire. However, Veterans who got their certificate while serving in the military would need to get a new Certificate of Eligibility after being discharged.  This will ensure the eligibility is current.


Contact the Cain Mortgage Team today to get you VA loan application started.



The Veteran’s Mortgage Source (n.d.) Certificate of Eligibility

Military Benefits (n.d.) VA Loan Certificate Of Eligibility (COE)

Indiana VA Mortgages (n.d.) I Have A Certificate Of Eligibility…What Does That Mean?

Peter Panos and David Pipes | U.S. Department Of Veteran Affairs (July 18th, 2013)
How do I get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?

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