VA Loan Requirements for Reserve and Guard

Proving Your Service Before You Can Get a Certificate of Eligibility

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If you are a veteran applying for a home loan, you will need to know what is required to prove your service in the Reserves or Guard. Before applying for a VA home loan, all veterans must acquire a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. However, In order to receive the certificate, the service member must provide proof of service documents—whether or not the service member has served on active duty or is a current or discharged member of the Reserves or Guard will determine which documents are required.

After you've gathered the required documents and made copies (never send originals!) you'll be able to apply for your Certificate of Eligibility. It's important to keep all your original documents in order to apply for other things in the future.

Current Members With Active Duty Time Served

Reservists and Guardsmen who have served on active duty for 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime will need to provide a copy of their DD214 documenting the type and length of their service as well as the reason for separation.

Current Members With No Active Duty Time Served

Members of the Reserve or Guard who have never been called to active duty or who served fewer than 90 days during wartime or fewer than 181 days during peacetime will need to supply the VA with a copy of a Statement of Service signed by (or by the direction of) the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit. The document must contain all of the following information:

  • Service member's full name.
  • Service member's Social Security Number.
  • Date of birth.
  • The date active duty service began.
  • The total number of creditable years of service (applicants need a minimum of six years if they haven't served on active duty, or if their active duty time is less than the time specified above).
  • Duration of any lost time.
  • Name of the command providing the information.

Discharged Members With No Active Duty Time Served

Honorably discharged members of the National Guard who did not serve on active duty must produce copies of their NGB Form 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service) for each period of National Guard service, or NGB Form 23 (Retirement Points Accounting) and a proof of the character of service.

Honorably discharged Reservists who did not serve on active duty must send copies of their latest annual retirement points statement along with a copy of their discharge certificate.

Surviving Spouses and DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) Benefits

Surviving spouses who are currently receiving DIC benefits will need to submit VA form 26-1817 and the veteran's DD214 if it's available. Those spouses who are not currently receiving DIC benefits will need to submit the following to the appropriate Compensation and Pension Office: VA form 21-534, the veteran's DD214 if possible, a marriage license, and the service members' death certificate or form DD1300.