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 servicemember must provide proof of service documents.
Whether or not the servicemember has served on active duty or is a current or discharged member of the Reserves or Guard will determine which documents are required.
For Current Members of the Reserves or Guard, 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 your service as well as the reason for separation.
For Current Members of the Reserves or Guard, with No Active Duty Time Served
Members of the Reserver 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:
- Servicemember's Full Name.
- Servicemember's Social Security Number.
- Date of birth
- The date your 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
For Discharged Members of the National Guard, 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.
For Discharged Members of the Reserves, With No Active Duty Time Served
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.
For Surviving Spouses Who Are Currently Receiving DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) Benefits
You'll need to submit VA form 26-1817 and the veteran's DD214, if it's available.
For Surviving Spouses Who Are Not Receiving DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) Benefits
You'll need to submit the following to the appropriate Compensation and Pension Office: VA form 21-534, the veteran's DD214 if possible, your marriage license, the servicemembers' death certificate or form DD1300.
You'll find the address for your state here.
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.