Thanks to the new Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) automatic download feature, it’s easier and faster than ever to download your VA Certificate of Eligibility online.
If you’re looking to buy a home with your VA loan benefits, getting a copy of your VA COE online is mission critical because it proves to lenders your basic eligibility and entitlement.
Let’s explore how to automatically generate a Certificate of Eligibility online in 3 steps with screenshots and examples.
- What is a VA Certificate of Eligibility?
- Step #1: Go to VA.gov, Housing Assistance, Home Loans, Request VA COE Form Online
- Step #2: Login to Your VA.gov Account
- Step #3: Download Your Autogenerated VA COE Form Online
- VA Certificate of Eligibility Online: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I download a copy of my VA COE online?
- What if my VA COE has errors and needs to be updated?
- Do I meet VA home loan eligibility requirements?
- What information do I need to request my VA COE online?
- What is a VA Statement of Service?
- How do I start a VA COE request online?
- What information is on my VA COE?
- Why does my VA COE say my basic entitlement is only $36,000?
- Why does my VA Certificate of Eligibility say my basic entitlement is $0?
- What is the VA COE prior loans charged to entitlement?
- Can my private lender get my VA Certificate of Eligibility for me?
- Where can I find an example COE form?
- About the Author
What is a VA Certificate of Eligibility?
A VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document that verifies to lenders that you are eligible for a VA home loan.
It is an essential part of the VA loan process, as it confirms for your lender that you qualify for the VA home loan benefit.
Your COE shows your basic entitlement amount, which is the portion of the loan that the VA guarantees.
This certificate does not guarantee that you will be approved for a loan; it merely signifies that you are eligible and have met the service requirements for a VA loan.
A COE is required whether you are looking to buy a home with a VA loan, refinance an existing loan into a VA loan, or access other VA housing benefits.
In the next section, you’ll learn how to download your VA COE form online with specific instructions and screenshots.
Step #1: Go to VA.gov, Housing Assistance, Home Loans, Request VA COE Form Online
In Step #1, click here as this link will take you to the VA’s Housing Assistance page, under Home Loans, and Request VA COE Form at VA.gov.
Starting at this specific URL on VA.gov first is the easiest and fastest way to download a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility online.
Step #2: Login to Your VA.gov Account
In Step #2, you have multiple options to sign into your VA.gov account.
Choose one and login.
You’ll need to set-up or enter details for 2-factor authentication.
Step #3: Download Your Autogenerated VA COE Form Online
In Step #3, the system will automatically generate your VA COE form.
If it worked properly, you’ll see a link to download your COE in .pdf format.
If the system didn’t autogenerate your COE, you’ll need to complete a few other steps outlined in the FAQ section below.
VA Certificate of Eligibility Online: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I download a copy of my VA COE online?
Yes, you can download a copy of your VA COE online if the VA has all the information they need when you sign in.
If the VA does not have enough information to generate your COE automatically, the system will ask you to request a COE by completing a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility form.
It takes about 15 minutes to complete the process online.
What if my VA COE has errors and needs to be updated?
If your COE is not correct, you can instantly update it online in a few steps.
Simply complete and submit a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) to:
- Make changes to your COE (correct an error or update your information), or
- Apply for a restoration of entitlement.
Do I meet VA home loan eligibility requirements?
Make sure you meet our VA home loan eligibility requirements before you request a COE.
You may be able to get a COE if you:
- Didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
- Meet the minimum service requirement based on when you served
What information do I need to request my VA COE online?
- Your Social Security number, date of birth and current contact information.
- The property location and dates of past VA loans (if you have or had a VA-backed loan)
- If you’re a Veteran, you’ll need a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214).
- If you’re an active-duty service member, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer.
- If you’re a current or former activated National Guard or Reserve member, you’ll need a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214).
- If you’re a current member of the National Guard or Reserves who’s never been activated, you’ll need a statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer.
- If you’re a discharged member of the National Guard and were never activated, you’ll need your Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) and your Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23).
- If you’re a discharged member of the Reserves who has never been activated, you’ll need a copy of your latest annual retirement points and proof of your honorable service.
What is a VA Statement of Service?
A statement of service, signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer, is a letter showing the following information:
- Your full name
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- The date you entered duty
- Your total number of creditable years of service
- The duration of any lost time
- The name of the command providing the information
How do I start a VA COE request online?
If the system doesn’t auto display your COE for download, you’ll complete a few more steps that take about 15 minutes.
Make sure you upload a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214) before submitting the COE request.
You should hear from someone at the VA by email within 5 business days.
What information is on my VA COE?
The COE serves as official documentation of the veteran’s eligibility for VA home loan benefits and is a crucial document during the home loan application process.
Keep in mind that the format and content of the VA COE may vary slightly based on individual circumstances, the specific VA loan program, or updates to VA policies and forms.
Veterans can obtain their COE online through the VA’s official website or by contacting the VA directly for assistance.
A VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Form 26-1880 contains the following information:
- Full name of the veteran or service member.
- Social Security Number (usually partially redacted for security).
- Date of birth.
- Branch of service (e.g., Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard).
- Period and character of service (e.g., active duty, National Guard, Reserve).
- Service number or VA file number (if applicable).
- Funding fee waiver eligibility (service connected with a VA rating of 10% or higher)
- The amount of entitlement available to the veteran, which indicates the maximum loan amount that the VA may guarantee on a VA-backed loan.
- The loan guaranty program under which the veteran is eligible, often based on their length and type of service.
- Any special circumstances or notes related to the veteran’s eligibility, if applicable.
Why does my VA COE say my basic entitlement is only $36,000?
This line on your VA COE is for your private lender.
It shows whether you have full VA loan entitlement.
The $36,000 isn’t the total amount you can borrow.
Rather, it means that if you default on a loan that’s under $144,000, the VA guarantees to pay your lender up to $36,000.
For loans over $144,000, the VA guarantees to pay your lender up to 25% of the total loan amount.
Why does my VA Certificate of Eligibility say my basic entitlement is $0?
This line on your COE is information for your VA lender.
It shows that you’ve used your home loan benefit before and don’t have remaining entitlement.
If the basic entitlement listed on your VA COE form is more than $0, you likely have remaining entitlement and can use your VA home loan benefit again.
What is the VA COE prior loans charged to entitlement?
On your COE form, in the table called “Prior Loans Charged to Entitlement,” the VA lists the amount of your entitlement you’ve already used under the Entitlement Charged column.
Your VA loan entitlement can be restored when you sell your property and pay your VA loan in-full or repay in full any claim the VA has paid.
Can my private lender get my VA Certificate of Eligibility for me?
Yes, your private lender can help get a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility for you.
Your mortgage lender can request your Certificate of Eligibility for you through the VA’s Loan Guaranty website (this system is known as the “LGY HUB”).
All requests for VA COE’s on behalf of veterans are reviewed in the order received with over 99% completed within five business days.
Where can I find an example COE form?
Here’s an example VA COE form that you’ll download from the VA’s website.
About the Author
Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).
Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start.
As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.
He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).