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The VA Lending Process

A VA loan is an excellent opportunity for eligible veterans to purchase a home, often at a lower interest rate. It is surprisingly easy to obtain a VA loan. The process is similar to a standard mortgage loan, with a few additional simple forms. One of the required forms is a Certificate of Eligibility, which proves that the borrower is eligible for a VA loan. The easiest way to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility is from a recognized VA Lender through the online automated Certificate of Eligibility (aCE) program. The alternative is to print and mail a VA Form 26-1880 along with evidence of service to the VA Loan Eligibility Center, PO Box 20729, Winston-Salem, NC 27120.

Evidence of service includes:

  • For discharged veterans: Certificate of Release of Discharge From active Duty and DD Form 214
  • For discharged Reserve/Guard members - Report of Separation and Record of Service, and NGB Form 22, or a points statement
  • For veterans on active duty - Social Security number, date of birth, statement of service with veteran's full name, entry date on active duty, duration of lost time, and the name of the command providing the information
  • For current Reserve/Guard Members - Social Security number, statement of service providing veteran's full name, entry date of applicant's Reserve/Guard duty, and the name of the command providing the information
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There are certain cases in which the process currently cannot be completed online, including:

  • Persons who have had a prior VA loan(s) foreclosed
  • The VA had insufficient data to determine eligibility
  • Persons who are seeking restoration of past entitlement(s)
  • Persons who didn't complete the required length of service and weren't discharged for specified exceptions
  • Persons who were discharged under dishonorable conditions
  • Persons who have served or currently serve in the Reserves/National Guard
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