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Learn more about how to apply for your COE

What if I don’t meet the minimum service requirements?

皇家棋牌You may still be able to get a COE if you were discharged for one of the reasons listed below.

You must have been discharged for one of these reasons:

  • Hardship, or
  • The convenience of the government (you must have served at least 20 months of a 2-year enlistment), or
  • Early out (you must have served 21 months of a 2-year enlistment), or 
  • Reduction in force, or
  • Certain medical conditions, or
  • A service-connected disability (a disability related to your military service)

What should I do if I received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge?

皇家棋牌If you’ve received one of these discharge statuses, you may not be eligible for VA benefits.

There are 2 ways you can try to qualify:

Find out how to apply for a discharge upgrade
Learn about the VA Character of Discharge review process

Can I get a COE as the spouse of a Veteran?

You may be able to get a COE if you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran who's missing in action or being held as a prisoner of war (POW).
Find out how to apply for a COE as a surviving spouse

Can I get a COE in any other situations?

皇家棋牌You may be able to get a COE if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Are a U.S. citizen who served in the Armed Forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II, or
  • Served as a member in certain organizations, like a:
    • Public Health Service officer
    • Cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy
    • Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy
    • Officer of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
    • Merchant seaman during World War II

Can I use a COE I used before?

皇家棋牌You may be able to “restore” an entitlement you used in the past to buy another home with a VA direct or VA-backed loan if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true:

  • You’ve sold the home you bought with the prior loan and have paid that loan in full, or
  • A qualified Veteran-transferee agrees to assume your loan and substitute their entitlement for the same amount of entitlement you used originally, or
  • You’ve repaid your prior loan in full, but haven’t sold the home you bought with that loan (you can only do this one time)

To request an entitlement restoration, fill out a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and send it to the VA regional loan center for your state.


What if I have questions about my eligibility?

If you have any questions about your eligibility for a VA home loan, please call your VA regional loan center at 877-827-3702. We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

Get more information

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