Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible for a VA home loan, you’ll need to get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to show lenders that you qualify. Veterans, and current or former National Guard or Reserve members with active service must complete a DD Form 24 for a COE. Active duty service members and current National Guard or Reserve members who’ve never had active federal service must provide a detailed current statement of service signed by their adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of their unit. National Guard discharged members without active federal duty need a form NGB Form 22 or NGB Form 23 if retired, while Selected Reserve discharged members must show a current annual retirement points statement and proof of honorable service. Surviving spouses receiving Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits submit forms VA 26-1817 and Veteran’s DD214 to receive a COE, but if you don’t receive DIC benefits use VA-form 21-534, DD214, your marriage license, spouse’s death certificate, or DD Form 1300.
Apply for a COE online, through your lender, or via mail using Form VA 26-1880. Surviving spouses may only apply through a lender or via mail.