Eligibility Requirements for VA Home Loans

Servicemembers and Veterans

To obtain a COE (Certificate of Eligibility), you must have been discharged under conditions (other than dishonorable) and meet the service requirements below:

 
Status Qualifying Wartime & Peacetime Periods Qualifying Active Duty Dates Minimum Active Duty Service Requirement
Veteran
WWII
9/16/1940 - 7/25/1947
90 Total Active Days
Post-WWII
7/26/1947 - 6/26/1950
181 Continuous Active Days
Korean War
6/27/1950 - 1/31/1955
90 Total Active Days
Post-Korean War
2/1/1955 - 8/4/1964
181 Continuous Active Days
Vietnam War
8/5/1964 - 5/7/1975
*2/28/1961 - 5/7/1975

*Republic of Vietnam Veterans
90 Total Active Days
Post-Vietnam War
5/8/1975 - 9/7/1980
*5/8/1975 - 10/16/1981

*Dates for Officers (Non Enlisted)
181 Continuous Active Days
24-month rule
9/8/1980 - 8/1/1990
*10/17/1981 - 8/1/1990

*Dates for Officers (Non Enlisted)
24 Continuous Active Months
(or)
The Full Period (at least 181 days)
for which you were called or ordered to active duty
Gulf War
8/2/1990 - Present
24 Continuous Active Months
(or)
The Full Period (at least 181 days)
for which you were called or ordered to active duty
Currently On Active Duty
Any
Any
90 Continuous Active Days
National Guard & Reserve Member
Gulf War
8/2/1990 - Present
90 Days of Active Service
  • Six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard, AND
    • Were discharged honorably, OR
    • Were placed on the retired list, OR
    • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable, OR
    • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserve

What if I don't meet the minimum service requirements?
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you were discharged due to hardship
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you were discharged due to the convenience of the government
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you were discharged due to reduction-in-force
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you were discharged due to certain medical conditions
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you were discharged due to a service-connected disability

Can a spouse of a Veteran apply for a VA Home Loan?
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you are an Unremarried spouse of a Veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you are the spouse of a Service member missing in action or a prisoner of war
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you are a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57
(Note: You must have been married on or after December 16, 2003)
You may still be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you are a surviving Spouses of certain totally disabled veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death

Are there any other people that can apply for a VA Home Loan?
Certain U.S. citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II can apply for a VA Home Loan
Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as:
  1. Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy can apply for a VA Home Loan
  2. Cadets at the United States Coast Guard Academy can apply for a VA Home Loan
  3. Cadets at the United States Military Academy can apply for a VA Home Loan
  4. Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy can apply for a VA Home Loan
  5. Merchant seaman with World War II service can apply for a VA Home Loan
  6. Public Health Service Officers can apply for a VA Home Loan
  7. Officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration can apply for a VA Home Loan

Can a veteran have a previously-used entitlement"restored" to purchase another home with a VA loan?
You can have your previously-used VA Home Loan entitlement restored if the property purchased with the prior VA loan has been sold and the loan is paid in full
You can have your previously-used VA Home Loan entitlement restored (one time only) if the veteran has repaid the prior VA loan in full but still owns the property purchased with the prior VA loan
You can have your previously-used VA Home Loan entitlement restored if a qualified Veteran buyer (a.k.a. transferee) agrees to assume the VA loan and substitute their entitlement for the same amount of entitlement originally used by the Veteran seller.
Remaining entitlement and restoration of entitlement can be requested through the VA Eligibility Center by completing VA Form 26-1880.