Direct VA Loans

Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loans

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for VA Home Loans is needed before a veteran can apply for a VA-backed mortgage. For some, simply not knowing what’s involved in getting a COE can be discouraging and can even prevent some perfectly eligible applicants from pursuing a VA Loan. In reality, most COEs can be obtained by lenders in a matter of minutes using Automated Certificates of Eligibility, otherwise known as ACE. This online system is available to lenders in order to assist potential VA Home Loan borrowers in expediting the COE process. All that is needed from the service person is a name and social security number.

VA-Approved Lenders use ACE to get COEs within Minutes

To use ACE, VA-approved lenders and mortgage brokers simply need to enter the two bits of required information (Name and SSN) into the system and the rest is automatic. There are no lengthy paper applications that the veteran must fill out, and there is no rummaging through attics and garages to find dusty old documents.  As long as the name and number are in the system, using ACE should be an efficient way of obtaining a COE.

A typical successful ACE candidate might look like this:


  • First-time VA Home Loan user
  • Discharged after 1980
  • Served on active duty for at least 2 years

Certificates obtained through the ACE system can be printed right then and there on regular white paper. A special authorization number distinguishes the authenticity of each COE obtained online.

In fact, most COEs issued nationwide are through ACE. The VA improvements to the ACE system may allow for lenders to code restorations of entitlement.  This means lenders may be able to obtain COEs for subsequent users.

Though ACE can be a very useful and efficient tool for lenders and mortgage brokers in obtaining a COE for VA-eligible borrowers, the system does not work for everyone. The ACE system cannot certify entitlements for:


  • Reserves/National Guard
  • Those with previous VA Loan foreclosure
  • Military persons with insufficient service time/discharge types
  • Un-remarried surviving spouses

Just because the ACE system is unable to certify someone doesn’t mean he or she should give up on pursuing a Veterans Loan altogether. Generally, those who are eligible for VA Home Loans include honorably discharged veterans and active duty personnel who served:


  • 2 years on active duty, or
  • 6 years in the Reserve/National Guard, or
  • 90 days of wartime duty called up under U.S.C. Title 10, or
  • 181 days of peacetime duty called up under U.S.C. Title 10

VA Home Loan Entitlements for Others

Also, there are certain other persons who might be eligible to receive VA Home Loan entitlements including, but not limited to:


  • POWs held in captivity for 90 days or more
  • Certain un-remarried surviving spouses

Get a COE and VA Mortgage through an Approved Lender Today

Nobody should be intimidated at the thought of obtaining a COE.  And, the process shouldn’t stop anyone who is eligible for a VA mortgage from getting one. On the contrary, the ACE online system can provide a quick and easy way to get started. Simply contact a Loan Specialist with a VA-approved lender today.

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