What is a form DD 214 and what is its importance in getting a VA mortgage?
More and more Veterans are considering the possibility of using a VA-backed loan to buy a home. And why not? The VA mortgage is considered by many experts to be the best mortgage product existent today. It offers 100 percent financing without the typical underwriting hassle and even allows the borrower to wrap the closing costs into the loan. For most Americans, an opportunity as good as this will forever remain a pipe dream.
However, being a Veteran, a reservist, or a military service member does not automatically give you a free pass to qualify for the program. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has established certain rules as to who can qualify for a VA mortgage. The applicants must also be able to show adequate documentation to prove that they are who they claim to be.
In most VA loan sites, you will find that the primary requirement to apply for a VA mortgage is a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). However, it is not commonly mentioned that to be able to get this document, you must first present your DD 214 form.Talk to a lending professional today.
What is a DD 214?
A DD 214 is known officially as the Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty.
When a military service member leaves the force or is discharged, he or she receives two important pieces of documentation: a paper for honorable discharge, and a form DD 214.
To be able to get a COE, you must be able to present this form or its equivalent. Not necessarily the original, as lenders will accept copies of the document.
What happens when you lose your DD 214?
It is not uncommon for veterans for discharged officers to lose their DD 214 copies. In fact, per The National Archives, about 700,000 of all 1.2 million record requests they receive annually account for copies of lost separation paperwork.
So if you lost your DD 214, it’s not the end of the road. The bad news is, it typically takes about 10 days to 2 weeks before you receive the requested document. So that might cause a problem if you need it immediately.Check out today’s rates.
Alternative ways to get your COE
Fortunately, there are faster ways to obtain your DD 214 besides requesting from The National Archives.
If you’re applying for a VA loan, the Veterans Affairs suggest that you ask your lender if they have access to the VA’s Web LGY system. This electronic form of request, given you have enough records in the database, can prove your eligibility automatically and can get your COE in seconds.
If your lender doesn’t have access to the system or the database don’t have sufficient information to give you a positive feedback, you may also:
a) Apply online via VA’s eBenefits portal. Simply follow this link. If, however, you need assistance regarding how the portal works, you can contact the eBenefits Help Desk directly at 1-800-983-0937. They are available from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, EST; OR
b) You may send them an application via mail. Use the VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility and send it to:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE (262)
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031
c) If you’re an eligible borrower who does not have a form DD 214 (e.g. being a surviving spouse), you may visit the VA Benefits site for more information on how to obtain a COE.
Lacking the DD 214 does not automatically disqualify you from getting a VA mortgage. Losing one either is not the end of the road. Whichever of the above situations you are in, there’s always a path you can take to prove your eligibility to the VA.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»