Updated January 2018
The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan is also aptly named the VA Streamline Refinance Loan because of the faster loan processing. Although the paperwork is an inescapable part of the process, it is way less compared to conventional refinancing programs. One of the required documents for a VA IRRRL is the veterans’ DD Form 214.
But what exactly is the DD Form 214? Simply put, it is proof of your military service. It shows your discharge, your dates of service and current classification, whether retired, separated, or National Guard or Reserve status. You need your DD 214 to claim most of your military benefits including VA loans.
Servicemen and women receive their original DD-214 at the end of their retirement or separation from the military. It’s an important document, but some veterans misplace their DD-214 for one reason or another as they relocate or transition back to civilian life.
It’s important to know that you can request a free copy of your DD-214 by going to the National Archive official government site (archives.gov) through their eVetRecs system and filling out an online form. You must be either the service member or the next of kin to request the DD-214 with this form. The following information may be requested:
- The veteran’s complete name used while in service
- Service number
- Social security number
- Branch of service
- Dates of service
- Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known).
- If you suspect your records may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
- Place of discharge
- Last unit of assignment
- Place of entry into the service, if known.
- All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin.
- If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.*
*lifted from the National Archives website
The form must be authorized by the service member or next of kin. It may be useful to give the reason for wanting the form as a VA loan refinance.
Remember that a DD-214 is always free through the US government. There are companies who will offer to do the work on your behalf for a fee. While this isn’t illegal, it is unnecessary as applying for the form yourself is quite simple and any company you pay won’t be able to make your order go through any faster.
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