Anyone that leaves the service receives a DD 214 form. This form is important for any type of veteran’s benefit, including the VA home loan program. This Report of Separation lets others know many things about your time in service.
The DD 214 shows the date you started in the service, the date you were released from service, your duty, education, specialties, and any awards received. Of utmost importance to mortgage lenders, though is the character of service.
What is the Character of Service?
The character of service falls under the separation information. In this section, you can see the type of separation you had and the reason for it.
The types of separation or character of service may be:
- Honorable discharge
- General discharge
- Other than honorable conditions
- Bad conduct discharge
- Dishonorable discharge
If you have bad or dishonorable discharge, you will not be eligible for VA loan benefits. If you had an honorable or general discharge, you will be eligible. Veterans with other than honorable conditions will depend on the reason for the discharge and is up to individual discretion.
The Other Information on a DD 214
Aside from your character of service, the VA can tell a lot about you from the DD214. Here are the most common things they will find:
- Your complete name as it was in the service
- The branch of service you served in
- Your social security number
- Your grade in the military
- Your birthdate
- The place that you entered the military
- Your last assignment while on duty
- Place of transfer (if you were transferred)
- Name of your primary specialty
- Records of your service including times that you left and came back
- Any awards or decorations won
- Any education earned while in the military
- Any remarks necessary
Do You Need Form DD 214?
What if you lost your form DD 214? Can you still get veterans home loan benefits? The answer may be a resounding ‘no.’ The VA needs proof of your time in service as well as your type of discharge. They cannot provide you with a Certificate of Entitlement without proof of your service. Without the COE, you won’t be able to secure VA financing.
If you don’t have a copy of your DD 214, you can call your local VA office to obtain a copy of it. You can also use the VA’s ePortal to receive another copy of your DD 214.
The VA uses this document to determine your type of discharge. If you have an honorable or general discharge and you served enough time in the military (90 days during war or 181 days during peacetime), you will likely be eligible for the VA loan program.
The VA Form DD 214 is an important form for veterans that want to use their home loan benefit. If you don’t have a copy of yours, it’s time to secure one from the ePortal or your local VA office. This will help speed along the VA home loan process, as you’ll have instant access to your COE, which is what lenders need to get your loan going.