Benefit Details
VA-Guaranteed Home Loan Program
Managing Agency Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

Program Description

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan guaranties are issued to help eligible Servicemembers, Veterans, Reservists, National Guard and certain surviving spouses obtain, retain and adapt a home and to refinance their loan.

General Program Requirements

Persons who may qualify for VA guaranteed loans include
  • Eligible Veterans / Servicemember
  • Current Reserve and National Guard members (usually after 6 years of service)
  • Certain surviving spouses

Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considered to be active duty members and veterans, once discharged.

Length-of-service requirements apply in most cases.

Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services the Veteran/Servicemember's character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general). However, individuals receiving undesirable, bad conduct and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA. Additional, eligibility information is online at

Loan Terms

Under the VA-guaranteed Home Loan program, VA does not make loans to Veterans and Servicemembers; VA guarantees loans are made by private-sector lenders. The guaranty amount is what VA could pay a lender should the loan go to foreclosure.

VA's guaranteed home loans have no maximum loan amount, only a maximum guaranty amount, which is set in law. However, due to secondary market requirements, lenders typically require that the VA guaranty, plus any downpayment provided by a Veteran, total 25 percent of the loan amount. As a result, an amount equal to four times VA's maximum guaranty amount is customarily referred to as a "loan limit." Loans for the loan limit or less are typically available to Veterans with no downpayment; loans for more than the loan limit generally require downpayments. VA's maximum guaranty amounts are established annually, and vary, depending on the size of the loan and the location of the property.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

To apply, you will need a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). There are several ways to obtain your COE:
  • You may be able to obtain a COE online through eBenefits at
  • If you are unable to obtain your COE through eBenefits, check with your lender. In most cases, your lender will be able to obtain a COE for you using the Automated Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) program.
  • You can download VA Form 26-1880, "Request for A Certificate of Eligibility" at Complete it and mail it with proof of military service to our Eligibility Center at:

    Atlanta Regional Loan Center
    ATTN: COE (262)
    P.O. Box 100034
    Decatur, GA 30031
For more information on this program, visit

Program Contact Information

If you have questions, please visit: to search Frequently Asked Questions.

Please contact a Regional Loan Center if you have detailed questions:

eBenefits is a one-stop source for information on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services. With a free Premium level eBenefits account, Veterans and Servicemembers can conduct self-service transactions such as checking claim status information, GI Bill enrollment, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, DD214, and other personal information. For further information and to register for a free Premium level account, visit