How to Apply for a VA Loan

Applying for a VA loan can be a daunting task. This guide will help you understand the process and what you need to do to apply for a VA loan.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help qualified veterans bought, build, repair or keep their homes. VA loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks or mortgage companies and backed by the VA to encourage lenders to extend financing to more veterans. The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if you fail to repay the loan.

In order to take advantage of this program, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can do this one of three ways:

1. Contact your local VA regional loan center.
2. Go online at Veterans Online Applications (VONAPP) website. You’ll need to have your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) in hand to access the site.
3. Work with a VA-approved lender like Veterans United Home Loans and have them obtain your COE for you through the automated system

What is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan in the United States guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program is for American veterans, military members currently serving in the U.S. military, reservists and select surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry) and can be used to purchase single-family homes, condominiums, multi-unit properties, manufactured homes and new construction.

Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?

The first step in getting a VA loan is to determine whether you or the person you are buying a home for meets the eligibility criteria set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In order to qualify, you or your spouse must have served in the military, National Guard, or Reserves for at least 90 days during wartime, or 181 days during peacetime. You must also have been discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable. If you are the surviving spouse of a qualified service member, you may also be eligible for a VA loan.

Once you have determined that you are eligible, the next step is to get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This can be done online, through your lender, or by mail. If you are applying online, you will need to submit proof of your military service such as your DD-214 form. Once you have received your COE, you can then begin shopping for a home within the price range that the VA has approved for your loan.

The Application Process

The first step in applying for a VA loan is to get in touch with a VA-approved lender. You can find a list of approved lenders on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Once you have found a lender, you will need to gather some important documents, including your birth certificate, social security card, and discharge papers.

The next step is to fill out a loan application. The lender will use this information to determine your eligibility for the loan. If you are eligible, the lender will then send you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This document is required in order to move forward with the loan process.

Once you have received your COE, you can begin shopping for a home. Once you have found a home that you would like to purchase, your next step is to get in touch with a real estate agent and begin negotiating the purchase price. Once an offer has been made and accepted, you will then need to complete a loan application and submit it to the lender along with any other required documentation.

The final step in the process is for the lender to review your application and make a decision on whether or not to approve the loan. If your loan is approved, congrats! You are now on your way to becoming a homeowner.

The Loan Approval Process

The loan approval process for a VA loan is similar to that of a conventional loan, with a few key distinctions. Because VA loans are guaranteed by the government, lenders are more lenient in their requirements for these loans. As such, VA loans often come with lower interest rates and don’t require a down payment or private mortgage insurance (PMI).

The first step in the loan approval process is to get pre-qualified for a loan. This means that you will provide the lender with some basic information about your income, debts and assets, and they will give you an estimate of how much they are willing to lend you. This is not a commitment to lend, but it will give you an idea of what kind of loan you can expect to qualify for.

The next step is to get pre-approved for a loan. This is a more thorough process than pre-qualification, and it will require that you submit some documentation about your income, debts and assets. Once you have been pre-approved, the lender will give you a letter of commitment that outlines the terms of the loan they are willing to provide.

From there, the process proceeds much like it would for any other type of loan. You will work with the lender to complete the application process and submit any necessary documentation. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a loan closing disclosure that outlines the final terms of your loan. At this point, you will need to provide any remaining documentation that is required and then sign the paperwork to finalize your loan.


We hope you found this guide helpful. Applying for a VA loan is a process, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. Follow the steps we outlined here, and you’ll be on your way to homeownership.

If you still have questions about the loan application process, or you’re not sure if you’re eligible for a VA loan, we can help. Reach out to one of our loan experts today.

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