- The lender must ensure the loan applicant is an eligible veteran by receiving a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The veteran can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility from VA in one of three ways:
- Online at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/elig_center.asp, or
- Through the lender, or
- By mail using VA Form 26-1880, also available online at http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/26-1880(3-11).pdf.
- Determine the price range of the home you can afford, either by working with your lender or real estate agent, or by using the Affordability Calculator at www.ginniemae.gov/2_prequal/intro_questions.asp?subTitle=YPTH.
- Once you have determined how much you can afford to spend on a home, your real estate agent will work with you to find the home you want and guide you through the process of submitting an offer to the sellers right up through signing the Purchase Agreement. In some regions it may be appropriate to contact an attorney specializing in real estate transactions.
- Take your COE and the signed Purchase Agreement to your lender who will then begin processing your loan. The process includes completing the loan application, providing you with a Good Faith Estimate, Truth in Lending statement and other legal disclosures, ordering the appraisal and other income and asset verifications required by VA to establish the eligible veteran meets credit and income standards to qualify for a VA-guaranteed loan, and other certifications and documentation required by VA and the lender to establish the property meets VA’s requirements for reasonable value.
- Once VA and the lender have approved the loan you can close the loan and move in your new home.