What is a VA Certificate of Eligibility

VA Certificate of Eligibility

A VA approved lender relies on a VA Certificate of Eligibility (“COE”) as proof the veteran is eligible for a VA home loan. Even though you may eligible for a VA home loan, veterans must still qualify based on income and credit before a VA loan approval is granted.

Amount of Entitlement
Entitlement refers to how much money it will guarantee repayment to lenders in the event that a borrower defaults or stops paying their loan. The amount of available basic entitlement is $36,000. This may be reduced if a veteran has used entitlement before which has not been restored. The amount of basic entitlement will be displayed near the center of the COE. For example it may say:


For certain loans in excess of $144,000, additional entitlement may be available. For loans greater than $144,000, but less than $417,000, the maximum entitlement is 25 percent of $417,000, which equals $104,250. For loans greater than $417,000, the maximum entitlement is 25 percent of the appropriate “loan limit” which can vary by county. For a description of loan limits, as well as the limits for counties, see below.

Please note county limits can change yearly.
VA.condos will try to post the limits for each year on our website as they change.

Even though the veteran may have entitlement for certain loans greater than $144,000, the certificate of eligibility will never reflect this potential “extra” entitlement. Instead, an asterisk by the word “available” refers to a note, which explains the possibility of additional entitlement.

Amount of Entitlement

If the veteran previously used entitlement, which has not been restored, available entitlement is reduced by the amount used on the prior loan(s). The lender has two options in this situation:

  • Make the loan knowing that VA’s guaranty is limited to the amount of available entitlement, or
  • Have the veteran apply for restoration of previously used entitlement.

Note: The possible additional entitlement for certain loans in excess of $144,000 may be available even if the veteran has no entitlement or partial basic entitlement. However, in such cases, the lack of full entitlement may result in lenders receiving less than a 25 percent guaranty from VA. It is the lender’s responsibility to ensure they receive a sufficient amount of guaranty to satisfy secondary market requirements.

How to Gain Eligibility for a VA Loan
3 Steps to Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility