Lost Paperwork: When VA Forms Go Missing
Veterans applying for a VA home loan will provide their lender with the Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is the official document VA lenders use to verify a veteran’s eligibility to receive a VA loan. The veteran can obtain the certificate directly from the VA by visiting a regional VA center, by mail or online. And perhaps the most convenient way is to have a VA approved lender request the certificate on behalf of the veteran.
To request your certificate on your own, you’ll need to complete the DOD form 26-1880, a request to receive the certificate of eligibility. You need to have your discharge papers, form DD-214 with you when completing the form as the information on the 26-1880 must match DD-214 exactly. But you can’t find your DD-214?
When there’s lost paperwork that’s needed to obtain your certificate of eligibility, everything comes to a complete stop. To get a copy of your DD-214, there’s the SF-180 form you can complete along with a letter explaining why you need a copy along with your name, rank and social security number.
Once the VA receives the SF-180 form, your request will be processed and a copy of your DD-214 will be sent to you, typically within two weeks. Once received, you can continue the process by completing 26-1880 and obtaining your certificate.
Yes, that’s a lot of forms but you’re certainly used to filling out your fair share of paperwork while in service, right? But if you think there might be a VA home loan in your future, start gathering up your paperwork. If something is missing, there’s still time to get all the required paperwork in order.