The VA home loan benefit was created to help veterans, military members and their families. But members of the lesser known non-military uniformed services -- the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- can also be eligible for this $0 down payment mortgage.
The benefits and the mortgage process aren’t any different for these non-military borrowers. The challenge can be establishing eligibility. These prospective buyers must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility just like any other veteran or military member.
That, of course, requires a little bit of paperwork. Let’s take a closer look.
Eligibility guidelines for Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officers typically follow general eligibility guidelines for any other veteran or active duty service member.
Only the VA can determine whether you’re eligible for this benefit. PHA and NOAA officers can work with a lender to try and obtain their Certificate of Eligibility or seek the document themselves.
In either case, the COE is the only way to be sure you’re eligible for a VA home loan.
Public Health Service officers can submit to a lender PHS Form 1867, Statement of Service – Verification of Status of Commissioned Officers of the U.S. Public Health Service. This document is basically the Public Health Service’s version of the DD-214.
In turn, lenders can often upload this form to the VA’s online portal and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for qualified buyers.
Public Health Service officers who can’t locate a copy of the Statement of Service can contact the PHS at 301-594-3064 or write to:
Personnel Services Branch, Division of Commissioned Personnel
U.S. Public Health Service
Room 4-35, Parklawn Building
5600 Fisher’s Lane
Rockville, MD 29857
Prospective buyers can also contact their VA Regional Loan Center with questions or for more information on eligibility.
Similarly, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officers can submit their own unique paperwork to try and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. For these would-be buyers, it’s NOAA Form 56-16, Report of Transfer or Discharge.
Prospective borrowers who aren’t in possession of this document can contact NOAA at 301-713-3453 or write to:
Commissioned Personnel Center
Chief, Officer Services Division (CPC1)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East-West Highway, Room 12100
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
NOAA officers can also direct their questions to their VA Regional Loan Center.