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13 Key Documents to a Speedy VA Loan Application

There are lots of documents required for the VA home loan application, but luckily, advancements in technology and automation have made the process must smoother. That said, there are still a few documents you may need to have on hand while applying.

If you’re unsure what documents you need, take a look at our VA loan document checklist below.

Checklist of VA Loan Documents

Every buyer’s income, employment and service history is different. For example, self-employed borrowers might need to provide more documentation than Veterans receiving standard W-2 income.

Documents and information that might be part of your VA loan process include:

  • A government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Recent pay stubs or self-employment income evidence
  • Two years of tax returns
  • Two years of W-2 statements
  • Bank statements from checking, savings and retirement accounts
  • A Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
  • A DD-214, Statement of Service or Points Statement (this will depend on your type of service)
  • VA disability awards letter (if applicable)
  • Social Security awards letter (if applicable)
  • Divorce decree (if applicable)
  • Bankruptcy discharge letter (if applicable)
  • Bankruptcy history (if applicable)

Now that you've got a good idea of which documents you need for a VA loan, let's get into the specifics.

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Military Service-Related Documents

You may need to gather your military service-related documents. Lenders will want to see that you’ve met all the necessary service-related requirements.

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

One of the most important documents you need for a VA loan is your Certificate of Eligibility. Your COE verifies that you meet the military service requirements for a VA loan.

The easiest way to get a COE is to go directly to your VA-approved lender. You can also apply online through the eBenefits portal or via mail with Form 26-1880.

DD-214 Form

A DD-214 Form or Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty is a document you receive once you leave your military duty. You may need it to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility.

Some lenders may ask surviving spouses to obtain the deceased Veteran's DD-214 form to speed up their application process.

National Guard and Reserve Veterans may not have a DD-214 depending on the nature of their service. In this case, Veterans may need to obtain the NGB Form 22 in addition to their retirement points statement.

Disability Award Letter (if applicable)

VA disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to Veterans with injuries or illnesses that occurred during active duty. If you are a recipient of disability compensation, you will need to provide a VA disability compensation letter to prove this, as it will help when it comes to verifying your income or employment status for a VA loan.

Proof of Identity

No matter your circumstances or the type of loan you’re applying for, you will always need proof of identity. Typically, you will need to send a copy of your driver’s license, state-issued ID or passport.

Employment and Income Documentation Needed

The next set of required VA loan documents is your proof of employment and income. This is something that lenders and the VA will need to know to determine affordability before they approve your mortgage.

You may need to provide:

  • Two years of W-2 statements
  • Most recent pay stubs
  • Most recent bank statements for your checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts
  • Verification of liquid assets
  • Evidence of self-employment income (if applicable). This may include two years of federal tax returns, 1099s, commission income evidence, or evidence of income from rental properties via Form 1040 Schedule E.
  • Social Security award letter (if applicable)
  • Divorce decree with proof of alimony and/or child support (if applicable)

W-2 Statements

VA lenders don’t just like to look at the here and now when it comes to your income, they also like to see a solid employment history. Having a few years at the same company is ideal, but a good history of employment is key no matter where you’ve worked.

A gap in employment could raise a red flag, so be sure to gather your W-2s from the last few years if you can.

Financial Health Documents

The following documents are to prove your current financial health, beyond your income status.

Recent Banking Statements

Lenders need to know what your month-to-month spending behavior is like, so you will need to provide bank statements. VA lenders will want to look at your assets and make sure you're in a healthy financial position to afford a mortgage and the expenses that can come with homeownership.

Print out or scan every page from your most recent bank statement. Some lenders will require several months of statements so to be safe, prepare to send a few months’ worth.

Bankruptcy History

If you have ever filed bankruptcy or lost a property to foreclosure, your lenders need to know. Bankruptcy history doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t ever be able to get a VA loan, but VA lenders will need to be made aware of this. Having all of that paperwork handy upfront can help save some time down the road.

It Pays to Be Prepared

All of the above might seem like a whole lot of documents needed for a VA loan application. This is true, but you’ll be grateful you prepared yourself ahead of time.

In some cases, you might not need all of the above documents to start the loan process. But not having them if your lender requests them can lead to huge delays. For help with paperwork requirements and information get in touch with us.

See What You Qualify For

Answer a few questions below to speak with a specialist about what your military service has earned you.

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