Why Do I Need a DD214
for a VA Home Loan?
If you want to apply for a VA mortgage, the Department of Veterans Affairs first asks you to fill out VA Form 26-1880, a request for a Certificate of Eligibility. The VA requires veterans who have retired or separated to furnish proof of service using the DD214 as a reference.
Why can't you use your last set of military orders? Or a military ID card indicating your retiree status? What about your paperwork for Terminal Leave? The answer to these questions lies in the Department of Veterans Affairs requirement that applicants have discharges classified as Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions.
Unfortunately, terminal leave paperwork, military ID cards, copies of orders and other documentations do not show the nature of a military discharge, or the dates of military service. Because the rules for Guard and Reservists are different from those who serve on active duty, you also can't simply provide a copy of your Guard and Reserve paperwork. Why not?
Active duty military members who would be eligible for a VA home loan before transferring to the Guard or Reserve must prove they had prior service time. Transitioning from active duty to reserve status still involves a discharge from active duty, and you will be issued a DD Form 214 showing your active service has ended. Your new Reserve or National Guard commitment is processed with its own set of paperwork.
The DD214 shows everything the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to know regarding the nature of your active duty service including dates served, the nature of your discharge, and the effective date. It's the most comprehensive document a military member has aside from medical records, which is why so many agencies require the DD form 214 when asking veterans to submit documents and paperwork for military benefits due after the military career has ended.
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