Do you need my DD214? That's a question I get quite often from customers looking to get a VA loan. The answer to that question is "Yes"...and "No". Confused? Let me explain...
Reasons why you Need a DD214 for a VA Loan
VA has specific requirements in order to obtain a VA loan. One of these requirements is in fact, providing a DD214. The reason for this is to determine the veteran's eligibility by first assessing if the veteran served the minimum required time in the military to qualify for a VA loan. The second reason is to confirm the veteran was honorably discharged. Once these requirements have been met, VA will provide a Certificate of Eligibility.
3 Reasons why you don't need a DD214 for a VA loan
If you have been told you cannot get a VA loan without a DD214, you may have been grossly misled. Below are 3 reasons you don't need one to get a VA loan.
You Never Served Active Duty
Most noteworthy, not serving active duty is one, and probably the most obvious reason you can get a VA loan without a DD214. Hence, Guard and Reserve members who complete their term of service are issued different forms as confirmation of completion. A DD Form 256 (Honorable Discharge Certificate) or DD Form 257 (General Discharge Certificate) is issued upon completion of their term.
A DD214 isn't Required for your VA loan
There is only one type of VA loan that absolutely doesn't require a DD214 at all. In fact, it doesn't require a Certificate of Eligibility either. This loan is the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan or "IRRRL". In fact, there are hardly any requirements at all except simply having a VA loan with on-time payments.
VA has an Updated Record of Service
When a lender orders your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) through VA's Automated Certificate of Eligibility system, it may come back that the veteran needs to provide a DD214 but in most cases, VA's records of the veteran's service is up to date and as such, will immediately provide the COE. Therefore, in that case, one will not be required.
So as you can see, a DD214 is not always required to actually get a VA loan. If you have your DD-214 readily available, it can help to speed up the process should VA require it. The lender can immediately provide it rather than coming back to you for it.
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