Can I Use My GI Bill Veterans Benefits from 1979 to Buy a Home Today?

Q: I have been out of the military since 1979. My question is can I still use my GI Bill to purchase a home?

A: Yes you can. The VA's Home Loan Guaranty program is one of your veterans’ benefits applying to:

  • active duty servicemembers
  • active duty veterans discharged after September 16, 1940, with an other than dishonorable discharge
  • certain groups of Reservists and National Guard veterans
  • spouses of certain deceased veterans
  • Reservists and National Guard members on active duty orders

When you refer to purchasing a home, the VA Home Loan Guaranty program also applies to:

  • buying a stick-built home, a manufactured home, or a condominium
  • buying a lot for a manufactured home
  • building, repairing, or improving an existing home
  • refinancing an existing home loan

The advantage of a VA-backed home loan is:

  • little or no down payment
  • competitive interest rates at private lending institutions
  • eliminating the need for private mortgage insurance

To apply for a VA-backed home loan, you first need a Certificate of Eligibility. This tells your lender you are eligible for the Home Guaranty loan program. To get your certificate, you can either:

  • have your lender get your certificate for you
  • request your certificate yourself through the VA's secure Website
  • fill out VA Form 26-1880 (veteran/servicemember) or VA Form 26-1817 (surviving spouse) and send it to the Loan Eligibility Center

Financing a home by using a VA Home Loan can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. It is one of your veterans’ benefits you earned--now use it.

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VA Home Loan

How can I find out if I qualify for a VA Home Loan? I graduated as a 2LT in the ROTC program in 1979, but had an Honorable Discharge within the year because I didn't passed the Advanced Training Course.

VA Mortgage - Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

For the typical enlisted soldier, obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA is a simple process. In the event one's situation is not so simple (multiple enlistments, National Guard Point Statement, Title 10 deployments, etc), then it helps to find a Mortgage Banker that is fluent in the documentation requirements and can help.

I would be more than happy to lend my assistance to anyone trying to obtain their COE - even if you were going with another lender.


Michael Glentz - Army Veteran
Mortgage Banker