The Military Homebuyer’s Guide to Making Sense of VA Entitlement Codes

Alec Kimble
Military VA Loan editor

If you are interested in buying a home with a VA home loan, your lender will request your certificate of eligibility, or COE, from the VA.

When you receive the COE, it will have a code at the upper left of the form, called an entitlement code. Your COE may say “Entitlement Code 10” or “Entitlement Code 05.” What do these codes mean, and should you pay attention to them at all?

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First of all, the fact that you received a COE is a good sign. This is your first step to establishing eligibility to buy a home with a VA loan. If the COE indicates full entitlement of $36,000, it means you are eligible buy a home with a purchase price of $417,000 or even higher with a VA jumbo loan.

Entitlement Codes

Sample entitlement code

The entitlement code simply tells you how you are entitled to the VA home loan benefit.

What the VA Entitlement Code Tells You

Your VA entitlement code shows the period in which you earned entitlement, or alternative ways in which you are entitled to a VA home loan.

The VA has established certain time periods of service and other factors that determine eligibility. For instance, if you served a minimum of 181 days in 1979, you are most likely eligible. But in 1985, you will need two years of service history.

Here is a quick reference guide on VA entitlement codes:

VA Entitlement Codes

Entitlement Code Separation, Effective, or Honorable Discharge Era
01 World War II
02 Korean War
03 Post-Korean
04 Vietnam War
05 Entitlement Restored
06 Un-remarried Surviving Spouse
07 Spouse of POW/MIA
08 Post World War II
09 Post-Vietnam
10 Gulf War
11 Selected Reserves

Dates that correspond to the above eras

Era Dates Minimum Service*
WWII 09/16/40 – 07/25/47 90 continuous days
Peacetime 07/26/47 – 06/26/50 181 days
Korean 06/27/50 – 01/31/55 90 days
Post-Korean 02/01/55 – 08/04/64 181 days
Vietnam 08/05/64 – 05/07/75 90 days
Post-Vietnam 05/08/75 – 09/07/80 181 days
Post-Vietnam 09/08/80 – 08/01/90 2 years
Persian Gulf 8/2/90 – undetermined 2 years or period called to active duty, not less than 90 days
*Veterans discharged due to a service-connected disability may be eligible for a VA home loan even though they served less than the minimum service requirement.

Other ways in which you may be eligible for a VA home loan

Other Ways Eligible For a VA Home Loan

Other Eligible Persons Minimum Service Required
Active Duty (valid while on active duty) 90 continuous days (181 days in peacetime)
Active Reserve or National Guard 6 years in Selected Reserves
Unmarried surviving spouse No time requirement
Spouse of POW/MIA Veteran has been POW/MIA for 90 days

Related Article: Buying a Home with a VA Loan

More about VA Home Loan Eligibility

For more information about eligibility, see our VA Home Loan Eligibility Page.

Still have questions about entitlement codes, your COE, or VA home loan eligibility? Our licensed and reputable VA loan officers would love to help you.

Click here to complete a short request form and a knowledgeable VA lender will be in touch with you.


Source: VA loan training guide