The DD214 form shows the type of discharge you had from the military. You’ll need this form and information when you want to use your VA benefits, including the VA home loan. Your eligibility for VA benefits relies on the type of discharge you had. Anything less than honorable may make you ineligible for the VA loan. The lender and VA depend on this form to verify your eligibility.
What Does the DD214 Show?
The DD214 provides the VA and your lender with a variety of information that they need to prove your eligibility. A sampling of the information includes:
- The dates served in the military (start and end dates)
- The rank you held in the military
- The type of discharge
- Any education you received in the military
- Any awards you received in the military
- The total time served
While this is a lot of information, the two pieces of information the VA and lenders need the most are the type of discharge and the time served. As we stated above, you need a dishonorable discharge in order to be eligible. But you also must have enough time served. The following requirements prevail:
- Active military in the war – You need 90 days served
- Active military during peacetime – You need 181 days served
- Military Reserves – You need 6 years served
- Military National Guard – You need 6 years served
If you meet both the time requirements and have an honorable discharge, you may be eligible for VA financing.
How to Get Your DD214
Each member of the military receives a DD214 upon discharge from the military, during the exit interview. If you didn’t receive a copy or just no longer have it, you can obtain it using one of the following methods.
- Request it online through the National Archives
- Complete and mail in VA Form SF-180 (Request for Military Records)
- Pay for a third party expedited service
Because you will need Form DD214 to get your Certificate of Eligibility, you’ll want to allow enough time to get your hands on the document. A VA lender cannot fund your loan until they know you are eligible as that is the only way the lender will receive the VA guarantee should you default on your loan.
Every member of the military that wants to use their VA home loan benefit will need Form DD214. It’s important to have a copy handy, especially if you’ve never used your VA benefit before. Make sure to allow between 2 and 4 weeks for processing of your request, should you need to get a copy using one of the above methods.