How does someone qualify for VA loans? After issuing a certificate of eligibility to a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees the loan to the lender up to a certain amount. VA loans frequently offer lower interest rates than ordinarily available with other kinds of loans. The Veteran’s Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 gives men and women who have completed six years in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves or the Army National Guard or Air National Guard eligibility for VA home loans, including no-down payment programs. To qualify for a loan, the first step is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (complete Form 26-1880). Call (800) 827-1000 for more information.