What Is A Certificate of Eligibility, or COE? The COE is the key document that verifies to lenders that someone is eligible for a VA-backed loan. Servicemembers, Veterans and National Guard and Reserve members may apply online or through their lender; most lenders have access to the system and can verify eligibility IF the VA has records on file. The VA also maintains a hotline for assistance. Surviving Spouses can use VA Form 26-1817 to request determination of their eligibility for VA Loan Guarantees. Your lender may be able to assist with processing or contact the VA for information this video did not address.