VA Loan Limits
- VA loans are home loan products offered to military service members, and these loans have certain limits on how much the VA will guarantee. Learn more.
VA home loans are offered to active and retired military members and their spouses through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Unlike many traditional home loans, VA mortgage loans offer more relaxed credit requirements, and borrowers aren't required to make initial down payments.
What Are VA Loan Limits?
VA loan limits pertain to the amount the VA will guarantee if a borrower defaults on their loan, as it technically imposes no limit on the amount service members can borrow. As of 2022, the VA will guarantee up to 25% of the loan amounts for qualified service members, veterans and surviving spouses who have full entitlement. To qualify for full entitlement, members must meet the following criteria:
- Borrower has not yet utilized their VA home loan benefit
- Borrower has fully paid off a previous VA loan
- Borrower has repaid the VA in full following a foreclosure
While the VA doesn't technically impose limits on the amounts qualified members can apply for, limits do apply to members who have active loans and/or remaining entitlements. Counties also impose borrowing limits on members with reduced entitlements. Specific county limits can vary, but they typically range between $647,200 and $970,800. For a member with an existing entitlement, the VA will generally still guarantee up to 25% of the county loan limit but deduct the amount of used entitlement.
What Are the Types of VA Loans?
Eligible service members can apply for several types of VA loans. Here are some common types of loan products offered by the VA:
- Purchase loans: Purchase loans allow service members to borrow funds to purchase or build a home. In some cases, down payments are not required. When using a purchase loan for new construction, homes must be fully built prior to closing on the loan.
- Refinance loans: VA refinance loans allow borrowers to convert 100% of their home's equity into cash, and refinancing is also allowed through different types of loans, such as conventional or FHA loans.
- Native American direct loans: Eligible Native American veterans and service members can borrow funds directly from the VA, with interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages typically starting at around 2.5%.
- VA jumbo loans: Some lenders offer loans to veterans and service members that exceed the traditional VA conforming limits. Amounts can vary depending on the lender, but borrowers may qualify for up to $1.5 million to $2 million without the need for a down payment.
- Streamline loans: Streamline loans are refinance loans through the VA that allow borrowers to lower their current mortgage rates and change the current terms on their existing VA loans. In most cases, streamline loans can be approved without home appraisals.
Do All Military Service People Qualify for VA Loans?
Veterans, active duty military personnel, military spouses and guard and reserve members are all technically eligible to apply for military loans, but they must meet certain criteria to qualify for funding. Before applying for a VA home loan, an applicant must submit a request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and their Military Service Record (VA Form DD-214). Once these documents are received, the applicant can move forward in applying for and obtaining a home loan.
The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs does not require applicants to have a specific credit score to apply for VA home loans. However, the individual lenders that fund the loans may have their own credit criteria. In most cases, the minimum credit score requirement generally ranges between 580 and 660. Lenders may also consider additional criteria, such as an applicant's employment status and overall debt-to-income ratio. Borrowers must also verify with lenders that the loans will be used toward a primary property, which they will occupy on a full-time basis.