VA Home Loans

  A VA home loan is a mortgage program specifically designed for eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and surviving spouses. It is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), providing favorable terms such as low or no down payment and competitive interest rates.

Guaranteed and administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans are exclusively offered as a benefit to qualified individuals who are serving or have served in the military. One of the VA loan’s best advantages is that it doesn’t require a down payment. If you’re a qualified veteran who wants to purchase a home with little to no down payment, a VA loan may be the best fit for you. If you have funds you wish to use for a down payment, we recommend comparing the VA loan with conventional loans to determine which is best for you.
To obtain a VA home loan, eligible individuals must apply through an approved lender. The process involves obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA, meeting lender requirements, and providing necessary documentation.

 Qualification for a VA loan typically requires meeting service eligibility requirements, obtaining a valid COE, meeting lender credit and income standards, and fulfilling any additional criteria set by the lender.

You must request a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA to officially determine if you are a qualified veteran. The COE shows the VA has determined you are eligible for a VA home loan and indicates the amount of available guaranty or entitlement. To obtain a COE, fill out the 'Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits (VA Form 26-1880)' form, then submit it to the VA. Additional information about this form and other VA loan eligibility requirements are available in our VA Loan Guide, as well as on the VA website at

Apply for a VA home loan by choosing an approved lender, completing the loan application, providing necessary documentation (such as income and credit history), and working with the lender through the approval process.

To get pre-approved, submit a VA loan application to an approved lender. The lender will review your financial information and issue a pre-approval letter, indicating the amount you may qualify for.

VA home loan requirements include meeting eligibility criteria based on service history, obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), demonstrating creditworthiness, and meeting the lender's income and debt standards.

VA mortgage rates vary and can be obtained directly from approved VA lenders. Rates are influenced by market conditions, individual credit profiles, and other factors.

VA home loans typically do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI). The VA guarantee eliminates the need for PMI, contributing to cost savings for borrowers. A VA Funding Fee may apply.

What is the VA Funding Fee? The VA funding fee is a one-time fee paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs. While most Veterans pay 2.15%, this fee ranges from 0.5% to 3.3%, depending on the loan type, if you've used a VA loan before or if you have a down payment greater than 5%.

VA home loan benefits include no or low downpayment requirements, competitive interest rates, no PMI, flexible qualification standards, and the backing of the VA guarantee.

There is no strict limit on how many times a qualified individual can use a VA loan. However, certain entitlement limitations may apply based on the individual's VA loan history.

Lenders become approved to offer VA loans by meeting VA requirements, demonstrating financial stability, and obtaining VA approval through the Lender Appraisal Processing Program (LAPP) or the Automatic Lender Appraisal Program (ALAP).

Yes, VA home loans are eligible for refinancing through various VA loan refinance programs, such as the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) or Cash-Out Refinance. The eligibility and terms depend on the specific program and lender requirements.

  • Eligibility: Only qualified veterans are eligible for VA loans.
  • Loan Amounts: The maximum guarantee for a VA loan in all areas is $548,520 (as of January 2021). There may be exceptions for homes in 'high cost' areas as determined by the government.
  • Insurance and Requirements: VA loans are administered and insured by the federal government. They generally have lower qualification requirements and require lower down payments than conventional loans because the government insures a portion of the total dollar amount of these mortgage loans. However, some conventional loans also allow for low down payments. Before determining which is best for your situation, comparing all the loan programs you're eligible for is always a good idea. Contact your loan advisor if you have questions or need help determining which program is correct.
With purchase and rate-term refinances the veteran can borrow 100% of the value of the home or purchase price plus the VA funding fee. With cash-out refinances, the loan amounts will be limited to 90% of the home's value plus the VA funding fee.