VA Loan Guide: Eligibility, Best Lenders and How to Apply
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VA Loan Limits in 2024

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

If your military service qualifies you for a VA loan, you may have an advantage over standard loan programs because VA loan limits don’t apply to many VA borrowers. That’s especially good news if you’re buying a home in an expensive part of the country and don’t have a lot of cash saved up for a down payment. However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will only back those larger loan amounts if you meet special requirements.

VA loan limits are restrictions on how much you can borrow when taking out a VA-backed mortgage. While there used to be loan limits for all VA loan borrowers, this hasn’t been the case since 2020. Now, eligible military borrowers with full entitlement — that is, no other active VA loans — have no loan limit set by the VA.

This means a VA borrower with full entitlement can purchase a single-family home that costs more than the conforming loan limit, which caps how much conventional loan borrowers can access. Even better, they can do so without making a down payment. The 2024 conforming loan limit in most parts of the country is $766,550, but it jumps up to $1,149,825 for one-unit homes in high-cost areas.

However, VA-approved lenders may still limit the amount you can borrow based on your overall financial picture, including your credit, debt, income and assets.

 Interested in getting a VA loan? Compare current VA loan rates today.


Why the VA got rid of loan limits

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 eliminated loan limits for borrowers with full entitlement to give military veterans more buying power regardless of home prices. The new law also helps military borrowers avoid jumbo loans, which often require higher down payments and more stringent approval guidelines.

If you don’t have full entitlement and want to avoid a down payment, you’ll be restricted to the conforming loan limits, which are set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for each county in the country.

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If you don’t have full entitlement, your VA home loan limit is based on the county you live in and whether you’re making a down payment. Common situations where borrowers encounter loan limits include:

  • You have a VA loan on another home you’re still paying back. This is common when active-duty VA homeowners are transferred but can’t sell their homes before they move.
  • You paid off a previous VA loan but haven’t restored your entitlement. You can fix this problem easily by providing your lender with proof the VA loan was paid in full.
  • You paid off your VA loan by refinancing it to a non-VA loan. Keep your refinance closing paperwork handy in case your lender needs to give it to the VA to restore your entitlement.
  • You sold your home as part of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Your lender may also set a waiting period before you can apply for a new VA loan after a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
  • You had a foreclosure on a previous VA loan that hasn’t been paid in full. You also need to wait at least two years after a foreclosure sale before applying for a new VA loan.

 Read more about VA loan requirements and eligibility.

You have full VA loan entitlement if you’ve never used your VA home loan benefits before.

If you’ve taken out a VA loan before, you may have partial entitlement. If you want to return to full entitlement status, you’ll need to restore the entitlement used for that loan. Doing so is as simple as filling out a form, but it only applies if the loan tying up your entitlement is paid in full. For example, your entitlement can be restored if you paid off a prior VA loan and sold the property it was attached to, or had a foreclosure on a prior VA loan but paid it in full.

The best way to find out how much entitlement you have now is to request a certificate of eligibility (COE) from the VA. You request a COE by logging in on the VA website. VA-approved mortgage lenders can also access your COE on your behalf.

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A jumbo VA loan is simply a VA loan for an amount exceeding the maximum conforming loan limits. Lenders may add their own qualifying requirements to make sure you can repay the higher loan amount. The biggest benefit of a VA jumbo loan over a regular jumbo loan is that you may not need a down payment if you have full entitlement, whereas jumbo loans typically require at least a 20% down payment.

Yes, you can reuse your VA loan entitlement an unlimited number of times, and in some cases, you can have multiple active VA loans out at the same time. It’s not uncommon for service members to own a home purchased with a VA loan in one location, and then buy another home with a second VA loan when they receive permanent change of station orders. They can do this as long as a second lender will approve them for a loan and they have enough cash to make a down payment — if needed — when buying that second home with partial entitlement.

Yes, as long as the lender has a program that allows you to borrow up to that amount. Not all VA lenders offer VA loan amounts above the conforming limits.

According to the VA guidelines, there are no VA loan limits, but lenders set their own rules and may cap how much money they lend to each borrower.

The maximum VA loan amount for 100% financing will depend on whether you have full or partial entitlement and the lenders’ guidelines for your area. If you have full entitlement, you aren’t required to make a down payment. If you have partial entitlement, you can calculate the maximum amount you can borrow without making a down payment by using the following steps:

  • Step 1: Find the conforming loan limit for the county in which you’re planning to buy your next home and multiply it by 0.25. This is your maximum total guaranty.
  • Step 2: Subtract the entitlement amount you’ve already used from your maximum total guaranty. The resulting number is your total remaining VA loan entitlement.
  • Step 3: Look up the conforming loan limit for the county you purchased a home in using your previous VA loan and multiply it by 0.25. This is the amount of entitlement you’ve already used.
  • Step 4: Multiply that number by 4 to arrive at the maximum loan amount you can borrow without having to make a down payment.

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