VA Loans: How They Work and Qualifications for 2022
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2022 VA Loan Limits

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VA loan limits don’t apply to many military borrowers with full VA entitlement. For those who have remaining entitlement, though, the conforming loan limit in 2022 ($647,200) will apply in most parts of the United States.

What are VA loan limits?

VA loan limits are restrictions on how much a military service member can borrow when taking out a mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The limits are based on how much VA entitlement you have, which is the dollar amount the VA will repay a lender if you default.

As of 2020, veterans, active-duty service members and surviving spouses with full entitlement aren’t subject to a loan limit. This means a qualified VA borrower with full entitlement may purchase a single-family home above the conforming loan limits of $647,200 in 2022 without a down payment. The limit jumps to $970,800 for one-unit homes in high-cost parts of the country.

You probably have full entitlement if you meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You’ve never used your VA home loan benefits
  • You paid off a prior VA loan and sold the property it was attached to
  • You had a foreclosure on a prior VA loan but paid it in full

When VA loan limits apply

Although the VA doesn’t limit how much you can borrow, your available VA entitlement does. In other words, if you don’t have full entitlement, the current conforming limit of $647,200 will apply to any new VA loan you apply for.

You’ll probably be subject to VA loan limits if:

  • You’re still paying back your current VA loan
  • You paid off a VA loan but still own the home it was attached to
  • You had a short sale, foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure on a prior VA loan that hasn’t been paid in full

THINGS TO KNOW

VA entitlement is the dollar amount the VA will repay a lender if you fail to repay your mortgage. You can get a no-down-payment loan of up to four times your basic entitlement as long as you meet minimum mortgage requirements. You can check your current VA entitlement by requesting an online certificate of eligibility (COE).

How to calculate your VA loan limit amount

If you don’t currently have VA entitlement, your lender is the best resource for determining your maximum VA loan limit. However, if you want to crunch some numbers yourself, here’s an example of how the calculations would work.

Here are the steps you’d follow to calculate your maximum VA loan limit assuming you want to buy a home with no down payment in a county with a county entitlement limit of $144,000 and have used $70,000 of your current entitlement.

1. Subtract the maximum entitlement from the current entitlement

$144,000 – $70,000 = $74,000

2. Multiply the result by 4

$74,000 x 4 = $296,000

3. The result is your VA loan limit with no down payment

$296,000

In this example, the maximum loan you could get without making a down payment is $296,000 — you would need a down payment for a more expensive home.

2022 VA county loan limits

There is really no such thing as VA county loan limits: As mentioned above, VA loan limits mirror conforming county loan limits and only apply if you don’t meet the conditions for full VA entitlement.

Why VA loan limits don’t restrict how much you can borrow

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 eliminated loan limits for VA loans in order 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.

VA loan limit FAQs

  • What is a jumbo VA loan? A jumbo VA loan is simply a VA loan at a loan balance exceeding the maximum conforming loan limits. Lenders may add their own qualifying requirements to make sure you can repay the higher loan amount.
  • Can I get a VA loan for $1 million? 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.
  • What is the maximum VA loan for 100% financing? 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.
  • Are VA loans unlimited? 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.
 

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