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VA Funding Fee: What, Why and How Much

VA funding fee

VA home loan programs offer 100 percent home financing with no mortgage insurance; instead, borrowers pay a VA funding fee. In addition, VA regulations limit how much borrowers can be charged for VA loans. Loan fees are limited to:

  • “Reasonable and customary” amounts for any or all of the “Itemized Fees and Charges” designated by VA
  • A one percent flat charge by the lender
  • “Reasonable “discount points.

Special provisions apply to VA loans made for construction, alteration, improvement, and home repair. Whenever a charge relates to services performed by a third party, the amount paid by the borrower is limited to the actual amount charged by the third party.

In addition to loan fees and third party charges, borrowers of VA loans are also charged for prepaid items. These costs aren’t directly related to VA home loans, but they are costs associated with owning a home. Examples of prepaid costs include property taxes and homeowners insurance. You’ll also prepay some of your mortgage interest – how much you pay depends on the time of month in which you close.

VA Funding Fee: What, How Much, and Exemptions

The VA loan funding fee is paid by borrowers to help defray the cost of VA home loan programs to taxpayers.

The amount of the VA funding fee varies by the loan applicants’ military status and applicants’ previous use of the VA loan benefit if applicable. The VA also grants exemptions from paying the VA loan funding fee if applicants meet any of the following conditions:

  • Receive VA compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • Would be entitled to service-connected disability pay if you did not receive retirement pay.
  • Are rated by VA as eligible to receive compensation for a pre-discharge disability.
  • Are entitled to receive compensation but not presently in receipt because you’re on active duty.
  • Are the surviving spouse of a veterans who died in service or from service-connected disabilities.

VA Funding Fee Chart Based on Military Status, Down Payment, and Prior Use of VA Home Loan Programs

Here is a VA funding fee chart that will be in effect until September 30, 2017:

The VA loan funding fee is calculated as a percentage of the loan amount and is based on the type of military service, down payment amount, and whether the home loan benefit is used for the first time or subsequently.

VA Funding Fee Chart
Type of Veteran Down Payment First Time Use (%) Subsequent Use (%)
Regular Military No Down Payment 2.15% 3.30%*
Regular Military 5% or more 1.50% 1.50%
Regular Military 10% or more 1.25% 1.25%
Reserves or National Guard No Down Payment 2.40% 3.30%*
Reserves or National Guard 5% or more 1.75% 1.75%
Reserves or National Guard 10% or more 1.50% 1.50%

*The higher subsequent use fee does not apply to these types of loans if the veteran’s only prior use of entitlement was for a manufactured home loan.

VA Funding Fee Varies for Miscellaneous Loan Types

The VA loan funding fee varies for each of the following types of loans, but is the same regardless of military type or whether this is the first or subsequent use of the borrowers VA home loan benefit:

VA Funding Fee Chart for Other Loan Types
Type of Va loan Percentage for Either type of veteran
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL) .50%
Manufactured Home Loans (NOT permanently affixed) 1.00%
Loan Assumptions .50%

Source: VA.GOV

There aren’t any discounts for cash-out refinances; the VA funding fee are the same as for home purchase loans. Higher subsequent use fees do not apply if the veteran’s only previous use of his or her home loan entitlement was for the purchase of a manufactured home.

It’s important to note that while the government restricts lender fees to one percent of your loan amount and third-party fees to “reasonable” amounts, it does not dictate mortgage rates. Lenders price their VA home loans independently, which means that prospective borrowers need to compare quotes from several lenders to find their best deals on VA loans.

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