VA Home Loan Calculator

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How to use our VA mortgage calculator

Use this VA mortgage calculator to estimate your mortgage payment with taxes and insurance and find out you how much your funding fee expense will be based on a few simple questions.

BASIC OPTIONS

Loan purpose. Choose between a purchase or refinance. If you’re refinancing, make sure you have your mortgage statement handy to provide your current loan balance.

Credit score. Although VA mortgage guidelines don’t set a minimum score, most lenders prefer at least a 620 credit score.

Property location. Interest rates vary based on where you live. If you’re buying, choose a ZIP code in a neighborhood you’d like to live in.

Home price. If you’ve picked out a home, enter the contract price here. For a refinance, try our home value estimator to get an idea of how much your home is worth.

Down payment. In most cases you’ll enter $0 in this field, since VA loans don’t require a down payment. However, you can save money on your funding fee if you put down at least 10% or more (we’ll explain that below).

Military experience. You’ll need to prove you served in the regular military, Reserves or National Guard long enough to be eligible for a VA loan. Surviving spouses may also be eligible.

Home type. You can choose from single-family homes, townhomes, condos, multifamily homes and co-ops. One note: You’ll typically have to live in any home financed by a VA loan.

Disability status. Veterans with disabilities related to their military service may be exempt from the VA funding fee, which is charged to offset the taxpayer cost of the VA home loan program.

First time using VA loan benefits. The VA gives first-time VA mortgage users a break on the VA funding fee. For example, a no-down-payment, first-time VA borrower will pay a funding fee equal to 2.30% of their loan amount; a repeat borrower pays 3.60%. The funding fee is typically added to your loan amount  and not paid out of pocket.

ADVANCED OPTIONS

To get the most accurate VA payment calculations, add the following information to the “Advanced Options” fields

Loan term. Most borrowers prefer a 30-year term to get the lowest monthly payment. However, you can also look at the payment on a 15-year mortgage if you want to pay your balance off faster and don’t mind the higher monthly payment.

Mortgage rate. Check out VA mortgage rates to get an idea of what percentage to enter here.

Homeowners insurance. If you’ve shopped for homeowners insurance already, enter the premium here. Otherwise, the calculator will calculate the figure for you.

HOA fees. If your home is governed by a homeowners association (HOA), you may have to pay a monthly association fee, which is paid separately from your regular mortgage payment.

Property taxes. You’ll pay property taxes based on rates set by the city or county you live in. The annual bill is usually divided into 12 equal installments and added to your monthly payment.

What the VA mortgage calculator tells you

You’ll be able to see your total monthly payment of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) and a breakdown of each component, including:

Principal and interest. This is the amount you’ll pay each month based on the loan term and interest rate you choose. The payment is based on the “total loan amount,” which includes the financed VA funding fee.

Property taxes. Lenders typically collect 1/12th of your yearly property tax bill and make the payments from an escrow account when the tax bill is due.

Homeowners insurance. Like your property taxes, lenders will divide your premium by 12 and collect it monthly so the bill is paid each year when the policy renews.

You’ll also see a breakdown of how your total amount was calculated.

VA base loan amount. If you’re not making a down payment, the base loan amount will be the same as your sales price.

VA funding fee. This amount will range between 1.40% and 3.60% of your loan amount depending on your down payment whether you’ve used your VA mortgage benefits before.

Total loan amount. If a funding fee is required, it will be added to the base loan amount. Your principal and interest payment is based on this total loan amount.

What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage exclusively for borrowers who have served in the military to buy and refinance homes. Each day of service builds a VA borrower’s entitlement, which is the dollar amount the VA will pay if the lender has to foreclose on the loan. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees the loans, which allows lenders to offer zero-down-payment mortgages that don’t require the costly mortgage insurance you’d typically pay with a low-down-payment conventional or FHA mortgage.

Who is eligible for a VA loan?

According to the VA, you meet the minimum service requirements for a VA mortgage if you have served:

  • → 90 continuous days of active duty
  • → 90 consecutive days during wartime
  • → 181 days during peacetime
  • → More than six years in the National Guard or Reserve

VA loan requirements

The VA mortgage program gives military borrowers access to the most flexible underwriting guidelines of any loan program. The table below shows some of the highlights unique to VA loans

Loan featureHow it’s unique
No down payment
  • Most loan programs (such as conventional and FHA loans) require at least a 3% to 3.5% down payment 
  • You may be able to buy more than one home with a no-down-payment VA loan 
No mortgage insurance
  • Conventional and FHA mortgage require extra insurance to protect the lenders in case you default 
No minimum credit score requirements
  • Conventional guidelines require at least 620 score 
  • FHA guidelines require at least a 580 score for a minimum down payment 
No loan limits
Owner occupancy
  • You can only buy a primary residence you intend to live in 
  • Conventional loans allow you to buy vacation or rental homes 
Residual income vs. DTI ratio
  • The VA calculates how much “free cash” you have each month based on your after-tax income, in addition to your debt divided by your gross (before-tax) income (DTI ratio
  • You may be approved with a higher DTI ratio than other programs allow if you meet the residual income guidelines based on your home and family size 

 

Types of VA loans

The VA mortgage is popular for military homebuyers who don’t have a down payment. However, there are several other types of VA loans to choose from — here are just a few:

VA no-equity regular refinance.

You can finance up to 100% of your home’s value and pay off an FHA or conventional mortgage balance without paying mortgage insurance.

VA cash-out refinance.

Military borrowers can borrow up to 90% of their home’s value with a VA cash-out refinance and pocket the extra cash for debt consolidation. That’s 10% more than you can tap with a conventional or FHA cash-out refinance.

VA interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRLs).

The IRRRL program allows homeowners with a current VA loan to refinance without the hassle of an appraisal or income documentation. One added bonus: the funding fee is 0nly 0.50% for this VA refinance type (unless you’re exempt).

 

Should I get a VA loan?

You should get a VA loan if:

    • → You meet the military service requirements
    • → You don’t have the cash to make a down payment
    • → You don’t have a lot of equity in your home to refinance
    • → You’re looking for a low-down-payment loan amount above conforming loan limits
    • → You want to pay off a loan that currently requires mortgage insurance

How much are VA closing costs?

You’ll usually pay 2% to 6% of your loan amount toward VA closing costs. However, there are some costs and rules about closing costs that only apply to VA mortgages.

VA funding fees. You’ll pay a funding fee between 1.40% and 3.60%, depending on your down payment and previous VA loan use.

VA appraisals. The VA sets the appraisal fees based on where you live, which are typically more expensive than FHA or conventional appraisals.

VA inspection fees. Depending on where you live, the VA may require specialized inspections, such as termite or septic tank analysis, to make sure your home is safe and habitable.

Special VA closing cost rules

The VA takes extra care to make sure military borrowers aren’t taken advantage of. Here are a few rules worth knowing:

Maximum closing cost rule. To prevent mortgage companies from overcharging military borrowers, lenders can’t charge origination fees equal to more than 1% of your loan amount.

Total seller-paid costs rule. VA guidelines allow a seller to pay up to 4% of the loan amount to cover closing costs, including your VA funding fee.

VA funding fee exemption. The VA will waive the funding fee for veterans with a verified disability related to military service. This information should appear on your certificate of eligibility, which you can obtain online.