Understand the VA Loan Benefit

No Down Payment Required

The VA home loan remains one of the only lending programs on the market that offers a *zero down payment mortgage. Most lending programs require at least some form of down payment, with popular amounts ranging from *3.5% to 20%.

So if you’re purchasing a $200,000 home, that could mean coming up with at least $7,000 and as much as $40,000. Borrowers using the VA loan can purchase immediately with no money down, avoiding years of saving up and paying rent to someone else.

No Monthly Mortgage Insurance

VA loans do not require mortgage insurance, even when the home buyer is putting no money down. As a result, the buyer not only saves cash upfront but can also save thousands over the lifetime of the loan and give the buyer more purchasing power when shopping for a home.

Flexible Underwriting Guidelines

The VA home loan has very flexible underwriting guidelines compared to a conventional mortgage and other types of home loan financing. Credit scores can go as low as 40 points lower than conventional loans, and underwriters can approve the loan based on makes-sense financing.

VA loans also allow for a higher debt-to-income ratio than other types of mortgages. Because of this, borrowers qualify for tens of thousands more in purchase price than if they used conventional financing in some markets.

Key Features Of The VA Home Loan

Key Features Of The VA Loan

VA Loans are a powerful lending option in the market, offering military and veteran home buyers the ability to purchase a home with major benefits, like no money down and no private mortgage insurance.

  • Offering no money down options
  • No private mortgage insurance needed, thanks to the guaranty provided by the VA
  • Flexible qualification requirements
  • Closing costs and the VA Funding Fee can be borrowed and rolled into the loan

VA Loan Resources >>

To utilize the VA home loan program, you’ll need to first establish eligibility, or prove that you have earned the benefit. To do so, you’ll need to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility or COE. Aligned Mortgage can help you get your COE during the preapproval process. In the meantime, below is some detailed information on who generally qualifies for the program.

If you served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, you are eligible if you meet the minimum service days detailed below.

90 Days During Wartime
181 Days During Peacetime
Sept 15th 1940 – July 1947
July 1947 – June 1950

June 1950 – January 1955

February 1955 – August 1964
February 1961* – May 1975

May 1975 – September 1980**
August 1990 – Present

Selected Reserves or National Guard qualifications require 6 years of active membership and honorable discharge, placement on the retired list, transfer to other honorable service or continuation in Selective Reserves.

Other individuals who may qualify are those discharged for a service-connected disability, the un-remarried spouse of a veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability or the spouse of a Prisoner of War or someone Missing in Action.

As of January 1st, 2020 the VA has changed its Loan limit to NO LIMIT!

With full entitlement intact, Lenders will have different requirements on their loan limits based on your FICO score. Aligned Mortgage, our minimum credit score is just 640 if your loan amount is below the county loan limit. Anything over that is on a case by case basis.

Hawaii Loan Limit

Loan Limit
All Counties


Texas Loan Limit

Loan Limit
All Counties

California Loan Limit

Please see list of all counties here

Loan Approval is that of the sales price or appraised value whichever is less if the full Certificate of Eligibility is intact. 


The VA Funding Fee is generally paid by all home buyers using the VA Home Loan Guaranty and it goes directly to the VA to help sustain the program. Factors that impact your Funding Fee include branch of service, down payment amount, number of times used, and disability status.

Click on Image To Enlarge Funding Fee Chart

VA Funding Fee Breakdown

Veterans and active military buyers receiving compensation for a service-connected disability and deemed more than 10% disabled by the VA are exempt from paying the Funding Fee.

Other Fees

Some lenders charge additional lender fees, assessed, and collected by the lender during your loan process. Those fees can include application, origination, processing, and underwriting charges. Aligned Mortgage does not charge these other fees on VA home loans.

A down payment is not required on VA home loans, but the borrower does have to pay for closing costs. VA loan closing costs average 1-3% of the loan amount. Sometimes the buyer can receive seller or lender credits to cover closing costs. For instance, there is typically has a rate option that will allow the lender to cover your closing costs. 

Rolling Closing Costs into Your Loan : An Example Scenario

You may have an option to pay points or fractions of a point to buy down your rate, pay zero points at a higher rate, or take a higher rate with rebate pricing that allows the lender to provide lender credits to cover closing costs. The below rate chart provides an example.

*Please note this is for example only and is not a current reflection of market rates.

Get our Free VA Mortgage Guide, your road map to getting VA loan financing for your dream home.
Please complete the form below to receive your VA Mortgage Guide.

Information Provided in the VA Mortgage Guide

  • About VA Home Loans
  • Benefits of VA Loans
  • Eligibility
  • Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility
  • VA Funding Fees
  • VA Loan Closing Costs
  • Myths Regarding VA Loans
  • VA Loan Pre-Approval Checklist
  • Step by Step Overview
The Veterans Administration backs refinance loans for qualified veteran and military homeowners. VA refinances have many of the typical advantages of VA purchase loans, and may be a fit for you if you’re looking to lower your monthly payments, shorten your loan term or cash out some equity. Visit our refinance page to learn more.

Please visit our Disclosures page for more details for all loan types.