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VA Home Loan Benefits & Guidelines


Benefits of VA Home Loans may include:

  • No down payment
  • ​​​No minimum credit requirements set by VA (however, some lenders may require a minimum FICO® score)
  • No monthly mortgage insurance*
  • Lower cash reserves
  • Easier refinancing with an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), with no appraisal or income verification required

*While borrowers are exempt from having to pay monthly mortgage insurance (usually required on most mortgages when you have less than 20% equity in the home), VA Home Loans do require a funding fee. However, disabled Veterans may qualify for a reduced or no funding fee with a VA mortgage.

VA Home Loans can be used to purchase a home as well as finance new construction.

VA Home Loans for new construction allow qualified borrowers to use their VA entitlement toward both the mortgage phase of the loan and the initial construction phase financing.

Read more about construction loans here.

VA Home Loan Requirements

To qualify for a VA Home Loan, you must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime
  • You have six years of service in the National Guard or Reserves
  • You are the surviving spouse of a servicemember who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability

It is helpful to have a VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on hand when applying for a VA Home Loan. Your COE provides mortgage lenders with confirmation of your military service.

To obtain your VA Home Loan COE, you can:

  • Apply through a VA-approved lender
  • Apply online through the VA’s eBenefits portal
  • Apply by mail with VA Form 26-1880

VA Home Loan Rates

VA Home Loans are backed by the U.S. Federal Government, which means that mortgage lenders can compete for your business by offering low interest rates — typically much lower than available with conventional mortgages.

Rates may vary depending on the following factors:

With AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS), our licensed Military Mortgage Advisors will help you determine the rate on your VA Home Loan based on your individual financial situation.

Read more: VA Loan Update: Larger Loans (Still with No Down Payment)

Today's Mortgage Rates

Disclaimer: these are sample rates and terms based on daily pricing that fluctuates and is subject to change and credit approval. Parameters: 720+ FICO, Single-Family Residence, $300,000 loan amount, State = NC, County = Wake, Discount Points range from 0.0% to 2.0% as shown above, Admin Fee = $1149. For VA Home Loan, assume a 2.3% VA Funding Fee.

Common Questions

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a form of documentation that confirms your VA Home Loan eligibility to mortgage lenders. You are not required to provide a COE when applying for a VA Home Loan. However, it may ease the process to have your COE on hand before starting the application process.

You can apply for your COE directly through a VA-approved lender, online through the VA’s eBenefits portal or by mail with VA Form 26-1880.

It depends. VA Home Loans do come with a funding fee that varies based on whether or not you’ve used your VA benefit before and if you put money down. However, not all borrowers are required to pay the funding fee. Be sure to check with your AMS Military Mortgage Advisor for details.

You may be exempt from paying the VA funding fee if: 1) you’re a Veteran receiving VA disability pay for a service-connected disability; 2) you’re a Veteran who would be entitled to receive disability pay for a service-related disability if you weren’t receiving retirement or active-duty pay; or 3) you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran who died while on duty or as a result of a service-related illness or disability.

To qualify for exemption, you must fill out the VA funding fee exemption form. Get more information.

It varies based on many factors. VA Home Loans are backed by the U.S. Federal Government, so interest rates can be competitively low but will vary by lender. To calculate your VA Home Loan rate, our Military Mortgage Advisors will consider factors such as your credit score, the loan type (purchase, IRRRL, Cash-Out, Jumbo, etc.), the loan term (15-year versus 30-year) as well as current market conditions.