VA Underwriting Guidelines 


Veteran Eligibility
VA Entitlement
Proof of Service
Occupancy Requirement

VA Credit Guidelines
VA Income Guidelines
Residual Income
Debt to Income Ratios
Self Employed Income

Down Payment Guidelines
Maximum Loan Amount

Rate Term Refinancing
Cash Out Refinance
Energy Efficient Mortgage 

VA Property Eligibility
Appraisal Guidelines

Funding Fee
Closing Costs
Non Purchasing Spouse


VA Maximum Loan Amount

Maximum Loan Amount 

Unlike other programs, VA has no specified dollar amount for the "maximum loan." The maximum loan amount depends upon: the reasonable value of the property indicated on the CRV or NOV (notification of value), and the lender's needs in terms of secondary market requirements. 

Lenders who sell their VA loans in the secondary market must limit the size of those loans to the maximums prescribed by Ginnie Mae or whatever conduit they use to sell the loans. 

Ginnie Mae's maximum VA loan amount eligible for pooling is $359,650. The maximum VA loan amount, including the VA Funding Fee, cannot exceed the conforming loan limit. 

Ginnie Mae will continue to require that the amount of cash down payment, plus the amount of the available VA guaranty, equal at least 25% of lesser of the purchase price or the Certificate of Reasonable Value. 

For example, a VA guaranteed loan in the amount of $359,650 may be pooled if the VA guaranty plus the veteran's cash down payment and/or equity is no less than $89,912. 

VA limits the amount of the loan to the reasonable value of the property shown on the NOV plus the cost of energy efficiency improvements up to $6,000 plus the VA funding fee, with the following exceptions: 

Maximum Loan Amounts for Interest Rate Reduction Refi Loans 

  • Existing VA loan balance, plus 
  • The cost of any energy efficiency improvements up to $6,000, plus 
  • Allowable fees and charges, plus 
  • Up to 2 discount points, plus 
  • VA funding fee. 

Lenders must use VA Form 26-8923, IRRRL Worksheet, for the actual calculation. 

Maximum Loan Amounts for Regular Refi Loans (Cash-Out) 

90 percent of the VA reasonable value, plus the cost of any energy efficiency improvements up to $6,000, plus VA funding fee. 

Maximum Loan Amounts for a construction loan, an installment land sales contract, or loan assumed by the veteran at an interest rate higher than that for the proposed refinancing loan 

  • The lesser of the VA reasonable value, or 
  • The sum of the outstanding balance of the loan plus allowable closing costs and discounts, plus 
  • (For construction loans, "balance of the loan" includes the balances of construction financing and lot liens, if any.) 
  • The cost of any energy efficiency improvements up to $6,000, plus 
  • VA funding fee. 

Maximum VA Guaranty amount 

The maximum guaranty on a VA loan is the lesser of the veteran's available entitlement indicated on the COE (plus up to $24,000 additional for certain loans over $144,000), or the maximum potential guaranty from the maximum guaranty table. (Highest possible guaranty is $60,000 


Loan Amount

Loan Type (s)

Maximum Potential Guaranty

Special Provisions

Up to $45,000


50 percent of the loan amount

Minimum guaranty of 25% on IRRRL's

$45,001 to $56,250



Minimum guaranty of 25% on IRRRL's

$56,251 to $144,000


40 percent of the loan amount, with a maximum of $36,000

Minimum guaranty of 25% on IRRRL's

Greater than $144,000

Must be for:

  • Purchase or construction of a home, or
  • Purchase of a condominium unit, or
  • Refinancing with an IRRRL

25 percent of the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit.

Cash-out refinances have a maximum guaranty of $36,000

Minimum guaranty of 25% on IRRRL's


Note: The percentage and amount of guaranty is based on the loan amount including the funding fee portion when the fee is paid from loan proceeds. 

For the maximum guaranty on loans for manufactured homes that are not permanently affixed (such as, not considered real estate) see 38 USC 3712 and/or contact VA. 

LTV Limits

Purchase/Streamline Refinance: 100% 

Regular refinances/ Cash out: 90% 

Eligible Terms

Maximum terms are 30 years and 32 days. Refer to your Investor for additional terms offered.

Minimum Loan Amount

Per Investor requirements. 



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