New VA Loan Limits for 2019

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 07 May 2019 10:01

Being a veteran, you feel proud of your service to your country and receive heartfelt gratitude from your fellow citizens. Moreover, you enjoy a variety of benefits from the Federal Government. A significant benefit is an access to low-interest VA loans that will help you purchase a new home during or after service. In fact, VA loans are the cheapest mortgage loans in the US. Let’s comprehensively discuss the updated guidelines and limits of VA loans.

What is a VA loan?

VA loans are loans aimed at helping veterans and active service personnel become homeowners without a down payment. The loan is offered by several lenders across the US but most importantly, they are insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can use a VA loan to purchase or refinance a home. Moreover, the loan comes with various benefits. The loan does not require a down payment and mortgage insurance. Additionally, VA loans have lower interest rates. The US VA ensures all VA loans to alleviate losses when borrowers default.

Are you eligible for a VA loan?

There are set guidelines that define eligibility criteria for VA loans. Prior to applying for a VA loan, you must prove your eligibility via a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Your lender can access the document online through dedicated software. You can also request your COE from the VA benefits Portal. In the absence of a COE, you should submit a DD-214 form to your lender. Additionally, you must meet any of the following requirements;

  • Actively served at least 90 days during wartime
  • Actively served for at least 180 days during peacetime
  • Served at least 6 years as a National Guard or Reserve

The US Department of Veterans Affairs does not dictate a certain credit score for borrowers. Nonetheless, private lenders approved by the US department set their own appreciable credit score requirements. The general credit score for a VA loan borrower should be at least 620. If your score is below the value, you must meet several requirements during the assessment of your credit risk.

What are VA loan limits?

To increase sustainability, the VA loan program has set limits. However, it’s important to note that the limits do not put a cap on how much you can borrow but restricts the highest loan-value that the US Department of Veteran Affairs can guarantee without a down payment. The 2019 Arizona VA loan limit for a single-family residence in a typical US county is $484,350. Nevertheless, the limit is much higher in states marked by high housing costs. In particular, the 2019 limit is $726,525 for residential homes in Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska. Additionally, the most expensive counties have the highest limits.

As mentioned earlier, the VA loan limits do not limit how much you can borrow. Accordingly, you can borrow a VA loan even if your preferred property’s value is above your county’s loan limit. However, you should make a down payment to qualify for the loan. The US Department of VA requires you to make a down payment amounting to 25% of the difference between the home’s purchase price and the county’s VA loan limit.

Let’s consider that you want to purchase a $1m residential home in Hawaii where the limit is $726,525. You will be required to make a down payment of 25% of $726,525 which amounts to $181,631.25.

Conclusion

You must meet certain outlined requirements for you to be eligible for a VA loan. The VA loan limits vary according to the housing costs of a certain county. However, the conventional limit is $484,350 while the limit for expensive counties is generally $726,525. The limits do not restrict the maximum amount you can borrow, but a certain down payment is required when the home’s price is above the county’s loan limit.

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