2024 VA loan limit

The VA doesn’t set a maximum if you have full entitlement, but your lender might

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Eligible veterans, surviving spouses and active-duty service members can secure a mortgage without the burden of a down payment through a VA loan.

While these loans used to have set limits, in 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs abolished the maximum loan limits for borrowers with full entitlement. The final loan amount you can access is now determined by your chosen lender.


Key insights

  • The VA eliminated the maximum loan limits for borrowers with full entitlement in 2020.
  • Lenders may establish their own lending thresholds, so consult with your chosen lender to determine the amount available.
  • For you to qualify for full entitlement, certain conditions must be met, such as having never used your VA loan benefit before or paying off a previous VA loan and selling the property.

What is the VA loan limit?

The VA loan limit is the maximum loan amount that the Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees without requiring a down payment. However, since 2020, if you possess full entitlement, you have no specific loan limit.

This change allows borrowers to access loans beyond the previous threshold of $144,000 without a down payment. The VA still ensures up to 25% of the loan amount in case of borrower default.

To qualify for full entitlement, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • You have never used your VA loan benefit before.
  • You have completely paid off your previous VA loan and sold the property.
  • You have used your VA loan benefit but faced a foreclosure or short sale and fully repaid the loan.

Although the VA may not impose a loan limit, lenders may still establish their own lending thresholds. You will need to get a Certificate of Eligibility, which verifies your VA eligibility and entitlement to the lenders. The lender will also consider your income, assets and credit history to determine the specific loan amount you can borrow.

» COMPARE: Best VA loan lenders

When do VA loan limits apply?

VA loan limits only apply to borrowers who do not have full entitlement. Any of the following conditions would mean you don’t have full entitlement:

  • You currently have a VA loan that you are still repaying.
  • You have completely paid off a previous VA mortgage but still own the home.
  • You previously refinanced out of a VA mortgage into a different mortgage and still own the home.
  • You had a short sale in the past and didn't pay back the VA loan in full.
  • You previously had a deed in lieu of foreclosure on a VA loan.
  • You previously had a foreclosure on a VA mortgage and did not pay back the VA loan in full.

If you do not have full entitlement, your VA loan limit is determined based on the county where the property is located. Here are a few examples of different loan limits for one-unit properties in counties with a strong military presence in 2023:

  • Honolulu County in Hawaii: $1,089,300
  • Bexar County in Texas: $726,200
  • San Diego County in California: $977,500

For borrowers who are refinancing their property through a VA streamline loan, also known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), the loan amount is typically capped at your existing VA loan balance and any financed funding fee.

» MORE: VA loan requirements

Other home loan limits

While VA loans offer certain advantages, other types of mortgages might be more suitable for your unique circumstances.

  • Conventional/conforming loans: Conforming loans adhere to the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The 2023 conforming loan limit is $726,200, varying slightly by location.
  • Jumbo loans: Jumbo loans exceed the conforming loan limit established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Limits vary depending on the property's location.
  • FHA loans: The Federal Housing Administration insures FHA loans, which have more flexible qualification requirements. For single-family home loans in 2023, the FHA loan limits range from $472,030 to $1,089,300, depending on the location.
  • USDA loans: USDA loans are intended to encourage rural development by offering beneficial terms to low- and moderate-income borrowers in eligible rural areas. While USDA loans do not have a specific loan limit, eligibility is primarily determined by income limits and the property's location.

» MORE: Conforming vs. nonconforming loan: What’s the difference?

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FAQ

How much is the VA funding fee?

The VA funding fee is a one-time payment required of VA loan borrowers. As of publishing, the fee amount ranges from 1.25% to 2.15% if it’s your first VA loan, and 1.25% to 3.30% for a subsequent VA loan, depending on how much of a down payment you make.

What’s the down payment on a VA loan?

A VA loan usually doesn't require a down payment. However, some lenders might still request a down payment, particularly for borrowers with lower credit scores or other financial considerations. While not mandatory, putting a down payment on a VA loan can help you stand out in a competitive housing market, obtain easier loan approval, reduce your monthly payments and lower the funding fee.

Can you have multiple VA loans?

The VA loan is a lifelong benefit, with no restrictions on the number of times it can be used. Veterans have the option to use the VA loan program repeatedly as long as they have remaining entitlement.

Bottom line

Currently, there are no set loan limits on VA loans for eligible veterans, service members and surviving family members with full entitlement.

For those without full entitlement, the VA loan limit is contingent upon the property's location, which can be verified on the Federal Housing Finance Agency website. Remember that the final amount you can borrow is subject to approval from a lender, who will assess your income, assets and credit history.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “VA home loan limits.” Accessed Nov. 1, 2021.
  2. Federal Housing Finance Agency, “Full County Loan Limit List.” Accessed Nov. 1, 2023.
  3. Federal Housing Finance Agency, “FHFA Announces Conforming Loan Limit Values for 2023.” Accessed Nov. 1, 2023.
  4. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Maximum Mortgage Limits 2023.” Accessed Nov. 1, 2023.
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “VA funding fee and loan closing costs.” Accessed Nov. 1, 2023.
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