VA Loan Guidelines

Updated 6/9/2016

Va loans are typically used to purchase or refinance a residential home.

VA loans are available in all 50 states as well as the Virgin Islands, Western Pacific & Puerto Rico. The guidelines for the loan program are the same throughout all eligible areas.

VA Purchase Loan

With the VA purchase loan you can purchase a home. The program allows for 100% financing on the purchase of a home up to the loan limits established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s limits, which can be found by clicking “here”.  Yes, you can exceed these loan limits, but a down payment will be required. These loans are catered to the veterans that have served our country. These loans are done by lenders and banks and are insured through the Department of Veteran Affairs.

VA Refinance Loan

With a VA refinance loan you can refinance an existing home. VA allows a rate term refinance, cash out refinance and a VA IRRRL.

VA Rate Term Refinance: With the VA rate term refinance you can refinance an existing home to lower the interest rate. Your current mortgage loan does not need to be a VA loan to use this option.

VA Cash Out Refinance: With the VA cash out refinance you can pull cash out of your existing homes equity to consolidate debt, complete home repairs or to pay for school. The cash out can go up to 100% of the homes value as long as you are under the loan limits for your area. Your current mortgage loan does not need to be a VA loan to use this option.

VA IRRRL: With the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) you will be able to refinance your existing VA loan to reduce the interest rate. The VA IRRRL is a VA to VA loan meaning you cannot use the IRRRL if you do not have a VA loan. Your current mortgage loan does need to be a VA loan.


To be eligible for any type of VA loan you will have to have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE will show how much entitlement you have to use towards your VA loan. You can request a copy of your COE from the VA or we can help you obtain a copy of it. Just call one of our VA loan specialists and they will be happy to assist you.

Property Condition: VA requires the home being purchased or refinanced to meet there guidelines.  A valid termite inspection will be required on every transaction. Typically the “rule of thumb” is any issue with the home that will impact safety or livability of the property will be an issue  and will need to be resolved before closing. If you have specific questions regarding a property’s condition give us a call and one of our VA loan specialists will be happy to assist you.

Credit Score: At our lenders require a 620 credit score to be eligible for a VA home loan. If your credit score is close call and talk to one of our VA loan specialist and we will try to help. Typical underwriting guidelines call for at least 2 open accounts for over two months listed on credit. There is more that goes into underwriting a VA loan then just credit score. Compensating factors such as time on job, rental history and alternative trade lines all play a roll in your approval process. For more information feel free to reach out to us.