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In most circumstances, there are no VA loan limits. But you’ll need to meet certain criteria to receive these benefits. Here’s how to tell if you have VA loan limits and when they apply.
What are VA loan limits and why do they exist?
VA loans are offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help eligible veterans, service members and their survivors buy homes. Many other types of loans limit how much you can pay for a home with a certain mortgage, such as a conventional or FHA loan. But as of 2020, VA loan limits no longer exist for borrowers with full entitlement.
Loan limits exist for those who don’t have full entitlement. If you have remaining entitlement, you will face a VA loan limit. You have remaining entitlement if you have any of the following:
- You still have an active VA loan you’re currently repaying.
- You paid off a VA loan but still own the home the loan was on.
- You refinanced your VA loan into a non-VA loan and still own the home.
- You had a short sale on a prior VA loan and didn’t repay that loan in full.
- You were facing foreclosure on a home with a VA loan and didn’t repay that loan in full.
If any of the above applies to you, you have remaining entitlement and will face VA loan limits, which vary by county and follow the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) limits.
VA Loan Limits Changes
In 2020, VA loan limits were removed for borrowers with full entitlement borrowing more than $144,000 to buy a home. You have full entitlement if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You haven’t used your home loan benefit.
- You paid a prior VA loan in full and have since sold that property.
- You used your home loan benefit but had a foreclosure or short sale and have since repaid it in full.
If you have full entitlement, you can apply for a VA-backed loan and receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that tells lenders you’ve met VA loan eligibility and entitlement.
Conventional loan limits
Conventional or conforming loan limits changed for 2023 and are now $726,200 for a one-unit property in the continental U.S. But limits can vary based on location — Hawaii and Alaska, for example, have different standards compared to the rest of the U.S. — and high cost of living areas set limits by county. Also, the more units a property has, the higher the loan limit. For instance, the conventional loan limit for a four-unit property in the continental U.S. is $1,396,800.
FHA loan limits
FHA loan limits are updated annually and vary based on units and where the property is located. High cost of living areas, Hawaii and Alaska, have higher limits than the lower 48 states.
FHA loan limits are set at the county level, which means what you pay in one county can be much higher compared to another, even if they are right next to each other. In 2023, the loan limit for a one-unit property is $472,030. If you want a more specific idea, you can search for FHA loan limits where you live — or where you’re thinking about moving to.
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019
This act is specifically for Vietnam veterans who served in offshore waters in the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Those who qualify can get a VA loan without a down payment, regardless of how much they’re borrowing.
Purple Heart recipients who are currently serving on active duty are exempt from the VA home loan funding fee. There is also no loan limit for Native American veterans who want to build or buy a home on federal trust land.
Check to see if you’re eligible
If you want to get a VA loan and aren’t sure if you’ll hit a roadblock with how much you can borrow, you might not have to worry. In many instances, you won’t face any VA loan limits at all.
But there’s a chance you could face some loan limits if you meet certain criteria, especially if you’ve used a VA loan before and you’re still in that home. If you’ve ever had trouble repaying your loan and faced a foreclosure or short sale and haven’t repaid that money, you might face a VA loan limit if you try to get a loan now.
It’s important to check to see if you’re eligible for a loan and how much you’re eligible to receive by getting your Certificate of Eligibility through the VA. Once you complete this process, you’ll know if you’ll face VA loan limits when you try to take out a loan through a VA-backed lender.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What are the VA loan benefits for 2023?
VA loans allow you to secure a competitively priced home loan without a down payment or the need to fork out on other things such as private mortgage insurance. Other benefits include generally more lenient credit score requirements and the VA repaying your lender up to 25% of the loan amount if you default.
Can I get a VA loan for $1 million?
Yes, you can get a VA loan for $1 million. Many high cost of living areas have homes valued well over $1 million, and borrowers can buy in those areas, oftentimes with no down payment.
What is the maximum VA loan for 100% financing?
Your maximum depends on how much entitlement you have. If you have full entitlement, you don’t have a VA loan limit. You’ll get full financing as long as you plan to borrow more than $144,000.
If you don’t have full entitlement, you can still qualify for a VA loan but might face loan limits. Your Cost of Eligibility (COE) will outline how much you’re eligible for. Your county will determine your loan limits because home prices vary based on where you live — or where you’re planning to move to.
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