VA Loans - Down Payments, Credit Score Requirements and Other Facts

Mortgage and Lending with Strategic Mortgage NMLS#160440

VA Home Loans are a benefit for qualified Veterans of the Armed Services and National Guard and also current active duty military personnel.


The VA loan program is truly a benefit for our servicemen and servicewomen and Veterans and offers features that other loan programs do not. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important features of this home loan program, including down payment requirements, credit score requirements and a host of other features.


Down Payment

            The VA home loan has no down payment requirement at all for the purchase of a home. Meaning that you can purchase a home with a 0% down payment. The same also applies for a refinance, as you can refinance your existing VA loan, with no equity requirement.


Credit Score

            On an VA loan, there is not a set minimum credit score to obtain a loan, but most lenders will require a 580 credit score or higher. As with all loan programs, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be. However, VA loans have some of the most lenient and forgiving credit score requirements of all home loans.


Home Loan Limits

            Technically there is not an actual VA loan limit. However, in some regards the VA loan program mimics the conventional loan limit, which is currently $424,100 in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties in Arizona.


Up to $424,100 you can obtain a VA loan without a down payment. If you want to obtain a VA loan above $424,100, then for every dollar above that amount a 25% down payment is required. For example, if you wanted to obtain a VA loan for $524,100, then your down payment required would be $25,000 or 25% of the $100,000 over the $424,100 loan limit.


VA Funding Fee

            Any veterans that have a VA service connected disability rating are exempt from the VA funding fee always. For Veterans who do not have this rating, then there is a 2.15% VA funding fee added to the base loan amount of the VA loan, the first time they take out a VA loan and a 3.3% VA funding fee, every subsequent time they take out a VA loan. On a VA Irrrl (streamline) refinance loan, there is 0.5% VA funding fee, which is also waived with a service connected disability.


Waiting Periods After Foreclosure and Bankruptcy

            To obtain a VA loan, you must wait two years after the completion of a short sale or foreclosure, to obtain a new loan. In addition, there is also a two year waiting period after the discharge of a chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy to obtain a new home loan.


Debt To Income Ratios

            On a VA loan, the programs basic guide says that your monthly mortgage payments, together with all of your other monthly debt payment, should not exceed 41% of your monthly income. However, with compensating factors, such as a steady job history, assets or good credit, it is not uncommon for higher debt to income ratios to be approved for VA loans, often up to 50% or higher.


            These are some of the basics you need to know about the VA home loan program, but of course everyone’s individual situation is unique and it is always best to speak with a licensed lender, such as Strategic Mortgage and explore all available options, for your specific situation.


For more information on current home loan programs and options for existing and potential home owners, please contact Bill Kamboukos of Strategic Mortgage at (480) 219-3682 or by emailing: or online at 

Strategic Mortgage, LLC - NMLS#158804- Equal Housing Lender – AZBK#0909514

Vasilios Bill Kamboukos Jr – NMLS#160440


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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Thanks for sharing this information...have a terrific week!

Mar 12, 2018 07:25 AM #1
Ramesh Anthony
Annie Mac Home Mortgage - Los Feliz, CA
FHA 203k and Homestyle Renovation Specialist

Bill - that's a very comprehensive blog on VA loans. Can I link it in my blog on the same topic? I have been including a section titled "Other Important Links" in my newer blogs.. and I believe this belongs there.

Mar 13, 2018 06:42 PM #2
Bill Kamboukos
Strategic Mortgage - Scottsdale, AZ

Ramesh - thank you for the comment and feel free to link the article, anywhere you would like.

Mar 13, 2018 10:27 PM #3
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