The VA loan program allows veterans up to 103.3% financing without the need for private mortgage insurance. The program also allows for up to 20% for a second mortgage and up to $6,000 for improvements aimed at making a home more energy efficient. A VA funding fee of 0 to 3.3% of the loan amount is paid to the VA; this fee may also be financed. In a purchase, veterans may borrow up to 103.3% of the sales price or reasonable value of the home, whichever is less. Since there is no monthly PMI, more of the mortgage payment goes directly towards qualifying for the loan amount, allowing for larger loans with the same payment. In a refinance, where a new VA loan is created, veterans may borrow up to 100% of reasonable value, where allowed by state laws. In a refinance where the loan is a VA loan refinancing to VA loan (IRRRL Refinance), the veteran may borrow up to 100.5% of the total loan amount. The additional .5% is the funding fee for a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance.
Given their nature, VA loans allow veterans and their spouses the ability to qualify for an increased loan amount compared to a typical conforming loan from the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). The VA will insure a loan with a monthly payment of up to 41% of the gross monthly income. This is compared to 28% for a conforming loan assuming the veteran has no monthly bills.