If I have full entitlement, don’t I have a home loan limit?

Eligible Veterans, service members, and survivors with full entitlement no longer have limits on loans over $144,000. This means you won’t have to pay a down payment, and we guarantee to your lender that if you default on a loan that’s over $144,000, we’ll pay them up to 25% of the loan amount. You have full entitlement if you meet any of these requirements. At least one of these must be true:
  • You’ve never used your home loan benefit, or
  • You’ve paid a previous VA loan in full and sold the property (in this case, you’d have your full entitlement restored), or
  • You’ve used your home loan benefit, but had a foreclosure or compromise claim (also called a short sale) and repaid us in full
Note: You may have heard the terms additional entitlement, bonus entitlement, or tier 2 entitlement. We use these terms when we communicate with lenders about VA-backed loans over $144,000. You won’t need to use these terms when applying for a loan.

Does this mean I can get any size loan I want?

It depends. If you apply and are eligible for a VA-backed home loan, you’ll receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is the document that tells private lenders (such as banks, credit unions, or mortgage companies) that you have VA home loan eligibility and entitlement. But your lender will still need to approve you for a loan. The lender will determine the size of loan you can afford based on your:
  • Credit history
  • Income
  • Assets (items of value such as savings, retirement, and investment accounts)
We don’t require a minimum credit score, but some lenders may have different credit score requirements. Be sure to contact more than one lender to compare.

Why does my COE say, “This Veteran’s basic entitlement is $36,000”?

This line on your COE is information for your lender. It shows that you have full entitlement. The $36,000 isn’t the total amount you can borrow. Instead, it means that if you default on a loan that’s under $144,000, we guarantee to your lender that we’ll pay them up to $36,000. For loans over $144,000, we guarantee to your lender that we’ll pay up to 25% of the loan amount.