Va Loan California: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to our latest journal article that will cover everything you need to know about the VA loan in California! If you’re a veteran or active-duty member of the military, residing in California, and planning to buy a home, then you’re in the right place. We’ve got all the information you need to help you navigate the process of getting a VA loan in California, so let’s get started!

What Is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan that’s guaranteed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s designed specifically for eligible veterans, military personnel, and surviving spouses to help them purchase a home with little to no money down and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement. VA loans are offered by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies, and backed by the VA.

VA loans have many benefits, including lower interest rates, more relaxed credit score requirements, and no down payment requirement. Additionally, there’s no penalty for paying off a VA loan early, and the loan is assumable, meaning that if you decide to sell your home, the buyer can assume your loan and take over your payments.

Who Is Eligible for a VA Loan?

To be eligible for a VA loan, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

Eligibility Requirements
Active Duty Service Members
Served at least 90 continuous days of active service during wartime or 181 days of active service during peacetime
Have been honorably discharged after serving at least 90 continuous days of active service during wartime or 181 days of active service during peacetime
National Guard and Reserve Members
Served at least six years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard or have been discharged due to a service-connected disability
Surviving Spouses
Un-remarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service, or as a result of a service-connected disability

Additionally, you must meet certain credit and income requirements and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA.

What Are the VA Loan Limits in California?

The VA loan limits in California vary by county and are based on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) conforming loan limit. The FHFA sets the conforming loan limit each year based on inflation and the average home price in the area. In 2021, the VA loan limit in most counties in California is $548,250, but in certain areas with higher housing costs, it can go up to $822,375.

How to Apply for a VA Loan in California?

To apply for a VA loan in California, follow these four essential steps:

  1. Obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA.
  2. Find a VA-approved lender in California.
  3. Pre-qualify for a loan by providing your lender with your financial information.
  4. Complete the loan application process, including a home appraisal, credit check, and underwriting.

What Are the Closing Costs for VA Loans?

The closing costs for a VA loan in California are similar to those of any other mortgage loan. They typically include appraisal fees, title insurance, recording fees, and underwriting fees. However, with a VA loan, the seller can pay some or all of the closing costs on behalf of the buyer. Additionally, the VA has a funding fee that borrowers must pay, which can be rolled into the loan amount.


1. Is there a credit score requirement for VA loans?

Yes, but it’s generally more relaxed than other mortgage loans. The VA doesn’t set a minimum credit score requirement, but individual lenders may have their own.

2. Can I use a VA loan to buy a vacation home?

No, VA loans are intended to help eligible veterans and active-duty military members buy primary residences.

3. Can I use a VA loan to refinance my current mortgage?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to refinance an existing mortgage and get a lower interest rate or better loan terms.

4. What happens if I default on my VA loan?

If you default on your VA loan, the VA can take action to help the lender recover the amount owed. Depending on the circumstances, this could include foreclosing on your home, garnishing your wages, or offsetting your tax refunds.

5. How long does it take to get a VA loan?

It usually takes between 30 and 45 days to get a VA loan from start to finish, but the timeline can vary depending on the lender, the complexity of your situation, and other factors.

6. How much can I borrow with a VA loan?

The amount you can borrow with a VA loan depends on your income, credit score, and the VA loan limits in your area. In California, the VA loan limit for most counties in 2021 is $548,250.

7. Can I use a VA loan to buy a multifamily property?

Yes, but you must live in one of the units as your primary residence. VA loans can be used to buy properties with up to four units.

8. Can I use a VA loan to buy a condo?

Yes, as long as the condo is on the VA’s approved list of condos and meets the VA’s minimum property requirements.

9. What is the VA funding fee?

The VA funding fee is a one-time fee that borrowers must pay to help fund the VA loan program. The amount of the fee depends on the type of loan, your down payment amount, your military status, and other factors.

10. Can I use a VA loan more than once?

Yes, you can use a VA loan more than once as long as you have enough entitlement and meet the VA’s eligibility requirements.

11. Can I get a VA loan with bad credit?

It’s possible, but it may be more challenging to get approved. Some lenders may require a higher credit score, a larger down payment, or other compensating factors to offset the risk of lending to someone with bad credit.

12. Can I have a co-borrower on a VA loan?

Yes, you can have a co-borrower on a VA loan, but they must also meet the VA’s eligibility requirements.

13. What is the maximum debt-to-income ratio for VA loans?

The maximum debt-to-income ratio for VA loans is typically 41%, but lenders can make exceptions for borrowers with high credit scores, substantial savings, or other compensating factors.


We hope this article has provided you with a comprehensive guide to VA loans in California. Remember, if you’re a eligible veteran or military member looking to buy a home in California, a VA loan can be a great option to help you achieve your dream of homeownership. Be sure to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, find an approved lender, and get pre-qualified today!

For more information about VA loans or to get started, contact us today!


The information in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or professional advice. Always consult with a licensed professional before making any decisions related to your finances or homeownership.