Did you know you may be eligible for a zero-down loan without any maximum limit if you are a veteran or military service member in Iowa? In 2020, the VA eliminated all limits for VA loans in Iowa VA loans for most borrowers. This means that first-time VA homebuyers and those with full entitlements can borrow as much money as the lenders will allow. The amount of your Iowa VA home loan will now depend more on your financial status than the local housing market. VA loan limits are also still available for homebuyers with VA loans or partial entitlement. You may qualify if you are one of the 185,671 veterans living in Iowa, active-duty servicemember or eligible surviving spouse of a military member.
There’s no Iowa VA loan limits in 2022 for those with full entitlement
The Department of Veterans Affairs eliminated IA VA home loan limits for fully-qualified borrowers in 2020. That means you can borrow more because you don’t have to worry about finding a house within your local limits. As such, VA home loans now have increased appeal since removing the loan limit requirement. This is especially true when compared to other government mortgage loans. FHA loans, also government-backed, have loan limitations that are based on local housing prices. In most areas across the country, the FHA limit for 2022 is $420,680. Loan limits also apply to conforming conventional mortgages, which are insured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac rather than a government agency. All that being said, it’s important to remember that just because qualified applicants don’t have to meet any VA loan limit in Iowa doesn’t mean that you can purchase a home at any price.
Lenders now decide how much loan you can afford
Your ability to repay the loan now depends on on the private mortgage lender that issues your VA-backed loan. Along with some general VA loan requirements, the lender will consider several factors.
- Applicant Credit Score: VA borrowers usually need to have a credit score of 620 or better, although some lenders are rumored to lend down to a 580 from time to time. Additionally, Iowa VA loan rates often depend on an applicant’s credit score.
- Income: Lenders will verify your income for the past 2 years to ensure you are earning enough to pay your monthly mortgage payment. VA loans employ two methods of evaluating applicant income to determine how much mortgage they can afford, known as the Debt-to-Income Ratio and the Residual Income method. Of course, you should be asking yourself how much mortgage can I afford before applying for any home loan.
- Applicant Debt-To Income Ratio (DTI): Your debt-to-income ratio compares your monthly debt payments to your monthly income. VA even allows the lender to approve them at a higher DTI if they have other compensating factors. While there’s no limit on VA loan programs for 2022, its ultimately up to your lender and your personal circumstances to determine how much you can borrow.
You can search for an approved VA lender in Iowa, including in the following cities and towns here:
Adel, Algona, Altoona, Ames, Anamosa, Ankeny, Asbury, Atlantic, Bettendorf, Bondurant, Boone, Burlington, Carroll, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Centerville, Charles City, Clarinda, Clear Lake, Clinton, Clive, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Creston, Davenport, Decorah, Denison, Des Moines, DeWitt, Dubuque, Eldridge, Estherville, Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Fort Madison, Glenwood, Grimes, Grinnell, Hiawatha, Independence, Indianola, Iowa City, Johnston, Keokuk, Knoxville, Le Mars, Manchester, Maquoketa, Marion, Marshalltown, Mason City, Mount Pleasant, Muscatine, Nevada, Newton, North Liberty, Norwalk, Oelwein, Orange City, Osceola, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Pella, Perry, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Red Oak, Sergeant Bluff, Sheldon, Sioux Center, Sioux City, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Urbandale, Vinton, Washington, Waterloo, Waukee, Waverly
How do I determine my entitlement level?
The VA Certificate of Eligibility, or COE, is what informs lenders of an applicant’s eligibility for a VA loan. It also indicates your level of entitlement. The COE helps the VA and your lender to communicate. Your COE may not make much sense at first glance. As an example, if a COE reflects a basic entitlement of $36,000, that number shows how much loan insurance the VA offers through the VA guarantee, rather than your potential borrowing potential. This VA insurance reduces the risk for the lender and eliminates the need to make a down payment or monthly mortgage insurance payments. The VA covers 25% of the amount you borrow on your home loan, regardless of how much it is approved by the lender. You may also want to refer to a VA loan calculator to help figure out your entitlement and potential borrowing power.
What does full entitlement refer to?
The maximum VA home loan benefits you’re eligible for is known as full entitlement. If you’re a first-time home buyer or it’s you’re first time using a VA loan, you’re likely to have a full entitlement. If you’ve used your VA benefits before, you may still be eligible for a full entitlement if the loan is fully repaid and your benefit is restored. Otherwise, you may be a borrowers that’s eligible for partial entitlement. That may be the case for someone who used an Iowa VA loan to purchase a home a few years back and is still paying that loan off. With a partial entitlement, an applicant may still be eligible for a VA loan but the mortgage must not exceed their local max loan amount for VA financing. There are other caveats that may apply related to your VA home loan entitlement eligibility. As an example, current VA loan holders or former borrowers who have been foreclosed will not be eligible for their full entitlement. You won’t get your full entitlement if you’ve short-sold a VA-backed loan which the VA had to reimburse. In fact, if you’ve had a foreclosure or short-sale in your past, you might not be eligible to receive another VA loan at all.
What is the maximum amount I can borrow if I have partial eligibility?
Since 2020, specific IA VA loan limits only apply to partial entitlement. Those mortgage limits are identical to the conventional conforming loan limit for a particular area. Conventional loan limits are set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) each year. The loan limits will depend on where you live and the property you purchase. They are determined based on local home prices. This FHFA map will show you the loan limits for your county. It’s not difficult to determine your county’s loan limit. However, it can be complicated to calculate how this limit will affect your home loan. To determine if you will need a downpayment on the VA loan, lenders use a complex equation. You can read our guide on buying an additional house with a VA loan. Talk to a VA lender if you only want to find out how much house you could afford using a VA loan. In just a few minutes, they can calculate your home’s potential price and look up your COE.
Iowa VA Home Loan Limits 2022 Map (for partial eligibility applicants)
Iowa VA County Loan Limits 2022 (for partial eligibility applicants)
VA Loan FAQs
Can closing costs be included in a VA Loan?
If you don’t have enough funds to cover closing costs on your new home, you can include certain costs in your VA loan. You also have the option to roll your funding fee into your total mortgage amount. As for the fees that can’t be rolled into your mortgage per VA loan qualifications, you may still be eligible for seller or lender concessions that will lower the upfront cash cost.
What are the closing costs for a VA loan?
Borrowers generally pay different closing costs depending on where they live and the particulars of their transaction you have. Closing costs are often within the range of 3% and 5% of the total mortgage amount.
Who pays the closing costs of a VA loan?
The closing costs of a VA loan are generally split between the seller and buyer, however the seller costs must not exceed 4% of the total loan amount. The seller’s share usually includes the commission for real estate agents.
You, as the buyer, are responsible for the VA funding fee, origination fee and discount points, VA appraisal fee, title fees, and other costs, some of which can be financed. Fortunately, VA home loan requirements establish limitations on costs for home buyers, and also help you keep costs down by limiting the origination fee.