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VA loan benefits and FAQs about funding fees

If you’re a veteran thinking of taking advantage of VA loan benefits, you’re not alone. There are many great reasons why over a half-million veterans, active military, Reserve members, National Guard and eligible spouses used the VA federal mortgage loan program in 2018.1 These government-insured loans remove many of the typical up-front and ongoing costs of mortgage loans, providing amazing benefits to military personnel. In addition to military mortgage benefits such as a zero-down payment option, low credit score and flexible income requirements, they don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI). Although VA mortgage benefits include reduced fees as compared to traditional mortgages, you will be charged a one-time funding fee for most VA purchase and refinance loans. Learn the ins and outs of this funding fee, including how to calculateAhhh how much you’ll owe and if you might qualify for an exception.

What is the VA loan funding fee?

This funding fee exists to cover the costs of VA guaranteed loans that default. “The fee also helps relieve U.S. taxpayers the full burden of backing the loans,” explains Military.com.2

How much is VA loan funding fee?

The VA mortgage funding fee is a percentage of the loan amount. Rates vary based on the type of loan and your military status, such as if you are a veteran of the regular military or the Selected Reserve.  If you are a first-time or subsequent VA mortgage loan user, and whether you make a down payment also factor into the amount you have to pay.3 Based on the 2019 VA Funding Fee Table, here are three sample scenarios that have been used for VA mortgage loans:

  • A regular military veteran with a 10% down payment would pay 1.25% for first-time loan use
  • A Reserves/National Guard veteran with a 5% down payment would pay 1.75% for first-time loan use
  • A regular military with no down payment would pay 3.3% for subsequent VA loan use

Due to a new law effective January 2020, VA funding fees will increase.

How does my funding fee get paid?

During your loan’s closing, one of the VA mortgage benefits is that you have three options for paying your funding fee. You can choose to finance the fee and roll it into your loan, pay cash, or negotiate with the seller to pay. Either way, your lender collects this fee and submits it directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs on your behalf.4

Is there a VA loan funding fee exemption?

There are certain circumstances in which you don’t have to pay the fee. The VA lists the following situations as circumstances where the fee is waived:

  • Veteran receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability
  • Veteran who would be entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability if you did not receive retirement or active duty pay
  • Surviving spouse of a Veteran who died in service or from a service-connected disability5

Are there other fees involved with a VA mortgage loan?

While the exact expenses aren’t the same for all home purchases, there are some typical settlement fees you can expect to pay with a VA military mortgage loan, such as origination fees and title fees. Read more about common mortgage closing expenses and how to calculate closing costs. Do you still have questions about funding fees, eligibility, or other military mortgage benefits? It helps to have someone on your side experienced in VA loans to navigate the process. Guild has specialized in helping active duty and retired military personnel achieve homeownership for over sixty years. Connect with an experienced loan officer and find out if a VA loan is right for you.

1 Lender Statistics – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

2 Understanding the VA Funding Fee – Military.com

3 VA Home Loans – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

4 Understanding the VA Funding Fee – Military.com

5 VA Home Loans – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply.


By |Published On: November 18th, 2019|Categories: Mortgage 101, Products and Programs|

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About the Author: Guild Mortgage

Founded in 1960 when the modern U.S. mortgage industry was just forming, Guild Mortgage Company is a nationally recognized independent mortgage lender providing residential mortgage products and local in-house origination and servicing. Guild’s collaborative culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion enable it to deliver a personalized experience for each customer. With more than 4,000 employees and over 250 retail branches, Guild has relationships with credit unions, community banks, and other financial institutions and services loans in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Guild’s highly trained loan professionals are experienced in government-sponsored programs such as FHA, VA, USDA, down payment assistance programs and other specialized loan programs. Guild Mortgage Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guild Holdings Company, whose shares of Class A common stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GHLD.