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VA Frequently Ask Questions

The VA loan is a excellent mortgage for eligible veterans. Listed below are a few benefits of a VA home loan:

  • There is no down payment requirement as long as the purchase price doesn't exceed the appraised value.
  • No private mortgage insurance premium (pmi or mip) is required on VA home loans.
  • The Veteran’s administration limits the amount the lender can charge the vet for closing costs.
  • All reasonable and customary closing costs may be paid by the seller. The lender is prohibited from charging the veteran a penalty fee if the veteran pays the loan off early.

    . . . and, there is no first time homebuyer requirement with VA loans. The VA home purchase benefit may be re-used.

Eligible PA veterans are able to use a VA loan to . . .

  • Buy a home or purchase a condominium unit in a VA approved project.
  • Build a home
  • Simultaneously purchase and improve a home
  • Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy efficient improvements
  • Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.

Maximum VA loan amount in Pennsylvania

Military hatsThe VA does not limit the size of the veteran’s loan. The Veteran's Administration will guarantee up to 25% of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Conforming loan limit, that is currently $417,000. Which means, a veteran can obtain a loan up to $417,000 without a down payment! (some US counties and Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands loan amounts are even higher).  You can use the PA VA loan calculatorto estimate the VA mortgage amount and monthly payment.

The lending restrictions on “VA jumbo loans", were eliminated and veterans can take advantage of higher loan amounts, however a small down payment may be required.

Who qualifies for VA loans?

Take a look at the following VA loan eligibility chart. Do you meet any of the service requirements? If so, proceed to the Certificate of Eligibility page. The Certificate of Eligibility is proof that you are eligible for a VA mortgage loan.

Qualifying Wartime and Peacetime Periods Qualifying Active Duty Dates Minimum Active Duty Service Requirement
WWII September 16, 1940 - 7/25/1947 90 total days
Post-WWII July 26, 1947 - 6/26/1950 181 continuous days
Korean War June 27, 1950 - 1/31/1955 90 total days
Post-Korean War February 1, 1955 - 8/4/1964 181 continuous days
Vietnam War August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975 *For Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, the beginning date is February 28, 1961 90 total days
Post-Vietnam War May 8, 1975 - 9/7/1980 *The ending date for officers is 10/16/1981 181 continuous days
24-month rule September 8, 1980 - 8/1/1990 *The beginning date for officers is October 17, 1981 24 continuous months, OR, the full period (at least 181 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty
Gulf War August 2, 1990 - Present 24 continuous months, OR
The full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty

Currently on Active Duty
Qualifying Wartime and Peacetime Periods Qualifying Active Duty Dates Minimum Active Duty Service Requirement
Any Any 90 continuous days

National Guard and Reserve Member
Gulf War War 8/2/1990 - Present 90 days of active service
Six years of service in National Guard or the Selected Reserve, AND
  • You were honorably discharged, OR
  • You were placed on the retired list, OR
  • You continue to serve in the Selected Reserve

*Some veterans may still be eligible for a VA loan if the service member was discharged due to:
(1) hardship,
(2) the convenience of the government,
(3) reduction-in-force,
(4) certain medical conditions, or
(5) a service-connected disability.


Spouses of US veterans are permitted to apply for a VA home loan eligibility if one of the following conditions:

Un-remarried widow or widower of a Veteran who was killed while in service or from a service connected disability, or the spouse of a service member who was declared as missing in action or a prisoner of war.

Surviving spouses who remarries on or after reaching the age 57, and on or after 12/16/2003

(Note: a surviving spouse who remarried prior to 12/16/2003, and on or after attaining age 57, should have applied no later than 12/15/2004, to establish mortgage loan eligibility. the VA has to deny all applications from surviving spouses who remarried prior to 12/6/2003 that are received after 12/15/2004.)

Surviving Spouses of specific and totally disabled veterans whose disability may not have been the cause of death

Does anyone else qualify for a VA loan?

If you belong to one of the following groups, you may also be entitled to VA loan:

Certain United States citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States during World War II

People who served in specific organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Coast Guard Academy or Air Force, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, merchant seaman with World War II service, and others

How much does it cost to buy a house in Pennsylvania?

Use the PA mortgage calculator to estimate the down payment, closing costs and monthly payment for FHA, VA, USDA & conventional loans.Closing cost calculator

First time home buyer classes listed by county

Learn about Pennsylvania's home buying programs. Read more

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