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VA Home Loan Affordability Calculator

Estimate your loan pre-approval amount based on your income and expenses

With the current information: a home price of $252,351 makes monthly payment $1,571 with Left Over $1,007
Affordable Stretch Risky

DTI (Debt to Income ratio) is the ratio of your total monthly debt payments to your gross monthly income.

VA-approved lenders use 41 percent as a top benchmark, but you need to find a balance that feels right for your needs and goals.

What Factors Affect VA Loan Affordability?

To calculate how much home you can afford with a VA loan, VA lenders will assess your debt-to-income ratio, which looks at the relationship between your gross monthly income and your major monthly debts. DTI ratio works differently in VA lending than with other mortgage types.

There isn’t a hard cap on DTI ratio for VA loans. Benchmarks can vary by lender and the borrower’s specific circumstances. Buyers whose DTI ratio exceeds 41 percent will encounter additional financial scrutiny, but that’s by no means a strict cutoff.

Our calculator uses the information you provide about your income and expenses to assess your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Lenders will typically pull most of your debt information from credit reports. They’re looking at your big recurring payments, and not expenses like groceries, gas or other household or lifestyle needs.

More: VA Loans and Debt-to-Income Ratio →

What Factors Determine How Much House You Can Afford?

As shown in the calculator, key factors affecting VA home affordability are:

  • Income declared on your taxes
  • Current monthly expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, auto loans, student loans, etc.
  • Loan term
  • Interest rate
  • Property taxes and homeowners insurance

More: Preparing your finances for homeownership →

Military Income and Allowances

Lenders can count VA disability income and certain military allowances when calculating your purchasing power. Active duty service members receiving Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) can use this income to pay for part or even all of their monthly mortgage payment.

Other types of military allowances that can count as effective income include flight pay, hazard pay, imminent danger pay and more.

Lenders can also count National Guard and Reserve income.

More: Learn how to count military allowances and income →

Residual Income and Affordability

VA loans come with a guideline that considers your monthly discretionary income. Known as “residual income,” this standard looks at your remaining gross monthly income after you pay your major monthly debts, including the new mortgage payment.

Residual income guidelines vary based on geography and family size. They help ensure VA buyers have sufficient income to weather life’s unexpected challenges, and they’re a major reason VA loans have been the safest mortgage product on the market for most of the last decade.

More: See the latest residual income chart →

Interest Rates and Affordability

Interest rates have a direct impact on VA loan affordability. Mortgage rates reflect the cost of borrowing money, and they can vary depending on the lender, the borrower’s credit profile and more.

VA borrowers benefit from having the industry’s lowest average interest rates.

More: See today's VA loan interest rates →

Mortgage Insurance

One of the biggest benefits of VA loans is that they don’t require mortgage insurance. That helps veterans and service members stretch their budgets and maximize affordability. Other government loan options carry both upfront and an annual forms of mortgage insurance.

Conventional buyers often need to pay for private mortgage insurance unless they can make a 20 percent down payment.

More: How mortgage insurance affects affordability →

VA Loan
Basics

 

The VA loan program has helped millions of service members, veterans and military families secure home financing since its creation in 1944.

VA Loan Basics →

Where to Start: Lender or Real Estate Agent?

 

While you can start the homebuying journey with a real estate agent, talking first with a trusted VA lender offers a few key advantages.

Where to Start →

VA Loan
Prequalification

 

Loan prequalification and preapproval are incredibly important steps that give homebuyers a clear sense of their purchasing power and what they can realistically afford.

VA Loan Prequalification →

Note: This home affordability calculator provides a broad estimate of mortgage affordability. To get a personalized quote from a trusted loan specialist, call (530) 492-8343 or Get Started Online.