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California is the largest state in the Union by population, according to the 2020 Census. Almost 40 million people make their homes amongst the beautiful views of California; but with demand so high, a prospective homeowner might balk at some housing prices and look elsewhere. Fortunately for veterans, active-duty personnel and other qualified borrowers, VA loans in California can make homeownership more affordable in the Golden State.

Why obtain a VA Home Loan in California?

VA home loans in California are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, just like in every other state. For active military, veterans, and their surviving spouses, VA mortgages offer many benefits. These include low interest rates, no down payments, and no private mortgage insurance (PMI). VA loans are available to borrowers who are seeking to:

  • Buy a house 
  • Build a house
  • Refinance an already existing mortgage

Who Has Access to VA Home Loans in California?

Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA is the first step to have access to a VA Home Loan. Your loan officer can usually help you take care of this. Learn more about understanding the COE. Eligible recipients of VA home loans include:

  • Veterans
  • Active-duty service members
  • National Guard or Reserve Members
  • Qualified spouses of veterans. These include the spouses of service members who went missing in action, were prisoners of war, died in service, or have a service-related disability.

Remember, there is a minimum service requirement to access your VA benefits. This may be as low as 90 days if you serve active duty in wartime, but can be higher for reservists and National Guardsmen.

When you have your COE and verified your eligibility, you’ll want to gather the recommended application documents for VA borrowers before you can be approved or pre-approved for a VA home mortgage.

What Is the Maximum VA Loan Amount in California if You Have Full Entitlement?

Your COE will reflect the amount of your VA entitlement, which is the amount the VA guarantees they will pay your lender if you become unable to repay your mortgage. Veterans and service members with full entitlement are not restricted by any VA loan limits, meaning the VA will not restrict the amount of money you can borrow from a lender. (The lender will still consider your income, debt, and other factors.)

You should have full entitlement if one of the following applies to you:

  • You have never had a VA Home Loan
  • You do not currently have a VA Home Loan
  • You have not had a foreclosure on a VA Home Loan

 What Is the Maximum VA Loan Amount in California if You Don’t Have Full Entitlement?

 Less than full VA entitlement won’t disqualify you from homeownership by any means.  However, you will have to consider the highest possible VA loan amounts in California.

If you don’t have a full entitlement, California VA loan limits for 2023 start at $726,200. It’s a great time for VA loan applicants – this number is up a full $79,000 from 2022! Among the many high-value neighborhoods in California, your borrowing ceiling is even higher: qualified applicants can borrow up to $1,089,300 depending on the county. (Note: These figures are accurate up to the time of publishing.) Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for your home. For more information, please visit the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

 For decisions as big as homeownership, you should feel secure in your choice of mortgage. Experienced VA lenders like The Federal Savings Bank can help you compare rates and loan options while you’re seeking a VA mortgage in California. For further information on applying for a VA home loan, explore our Learning Center for VA Borrowers.

Wherever you are in the process, our team of VA loan specialists is ready to help you at +1 877-788-2520. We can help you find a home loan that’s the perfect fit for your financial needs, so you can focus on what matters – making a home for you and your family.

This information is intended for educational purposes only. Products and interest rates subject to change without notice. Loan products are subject to credit approval and include terms and conditions, fees and other costs. Terms and conditions may apply. Property insurance is required on all loans secured by property. VA loan products are subject to VA eligibility requirements. Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) interest rates and monthly payment are subject to adjustment. Upon submission of a full application, a mortgage banker will review and provide you with the terms, conditions, disclosures, and additional details on the interest rates that apply to you individual situation.