The Department of Veterans Affairs has posted the VA loan maximum guaranty limits for calendar year 2013 at the VA official site (VA.gov). According to VA Circular 26-12-12,

“This circular announces that the 2013 county loan limits have been posted.  Note that there is no maximum VA loan, which means lenders can make VA loans in excess of the loan limit for a county; however VA’s guaranty will be limited to 25 percent of the county loan limit.”

That last sentence is an important one to pay attention to; there is no maximum dollar amount set in stone that a borrower can apply for--VA loan maximums are dictated by the information presented above plus factors that include the appraised value of the home or the asking price, whichever is lower. Borrowers may also include some approved add-ons or extras into the VA loan amount, making the final total higher than just the appraised value or asking price.

One thing worth noting is the VA rules on maximum loan guaranty amounts for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs). According to the VA, “The county loan limits do NOT
apply to IRRRLs.  The law states that VA shall guarantee at least 25 percent on an IRRRL,
regardless of whether the loan exceeds the limit for the particular county.”

Additionally, the VA notes that in some cases the VA maximum guaranty for 2013 stayed the same, elsewhere it went up, and in some areas the amount has decreased. With regard to areas that have decreases in the maximum, the VA circular states, “In instances where a county loan limit has decreased, VA will honor the previous higher limit if a contract (not required for refinances) or Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) has been signed and dated by the borrower prior to January 1, 2013.”

We will cover VA loan limits for 2013 in greater details next week. In the meantime you may view the VA maximum loan guaranty tables for high-cost counties at:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/documents/docs/2013_county_loan_limits.pdf

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