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VA Loans California

A VA home loan helps California veterans afford the home of their dreams. Administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these loans are some of the best ways to start living your California dream if you have qualifying military service.
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A VA loan benefits veterans because they have to pay almost nothing at the time of the home purchase, as there are no down payment requirements. The loan program also entitles you to lower interest rates and a high loan limit that wouldn’t be possible with other loan programs. They’re administered by private lenders, like District Lending, who work with the VA loan program to serve those who have given so much to our country.

California VA Home Loans

California has the largest number of veterans in the country, with 1.8 million residents having seen service. Despite this, the Golden State only has the third highest VA loan volume, showing that many veterans are missing out on their VA loan benefit. About 130,000 eligible California veterans receive loans per year, and you can be one of these lucky borrowers if you work with District Lending, the premier VA loan lender in California.

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What You Need to Know About California VA Loans

A veteran who wants to utilize the VA loan program needs to meet a variety of parameters. Most lenders will have some requirements of their own to protect their bottom line.

When you come to us seeking a VA home loan, we’ll help guide you through all of these stipulations and also discuss local programs like CalVet, a state agency that assists veterans and will often fund loans on homes that other loan options won’t accept. CalVet is only offered for California residents and typically has more stringent purchasing limits, as well as higher interest rates. We’ll discuss whether this is a good option for you, as well as explain the stipulations for the typical VA loans.

  • Funding Fees

    Instead of a down payment, you will be required to pay a funding fee, which ranges from 1.5% to 3.3%. The rate you will pay depends on how much cash you put down and whether this is your first time claiming your VA loan entitlement. This helps to provide support for the program and is paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Loan Eligibility

    Not all veterans are eligible for a VA loan you have to meet stringent requirements based on your time of service, credit score, and other metrics. Determining your eligibility involves submitting paperwork on the VA website and waiting to hear whether you’re approved based on the documentation you’ve provided. The VA will inform you if there is any action necessary on your part.

    If you’re having trouble with your loan paperwork, you can get in touch with a VA benefits coordinator. There are regional benefits offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Oakland. Those still serving can reach out to their local base for pre-discharge claims assistance. The Veterans Affairs page has a convenient list of each of the bases and their contact details.

  • Loan Insurance

    The VA loan program itself does not require mortgage insurance, but homeowners’ insurance is required by the state of California for all property, regardless of loan type. Some private lenders may also expect you to get mortgage insurance before they will let you borrow from them. You should discuss these matters with your lender before you sign anything.

  • Loan Interest Rates

    Another benefit of VA loans is that they often have much lower interest rates than you could get with another mortgage product. For example, California conventional mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are currently around 7.47%, while a VA loan rate is about 6.81%.

How to Know if You Qualify for a VA Loan in California

Getting a VA home loan requires much of the same paperwork as a conventional mortgage, but you must keep some additional considerations in mind. These are specifically related to your service record, such as your discharge status and length of service.
  • Duty Status

    First, there are slightly different requirements for active duty service members than veterans.

    If you’re currently on duty, you need to have served for at least 90 continuous days of active duty to apply for a VA home loan.

    For veterans whose service began after 1990, you can either have served for 180 days in peacetime, or at least 90 days of active duty. Those discharged due to a service-connected disability can have served for less than 90 days.

  • VA Entitlement

    Since 2020, those claiming their benefits for the first time have no borrowing limit.

    It’s possible to have two VA loans at a time, though it’s uncommon. If you have another loan, you have a partial entitlement, which will come with a loan limit. You can go up to the county loan limit, which varies across California. Loan limits in some of the largest counties include:

    • Alameda $1,149,825

    • Los Angeles $1,149,825

    • Santa Cruz $1,149,825

    • Orange $1,149,825

    • San Francisco $1,149,825

    • Sacramento $766,550

  • Discharge Status

    VA loans are reserved for those who received an honorable discharge. If you have a less-than-honorable, dishonorable, or bad conduct discharge, you can apply for a discharge upgrade with the VA.

    If you fulfill these requirements, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility, telling the lender you’re eligible for a VA loan. The lender then decides if they will work with you based on your financial status.

  • Decent Credit Score

    VA lenders generally want a minimum credit score of 580, though some will require higher or even lower than this. You should strive to bring your credit score up as much as possible before you apply for a loan, as this will make it easier to find a lender.

  • Low Debt-to-Income Ratio

    The average debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for a VA loan is about 41% of your gross monthly income. This refers to how much of your paycheck is being used as payment for other debts, such as credit cards, car payments, and student loans. The lower your DTI, the better your chances of approval.

  • Waiting Period

    If you are looking to refinance your VA loan, such as with an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), you’ll need to wait at least 210 days before opening a new one. If you’ve had a previous bankruptcy, you need to wait at least two years before you can pursue a VA loan. You also have to wait between three and four years before getting a new VA loan.

District Lending Is Your California VA Loan Partner

Whether you were in the reserves at Fort Irwin or traveled worldwide to safeguard our nation, District Lending is here to help you purchase the California property of your dreams.

We value those who serve our nation, so we’re here to assist service members and their families through all aspects of VA loans, including California county loan limits and getting a COE. If you’re ready to refinance, we’re more than happy to help you with that, too!

Contact us today to learn more about our loan options and get started on the home loan process.

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Buy
Home Purchase
Why District
Read about all the benefits
Process overview
Simplified and easy to understand
Apply now
Start your application
Get a quote
See your rate with no commitment
Perks
Free refinance for 3 years
Refinance with no closing costs
No closing costs
Zero costs options, what it means
Realtor credits
Get .5% towards your closing costs
18 Day closing
2X more likely to get your offer accepted
Price match guarantee
We beat competitors’ rates by .125% or more
Rate defense
Never miss out on rates dropping
Refinance
Rates
About
Reviews
Hear from our customers
Contact
Answers within 2 business hours
Meet the crew
Our experts, mission, and values
Careers
Join us in making a difference
Learn
Blog
Our knowledge at your convenience
Mortgage secrets
Short videos with tips&tricks
Video library
A short description can be here
Calculator
Calculate your mortgage payment
Apply nowGet a quote