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VA Loan Income Requirements For 2023

If you are a veteran or an active-duty member of the military, you may be eligible for a VA loan. These loans can be a great option for purchasing or refinancing a home, as they often offer lower interest rates and require no down payment. However, one important factor to consider when applying for a VA loan is your income. In this article, we will discuss the income requirements for VA loans and how Just Funded Mortgage can help you navigate the mortgage process.

What are the income requirements for VA loans?

To be eligible for a VA loan, you must have stable and reliable income. This means you need to have a consistent source of income that is expected to continue for at least three years. Your income can come from a variety of sources, including employment, retirement benefits, disability payments, and rental income.
There is no specific income requirement for VA loans, but lenders will typically look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to determine whether you can afford the loan. Your DTI is the percentage of your monthly gross income that goes toward paying your debts, including your mortgage payment. Most lenders prefer a DTI ratio of 41% or less, but some may accept a higher DTI if you have compensating factors such as a high credit score or significant cash reserves.

Are There Income Limitations for VA Loans?

One of the most common questions people have about VA loans is whether there are any income limitations. The short answer is no. Unlike many other types of loans, VA loans do not have specific income requirements.
However, this doesn’t mean that VA lenders won’t consider your income when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. Lenders still need to be confident that you have the ability to make your mortgage payments on time.
Instead of income requirements, VA lenders will look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI is a measure of how much of your monthly income goes towards debt payments. VA lenders typically look for a DTI ratio of 41% or lower, although some lenders may be willing to go higher in certain circumstances.

Types of Acceptable Income

When applying for a VA home loan, lenders will review various types of income to determine your eligibility. Not all forms of income may qualify, so it’s essential to understand what counts towards your VA loan application. Based on the guidelines provided by, here are the types of income that are generally accepted:

Employment Income

This is the most common type of income considered. It includes the regular wages or salary you receive from your employer. Full-time, part-time, and seasonal employment income may be acceptable if it’s consistent and likely to continue.

Self-Employment Income

Income from owning a business or working as an independent contractor can be counted. However, lenders will typically want to see at least two years of successful self-employment history, supported by tax returns.

Commission and Overtime

Commission and overtime can be included if it’s regular and likely to continue. You’ll need to provide two years of history showing consistent commission or overtime earnings.

Rental Income

If you own rental properties, this income can be included. You’ll typically need to show a history of rental income on your tax returns.

Disability, Social Security, and Retirement

These forms of regular, documented income can also be considered in your VA loan application.

Income from Dividends and Interest

If you have investments yielding dividends or interest, this income can be included if it’s consistent and likely to continue.

Alimony or Child Support

Alimony or child support can be considered as income, provided it’s received consistently.

Each type of income must be proven as stable and likely to continue into the future. Lenders will typically verify this income through documentation such as tax returns, paycheck stubs, or legal agreements. If you’re unsure whether a type of income will be accepted, it’s best to consult with a VA loan specialist.

Residual Income

In the context of VA home loans, residual income is a crucial eligibility requirement, unique among other loan programs. This stipulation requires applicants to have a certain amount of income left over each month after all major expenses have been paid.

Understanding Residual Income

Residual income is the money that remains after subtracting all your major expenses, such as housing costs, taxes, and debts, from your gross income. Unlike the more common debt-to-income ratio, residual income focuses on the cash you have available for everyday expenses like food, transportation, and other necessities after covering your major financial obligations.

The VA’s residual income guideline offers a safety cushion for borrowers, ensuring they aren’t overextended with their mortgage. It offers added protection against the risk of default and potential foreclosure.

Residual Income Guidelines for VA Home Loans

The exact amount of residual income required depends on the borrower’s location and family size. Here are the requirements:

For Loan Amounts $79,999 and below

Family Size Northeast Midwest South West
1 $390 $382 $382 $425
2 $654 $641 $641 $713
3 $788 $772 $772 $859
4 $888 $868 $868 $967
5 $921 $902 $902 $1,004
Over 5 (up to a family of 7) + $75 per person + $75 per person + $75 per person + $75 per person

For Loan Amounts of $80,000 and above

Family Size Northeast Midwest South West
1 $450 $441 $441 $491
2 $775 $738 $738 $823
3 $909 $889 $889 $990
4 $1,025 $1,003 $1,003 $1,117
5 $1,062 $1,039 $1,039 $1,158
Over 5 (up to a family of 7) + $80 per person + $80 per person + $80 per person + $80 per person

These guidelines ensure borrowers have a comfortable financial buffer for unexpected expenses or changes in their financial situation, contributing to the low foreclosure rates of VA loans.

Debt to Income Ratio

Debt-to-Income ratio, often abbreviated as DTI, is another critical factor lenders consider when evaluating your eligibility for a VA home loan. It’s a percentage that represents how much of your monthly income is used to repay your debts.

How Is DTI Calculated?

DTI is calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. For example, if your monthly debts amount to $2,000, and your gross monthly income is $6,000, your DTI would be 33%.

Why Does DTI Matter?

A lower DTI indicates less of your income is tied up in debt, which means you’re more likely to manage your mortgage payments comfortably. Conversely, a high DTI may signal you are overextended, which could pose a risk to the lender.

VA Loan DTI Standards

Unlike some loan programs, the VA does not set a strict maximum DTI ratio. However, a DTI ratio of 41% is typically viewed as the benchmark. If your DTI is above this, you may need to meet additional requirements, such as having a sufficient residual income, to be considered for a VA home loan.

Are There Income Limitations for VA Loans?

The VA itself does not impose a maximum income limit for VA home loan eligibility. Whether you earn $50,000 or $500,000 annually, you can apply for a VA loan provided you meet the other criteria, including service requirements, sufficient and stable income, and a suitable credit score.

The Role of Income in VA Loan Eligibility

While there isn’t an income ceiling, your income does play a significant role in determining the loan amount you can afford. Lenders will consider your income stability, amount, and type to assess your ability to repay the loan. They’ll examine your DTI and residual income to ensure you can manage the mortgage payments along with your other financial obligations without undue hardship.

How can Just Funded Mortgage help me with my income requirements for VA loans?

At Just Funded Mortgage, we understand that navigating the mortgage process can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to income requirements. That’s why we offer a range of resources and tools to help you understand your options and make informed decisions. Our mortgage calculators can help you estimate your monthly payments and affordability, while our blog covers a range of mortgage-related topics, including income requirements for VA loans.

In addition, our team of mortgage experts can provide personalized advice and guidance throughout the mortgage process. We can help you understand the income requirements for VA loans and identify any compensating factors that may improve your chances of approval. Plus, we work with a network of lenders to help you find the best loan options for your unique situation.

As an experienced professional in the mortgage loan and property market, Help individuals and families achieve their homeownership dreams.  My mission is to simplify your real estate journey and secure the best possible outcomes in this ever-changing market.

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