do va home loans have pmi

VA home loans are a popular mortgage option for eligible military veterans and active-duty service members. One common question that arises among potential homebuyers is whether VA loans require private mortgage insurance (PMI). In this article, we will explore the topic of PMI in relation to VA home loans and provide a comprehensive understanding of how it works.

What is PMI?

PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is a type of insurance that lenders require borrowers to have when they make a down payment of less than 20% on a conventional mortgage loan. It protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. PMI is an additional cost added to the monthly mortgage payment, which can significantly impact the borrower’s overall expenses.

VA Home Loans and PMI

Unlike conventional home loans, VA loans do not require borrowers to pay for private mortgage insurance. This is one of the benefits of obtaining a VA loan, as it can save borrowers a substantial amount of money over time.

The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees a portion of the loan for lenders, which eliminates the need for PMI. This guarantee protects the lender against potential losses if the borrower defaults on the loan, making it unnecessary for the borrower to pay for additional insurance.

Cost Savings

By not having to pay for private mortgage insurance, VA loan borrowers can realize significant cost savings over the life of the loan. Let’s compare the potential savings of a VA loan with a conventional loan. Consider a conventional loan with a 5% down payment and a loan amount of $250,000. Assuming an estimated PMI rate of 0.5% of the loan amount, the borrower would pay an additional $104.17 per month for PMI.

Over a 30-year loan term, the borrower would pay a total of $37,501.20 for PMI alone. In contrast, a VA loan borrower with the same loan amount would not have to pay for PMI, resulting in significant savings throughout the life of the loan.

Other Loan Requirements

While VA loans do not require PMI, there are other criteria that borrowers must meet to qualify for this type of loan. These requirements include:

  • Satisfactory credit score: VA loan lenders typically look for a minimum credit score of around 620 or higher.
  • Proof of income: Borrowers must demonstrate a stable income to ensure they can afford the monthly mortgage payments.
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE): To qualify for a VA loan, borrowers must obtain a COE from the Department of Veterans Affairs to prove their eligibility as a veteran or active-duty service member.
  • Property requirements: The property being purchased must meet certain criteria set by the VA, including being the borrower’s primary residence.

VA Funding Fee

Although VA loans do not require PMI, there is a one-time funding fee that borrowers are typically required to pay. The purpose of this fee is to help offset the costs of the VA loan program. The amount of the funding fee depends on various factors, such as whether the borrower is a first-time or subsequent user of the VA loan benefit, the down payment amount, and whether the borrower is a regular military member, Reservist/National Guard member, or veteran.

Funding Fee Rates for First-Time Use Down Payment Fee for Regular Military Fee for Reservists/National Guard
0% 2.30% 2.40%
5% – 10% 1.65% 1.75%
10% or more 1.40% 1.50%

The funding fee can be financed as part of the loan or paid upfront. Veterans with a service-connected disability are typically exempt from paying the funding fee.


In summary, VA home loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI), which sets them apart from conventional loans. The VA loan program is designed to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for eligible veterans and active-duty service members. By not having to pay for PMI, borrowers can potentially save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. However, it’s important to note that there may be other loan requirements and a one-time funding fee associated with VA loans. Consulting with a knowledgeable VA loan specialist can help individuals navigate the loan process and determine if a VA loan is the right choice for their needs.