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  • John Reuter

Understanding the VA Funding Fee: Exemptions and Requirements for Veterans

The VA funding fee is a crucial component of the VA home loan program, designed to help U.S. veterans, service members, and eligible survivors achieve homeownership. This one-time payment supports the sustainability of the VA home loan program, which notably does not require down payments or monthly mortgage insurance. This article delves into the purpose, requirements, and exemptions associated with the VA funding fee to provide a comprehensive understanding for veterans.

Purpose of the VA Funding Fee

The VA funding fee serves to reduce the loan's cost for U.S. taxpayers. By requiring this fee, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can maintain the viability of the VA home loan program without imposing additional costs on the government. This fee ensures that the benefits of the program can be extended to a broad range of eligible individuals, supporting their path to homeownership.

When is the VA Funding Fee Applicable?

If you are utilizing a VA home loan for purposes such as buying, building, improving, or repairing a home, or refinancing a mortgage, you are generally required to pay the VA funding fee. However, there are specific exemptions based on individual circumstances.

Exemptions from the VA Funding Fee

Veterans and service members may qualify for an exemption from the VA funding fee if they meet any of the following criteria:

  1. VA Compensation for Service-Connected Disability: Veterans who are receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability are exempt from paying the funding fee.

  2. Eligibility for VA Compensation but Receiving Other Pay: Veterans eligible for VA compensation for a service-connected disability but receiving retirement or active-duty pay instead are also exempt.

  3. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): Surviving spouses receiving DIC as a result of a veteran's service-connected death are not required to pay the funding fee.

  4. Pre-Discharge Rating: Service members who have received a proposed or memorandum rating indicating eligibility for compensation due to a pre-discharge claim before the loan closing date are exempt.

  5. Purple Heart Recipients: Active-duty service members who provide evidence of having received the Purple Heart before or on the loan closing date are exempt from the funding fee.


The VA funding fee is an essential aspect of the VA home loan program, helping to lower the program's costs for U.S. taxpayers and ensuring its continued availability to eligible veterans, service members, and survivors. Understanding when the fee is applicable and the circumstances under which one can be exempt is crucial for making informed decisions about home financing options. For those who qualify, the VA home loan program remains a powerful tool in achieving the dream of homeownership.

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