Conventional Loans

Conventional loans are the most popular mortgage type because they often carry lower interest rates and fewer fees. They're a great option for people with good credit and a larger down payment.

What is a conventional loan?

Unlike government-backed loan types, such as FHA and VA, conventional loans are offered by banks or other private lenders and may be backed by government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There are two types of conventional loans: conforming and non-conforming. Conforming loans follow Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines, while non-conforming loans, such as jumbo loans, do not. These guidelines are often quite specific, and can involve everything from minimum credit score and limits on loan size, to property type restrictions.

For most counties, conforming loan limits are:

$510,400

for a single-family home or residence

$653,550

for a 2-unit home (duplex)

$789,950

for a 3-unit home (triplex)

$981,700

for a 4-unit home (fourplex)

For higher-cost real estate markets, like San Francisco and New York City, conforming loan limits are:

$765,600

for a single-family home or residence

$980,325

for a 2-unit home (duplex)

$1,184,925

for a 3-unit home (triplex)

$1,472,550

for a 4-unit home (fourplex)

Because these loan limits can differ from county to county, you should check the Federal Housing Finance Agency's website to see your county's limits.

Benefits
  • Up to 95% financing may be available with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
  • Usually requires less paperwork than government-backed loans
  • Offers fixed and adjustable rate mortgage options
Requirements
  • Down payment of at least 20% if you want to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
  • Some lenders may require a minimum credit score of 620
  • Conforming loan limits can vary from county to county

Explore other loan options

Jumbo loans

For people looking at homes in higher price ranges and in higher-cost housing markets.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans

Helpful if you have a lower down payment, are self-employed or don't qualify for a conventional loan.

Veterans Affairs (VA) loans

Offered to U.S. servicemembers, veterans and military spouses, and are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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