A loan is considered jumbo if the amount borrowed is greater than the limit set by Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC).
We know that jumbo loans exceed the maximum limit of conforming loans, so let’s dive into exactly how they differ:
Because the amount of a jumbo loan is larger, the fees and closing costs require some extra steps for qualification. Conforming loans are a little easier to qualify for and tend to be more affordable at closing.
The limit for Jumbo loans is more open-ended in nature, whereas conforming loans have a limit set at $510,400 for most counties and $765,600 for more expensive counties.
Jumbo loans typically have higher interest rates due to their large amount and the risks involved. Interest rates for conforming loans are lower, but if you shop around comparing different rates offered by lenders, it may be possible to secure an interest rate for a Jumbo loan at par with that of a conforming loan.
Down payments for conforming loans are more affordable. You have a few different choices for the initial payment (down payment) of this type of loan which can be as low as 3% of the value of the assessed price of the home. With a Jumbo loan, the down payment is 10% of the value of the home’s sale price. This is the minimum amount you must pay.