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Conventional Mortgages

A conventional mortgage is one that’s not guaranteed or insured by the federal government. Instead, they are available through private lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies.

Conventional mortgages have a fixed rate of interest, which means that the interest rate does not change throughout the life of the loan. This gives homebuyers a sense of stability that is not present in the case of, say, an adjustable-rate mortgage. Interest rates for conventional loans tend to be lower than rates for FHA loans yet higher than those of VA loans.

Conforming conventional loans must fall within the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As of 2020, the limit is $510,400. If the loan surpasses that limit, it becomes a jumbo (nonconforming) loan.

Usually, you’ll be able to borrow more money on a conventional loan than on a FHA loan.

Loan Types

Different Types of Conventional Mortgages

Conforming

Meets loan standards set by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. For clarification: the FNMA (Fannie Mae) and the FHLMC (Freddie Mac) are home mortgage companies created by the U.S. Congress. They make the mortgage market more affordable and stable, and they provide liquidity to thousands of loans, banks, and mortgage companies in America.

Non-Conforming

Like a jumbo loan, for example) doesn’t meet the loan standards set by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. Oftentimes, jumbo loans require a higher credit score than conforming ones do.

Fixed Rate

For as long as you have the mortgage, the interest rate will remain the same.

Construction Loan

Allows you to finance a house while also paying for renovations (good if you’re buying a fixer-upper).

Refinance

A reverse mortgage is a type of loan where the homeowner withdraws a portion of their equity but doesn’t have to repay the loan until they leave the house.

Adjustable Rate (ARM)

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan with an interest rate that changes. ARMs may start with lower monthly payments than fixed-rate mortgages.

Advantages of Conventional Loans

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The interest rates tend to be lower

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There are more options in terms of down payment

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Overall, these loans can be very flexible as most of them don’t need to follow the guidelines set by government agencies

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