A jumbo loan, also known as a jumbo mortgage, is a type of financing that exceeds the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Unlike conventional mortgages, a jumbo loan is not eligible to be purchased, guaranteed, or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Designed to finance luxury properties and homes in highly competitive local real estate markets, jumbo mortgages come with unique underwriting requirements and tax implications. These kinds of mortgages have gained traction as the housing market continues to recover following the Great Recession.
A jumbo loan is a mortgage used to finance properties that are too expensive for a conventional conforming loan. The maximum amount for a conforming loan is $647,200 in most counties, as determined by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Homes that exceed the local conforming loan limit require a jumbo loan.
Also called non-conforming conventional mortgages, jumbo loans are considered riskier for lenders because these loans can’t be guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, meaning the lender is not protected from losses if a borrower defaults. Jumbo loans are typically available with either a fixed interest rate or an adjustable rate, and they come with a variety of terms.
- A jumbo loan is a type of financing that exceeds the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and cannot be purchased, guaranteed, or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
- Homeowners must undergo more rigorous credit requirements than those applying for a conventional loan.
- Approval requires a stellar credit score and a very low debt-to-income ratio.
- The average APR for a jumbo mortgage is often par with conventional mortgages, while down payments are roughly 10% to 15% of the total purchase price.
How a Jumbo Loan Works
If you have your sights set on a home that costs close to half a million dollars or more—and you don’t have that much sitting in a bank account—you’re probably going to need a jumbo mortgage. And if you’re trying to land one, you’ll face much more rigorous credit requirements than homeowners applying for a conventional loan. That’s because jumbo loans carry more credit risk for the lender since there is no guarantee by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There’s also more risk because more money is involved.