top of page

Conventional loans - Conforming vs Non Conforming

Understanding the Difference Between Conforming and Non-Conforming Home Loans

When it comes to financing a home, borrowers often encounter the terms "conforming" and "non-conforming" loans.

These two types of loans play a crucial role in the mortgage industry, and understanding the differences between them is essential for prospective homebuyers.

In this blog post, we will explore the dissimilarities between conforming and non-conforming home loans, shedding light on their eligibility criteria, loan limits, interest rates, and implications for borrowers.

Conforming Home Loans:

Conforming home loans, also known as conventional loans, adhere to the guidelines set by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

These loans are considered lower-risk for lenders, as they conform to specific lending standards. Here are the key features of conforming home loans:

1. Loan Limits: Conforming loans have a maximum loan amount that varies by location and is periodically adjusted to account for changes in housing market conditions. In the United States, the limit for conforming loans is typically set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

2. Eligibility Criteria: Borrowers seeking conforming loans must meet specific requirements related to credit score, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and down payment. Generally, a higher credit score and a lower debt-to-income ratio increase the chances of qualifying for a conforming loan.

3. Interest Rates: Conforming loans typically offer competitive interest rates since they are seen as less risky to lenders. These rates can vary based on market conditions, borrower creditworthiness, loan term, and other factors.

4. Mortgage Insurance: If a borrower puts down less than 20% as a down payment on a conforming loan, they may be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) until they build sufficient equity in the property.

Non-Conforming Home Loans:

Non-conforming home loans, also known as jumbo loans, fall outside the limits established by the GSEs.

They are designed to accommodate borrowers seeking higher loan amounts or those who don't meet the strict criteria of conforming loans. Here are the main characteristics of non-conforming home loans:

1. Loan Limits: Non-conforming loans exceed the maximum loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are typically used for luxury properties or homes in high-cost areas where housing prices surpass the conforming loan limits.

2. Eligibility Criteria: Non-conforming loans may have more flexible eligibility criteria, allowing borrowers with lower credit scores or unique financial situations to qualify. Lenders may consider factors such as assets, income stability, and reserves when evaluating applications.

3. Interest Rates: Non-conforming loans often have slightly higher interest rates than conforming loans due to their increased risk for lenders. The rates can vary depending on the borrower's creditworthiness, loan term, and market conditions.

4. Mortgage Insurance: Since non-conforming loans often involve larger loan amounts, borrowers may be required to pay a higher down payment or have substantial reserves. However, PMI requirements can differ depending on the lender and the specific terms of the loan.


Understanding the differences between conforming and non-conforming home loans is crucial for prospective homebuyers looking for mortgage financing.

Conforming loans adhere to standardized guidelines established by government-sponsored enterprises, offering competitive interest rates and borrowing limits.

Non-conforming loans, on the other hand, provide options for borrowers who require larger loan amounts or have unique financial circumstances but often come with slightly higher interest rates.

As always, it is essential for borrowers to carefully evaluate their financial situation, research available loan options, and consult with mortgage professionals to determine which loan type best suits their needs.

To find out which type of loan is best for you please reach out using our contact information below.

15 views0 comments


bottom of page