What is a Jumbo Loan?

A jumbo loan is a type of mortgage that exceeds the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). These limits are put in place to ensure that mortgages are manageable for government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What is a Jumbo Loan?

Unlike conventional mortgages, Jumbo loans are typically used to finance higher-priced properties, such as luxury homes or properties in expensive real estate markets where standard conforming loan limits may not be sufficient. Since jumbo loans exceed these limits, they often have stricter lending requirements and higher interest rates compared to conforming loans.

However, jumbo loans are considered risky by lenders because they are not backed by the federal government. Therefore, unlike conventional mortgages, they charge higher interest rates to make up for the risks involved.

Nevertheless, a jumbo loan is an excellent option if you want to get a property with a high value that surpasses the limits of conventional loans. But this is just as long as you meet the strict and rigid requirements or qualification criteria.

How Does It Work?

Similarly, jumbo loans work like conventional mortgages. One of the main differences is that a jumbo loan exceeds the maximum limits of the Federal Housing Finance Agency for conforming loans. Another difference is the amount of money involved. There is more money involved in a jumbo loan.

Additionally, a jumbo loan can sometimes be a 30-year loan, but you can choose a loan with a shorter term. Besides, this loan type is available with an adjustable rate or a fixed interest rate. But if you are considering a jumbo loan, it is advisable to find a lender that has experience and is a professional in them.

Jumbo Loan Requirements

Because many lenders offer jumbo loans, you will definitely come across different requirements and eligibility criteria. Nonetheless, they still have some criteria in common, so you will have an idea of what to prepare before applying:

  • A higher credit score, usually 700 and above, depending on the lender.
  • 20% down payment.
  • Financial documents for income verification.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio.
  • Proof of employment.
  • Cash reserves.
  • Property appraisal.

Additional documents may include:

  • Other income sources.
  • Proof of investments.

All of the above-mentioned factors vary by lender, so be expecting to see different rates and eligibility criteria when applying.

Pros and Cons

Here are some factors you need to consider before choosing a jumbo loan: The advantages and disadvantages involved with taking out jumbo loans include:


  • Flexible loan terms.
  • Possible for high borrowing amounts.
  • Accessibility to high-value properties.
  • One big loan.
  • Competitive interest terms.
  • Multiple loan options.
  • Lower interest rates.
  • Piggyback alternatives.


  • Interest rate fluctuations.
  • Less flexible.
  • Higher fees and close costs.
  • Difficult qualification requirements.
  • Higher interest rates.
  • Strict appraisal process.
  • Large down payments.
  • Limited tax deductibility.
  • Clean credit score.

These are the things you need to weigh to figure out if a jumbo loan is the perfect financial solution for your needs.

When Do You Need One?

In an area where you are planning to buy a house and the amount you want to borrow exceeds the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, you need a jumbo loan. However, the conforming loan limits differ by county and can change periodically. Nonetheless, they show the maximum loan amount by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here are some situations when you might want to consider jumbo loans:

  • Refinancing
  • Buying a high-value property
  • In highly competitive real estate markets

On the other hand, jumbo loans are considered non-conforming loans because they are not and cannot be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Jumbo Loan Limits

Jumbo loan limits refer to the maximum amount of money that a borrower can obtain through a mortgage that exceeds the limits set by government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities typically set limits on the size of mortgages they will purchase or guarantee. Any mortgage that exceeds these boundaries is termed a jumbo loan.

The specific jumbo loan limits can vary depending on the location of the property, as they are based on the median home prices in a particular area. In high-cost areas, such as certain parts of California or New York, jumbo loan limits tend to be higher than in other regions.

For example, in 2022, the jumbo loan limit for most of the United States was $647,200, but it could be higher in areas with higher median home prices.

Borrowers seeking jumbo loans should be aware that these loans often come with stricter qualification requirements and higher interest rates compared to conforming loans that fall within the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

How to Apply for a Jumbo Loan

Not only do the requirements for a jumbo loan differ by lender, but so does the application process. Moreover, this process involves steps that are similar to those of conventional mortgages. Here are the basic steps you need to take to apply for a jumbo loan:

  • Review your credit score.
  • Check your financial health.
  • Prepare for a down payment by saving.
  • Prepare all the necessary documentation.
  • Look around.
  • Compare lenders.
  • Get pre-approved.
  • Search for a home that fits into the loan amount you want to get.
  • Then, apply for the loan.
  • Provide all the necessary documents to the lender.
  • The lender will approve a home appraisal. This is to confirm the value of the property in question.
  • Complete the loan processing and underwriting.

Once the loan has been approved for you, you will now proceed with closing. During this process, you will need to sign all the important documents, pay the down payment and closing costs, and finally secure the loan.

After the loan process is complete and the property is yours by law, you can make plans to move into your new home. However, before proceeding with this process, attention to detail and thorough preparation are required. If you need assistance, contact a financial advisor and work with your lender to understand the process well.


How do jumbo loans differ from conforming loans?

Jumbo loans differ from conforming loans primarily in loan amount. Jumbo loans exceed the conforming loan limits, making them suitable for higher-priced properties.

Who is eligible for a jumbo loan?

Eligibility for jumbo loans depends on factors such as credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio, and property value. Lenders may have specific requirements that borrowers must meet to qualify.

What types of properties can I finance with a jumbo loan?

Jumbo loans can be used to finance various types of properties, including single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, and multi-unit properties.

Are there any risks associated with jumbo loans?

Like any mortgage, there are risks associated with jumbo loans, such as the potential for higher monthly payments, interest rate fluctuations, and the possibility of foreclosure if payments are not made on time. It’s essential to carefully consider your financial situation before taking out a jumbo loan.

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