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If you're looking to buy a home, you'll often hear that it's best to keep your housing costs on the low side so you don't risk overextending yourself. But in some markets, that's just not possible. If you're looking to buy a home in an expensive corner of the country, you may need to take on a higher mortgage. That's where a jumbo loan comes in. Here's an overview of what today's jumbo mortgage rates look like.
Each year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency sets a limit for conforming loans. A jumbo mortgage is a home loan that exceeds those limits. Lenders are generally much stricter when giving out these loans. As such, you need great credit (among other things) to qualify.
The definition of a jumbo mortgage changes from year to year. Currently, it's a home loan that's more than $548,250 for a single family home. There's an exception, however, for some areas. In these areas, a jumbo mortgage is a home loan that exceeds $822,375:
Conforming loans, by contrast, stick to the standards imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are the government-sponsored entities that buy most mortgages and make them available to investors.
Many lenders who give out regular mortgages also give out jumbo loans. Your best bet is to shop around with different mortgage lenders and see which are offering jumbo mortgages with the most favorable terms, including:
It's best to do all of your jumbo mortgage shopping within the same 30-day timeframe. Each time you apply for a mortgage, a lender will access your credit record to see if you're an eligible borrower. This counts as a hard inquiry. A single hard inquiry can hurt your credit score a little; many hard inquiries can hurt your score more. However, if you apply for multiple mortgages within a short span of time, all of those hard inquiries will count as just one. As a result, your score won’t drop quite as low.
You'll need a jumbo mortgage if you're looking to borrow more money to finance a home than what conforming loans allow for. But these mortgages have their drawbacks. For one thing, you may get stuck with a higher interest rate than you'd find for a conforming loan. Secondly, you could face higher closing costs with a jumbo mortgage than with a conforming loan. That upcharge may stem largely from added appraisal costs to ensure that the market value of the home you're buying supports the amount you're looking to borrow.
Finally, jumbo mortgages usually require a down payment of at least 20% to qualify. With other types of home loans, you can get away with putting down less.
That said, if you have an excellent credit score, enough savings to make a 20% down payment, and a high enough income to keep up with a higher monthly payment, it pays to apply for a jumbo mortgage and see what rates you qualify for.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is an important step in the home buying process. Our experts recommend mortgage pre-approval before you begin looking at houses or deciding on a real estate agent.
A jumbo mortgage is a home loan that exceeds the limits for conforming loans set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Your best bet is to shop around with different mortgage lenders and see which are offering jumbo mortgages with the most favorable terms,
If you're looking to borrow more money to finance a home than what conforming loans offer, a jumbo loan may be a good option.
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