Conforming Mortgage Financing

Need a traditional mortgage? Let's explore more.

A conforming loan is a mortgage loan which may or may not be guaranteed or insured by the federal government. This means it may fall under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines if it is within the conforming loan limits.

This is important because the lending limits and underwriting conditions set by GSE's Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac benefit many borrowers. Their underwriting conditions determine the maximum loan amount a borrower (or borrowers) can borrow, amount of funds they need to bring in as a down payment, minimum credit scores, income criteria, and eligible properties.

Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may purchase loans from the lender that adhere to their criteria. However, the loan servicing part may remain with the original lender to keep payments simple and easier for the borrower. A larger majority of loans originated in the U.S. fit into the conforming category. A conforming loan may also be called "conventional". The traditional jumbo loan also falls into the conventional category which can be confusing for the average borrower.

Loan overview

  • - As low as 3-percent down payment
  • - Traditional income documentation
  • - Minimum credit: 620
  • - Minimum loan: $150,000
  • - Maximum amount: $1,149,825 (1-unit home)

An added benefit of conforming loans is you may buy an owner-occupied 2 to 4 unit income property with 5-percent subject to qualifying with an acceptable credit score, debt to income ratio, and loan amount. It can be a huge advantage to use the other units to help pay your mortgage or qualify.

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Conforming Loan Comparison vs. FHA & VA
30-year Fixed Loan Type arrow_right_alt Conforming FHA VA
The loan scenario above is for a borrower with a 700 credit scores buying an single detached home or condo.
The FHA loan balance includes the upfront MIP of 1.75% or $20,121 added to the base loan amount of $1,149,825.
The VA zero down loan includes a VA funding fee of 2.15% or $26,015 added to the balance.
Purchase Price: $1,210,000 $1,191,525 $1,210,000
Minimum Down Payment: $60,500 $59,575 $0
Loan amount: $1,149,825 $1,151,875 $1,236,015
Interest rates: Very Good Excellent Excellent
Income & Employment: 2 years 2 years 2 years

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Conforming Loan Highlights

Conventional conforming mortgages are usually the bulk of first-time home buyers who are either salaried or self-employed.

    Here are some reasons:
  • - Invest in your future
  • - 3- to 5-percent down payments1
  • - Loan-to-value leverage
  • - Property appreciation
  • No Junk fees!
  • $0 Application fee
  • $0 Loan processing


See answers to questions borrowers also ask about conforming loans

Can I buy or refinance without a job?

Yes. If you are currently unemployed yet have a solid job offer letter the underwriter will review and determine if you are eligible.

How many months of liquid reserves do I need?

The number of months generally ranges from 3- to 6-months.

How long does an approval take?

A conditional pre-approval can be obtained within 8-48 hours depending on the documentation you provide to the loan originator.

What documents do I need to apply with?

You will need copies of 2-months of your most recent bank statements, valid state or govt. ID, a copy of rent checks covering the last 1-2 years(if renting), W2s last 2 years, tax returns, signed purchase contract if buying.


1. View the disclosure disclaimer regarding loan approval, loan product availability and qualifying for a loan. Not All borrowers will qualify.