What are Conventional Loans?
Conventional Loans are mortgage loans that are not insured by the government (like FHA, VA, USDA Loans), but they typically meet the lending guidelines that have been set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Generally, conventional loans have better rates, terms and/or lower fees than other types of loans. However, conventional loans usually require a borrower to have good-to-excellent credit, reasonable amounts of monthly debt obligations, a down payment of 5-20% of the sale price of the home, and reliable monthly income. Conventional loans are ideal for borrowers with excellent credit and at least a 5% of the sales price of the home as a down payment.
Most Common Types of Conventional Loans
Fixed Rate Mortgages: Your rate and payment never change.
- 30 Year Fixed Loan
Benefits: Lowest fixed monthly payments
- 20 Year Fixed Loan
Benefits: Low fixed monthly payments
- 15 Year Fixed Loan
Benefits: Lower rate than the 20 or 30 Year Fixed; Pay less interest and pay your home off more quickly
- 10 Year Fixed Loan
Benefits: Lower rate; Pay off your loan and build equity faster
- 5 Year Fixed Loan
Benefits: Lowest rate; Pay off your loan and build equity the fastest
Adjustable Rate Mortgages: After the initial period your interest rate can change once a year.
- 3/1 ARM
Fixed Rate for 3 Years, Adjustable Rate for the remaining 27 years
- 5/1 ARM
Fixed Rate for 5 Years, Adjustable Rate for the remaining 25 years
- 7/1 ARM
Fixed Rate for 7 Years, Adjustable Rate for the remaining 23 years
What are the Conventional Down Payment Requirements?
For Purchase transactions Conventional Loans require the homebuyer to put down at least 5% – 20% of the purchase price of the home. For a Refinance transaction, most lenders require at least 10% equity in the property.
What types of property are eligible?
Most conventional loan programs allow you to purchase single-family homes, warrantable condos, planned unit developments, and 1-4 family residences. A conventional loan can also be used to finance a primary residence, second home and investment property.