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2018 Conforming Loan Limits

2018 Conforming Loan Limits

    Mortgage amounts fall into three categories: conforming, super conforming and jumbo loans.  We outline the three loan amount categories below and explain how your loan size impacts your mortgage rate, program eligibility and other borrower qualification requirements.

  • Conforming Loan Amounts
    • Conforming mortgage: In the 48 contiguous states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the general conforming loan limit is $453,100 for single unit property and $871,450 for a four unit property.  In Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands the general conforming loan limit is $679,650 for a single unit property and $1,307,175 for a four unit property. 
  • CalculatorUse our CONFORMING Loan LIMIT CALCULATOR to determine the conforming loan limit in your county
  • You will likely receive the lowest mortgage rate if your loan amount is below the conforming loan limit.  The conforming loan limits are set by government (Federal Housing Finance Agency) and government-sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and apply to all lenders.  Lenders are able to sell mortgages with conforming loan amounts to these government-sponsored enterprises which allows lenders to offer borrowers their best mortgage rate possible.  As outlined in the table below, the loan limits vary by number of units in the property with a single-unit property having the lowest limit.

    For conforming loans, lenders will typically offer you their lowest mortgage rate if the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio (the ratio of the mortgage amount to the property value) is 80% or lower but borrowers are able to use conventional and government-backed no or low down payment programs to obtain mortgages with an LTV ratio of 97% or even 100% in the case of the VA and USDA mortgage programs. This reduces the down payment or property equity required to qualify for a mortgage.

    Loans with conforming loan amounts are typically eligible for all conventional and government-backed mortgage programs. Some no or low down payment mortgage programs allow conforming jumbo or super conforming loan amounts in higher cost counties while other programs set the maximum loan amount at the general conforming loan limit. You should check with your lender to determine if your mortgage program applies loan limits.

    The borrower credit score requirement of ~640 for standard conforming mortgages is typically lower than the requirement for non-conforming mortgages, and even lower for certain low / no down payment mortgage programs.  For example, the Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage program is available to qualified borrowers with a minimum credit score of 620 and the FHA home loan program is available to borrowers with a score of 580 or possibly lower.

    Additionally, for conforming mortgages, lenders typically require the borrower to demonstrate the ability to repay the mortgage according to Qualified Mortgage guidelines.

  • Conforming Jumbo or Super Conforming Loan Amounts
    • Conforming jumbo mortgage: Also known as a super conforming mortgage, this is a mortgage with a loan amount greater than the general conforming loan limit but less than the high cost conforming loan limit that applies to more expensive counties.  In the 48 contiguous states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the maximum high cost conforming loan limit is $679,650 for single unit property and $1,307,175 for a four unit property. In Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands the maximum high cost conforming loan limit is $1,019,475 for a single unit property and $1,960,750 for a four unit property.  Please note that the high cost conforming loan limits range between the general loan limit to the maximum high cost conforming limit, depending on the cost of housing for the specific county.

    As outlined in the table below, there are two sets of loan limits within each geographical category – general conforming loan limits and high cost area conforming loan limits.  If you live in a county with higher average home prices, also known as a high cost area, then the conforming loan limit may be higher than $453,100.  If your loan amount is greater than the general conforming loan limit but less than the limit for your county then this is a conforming jumbo mortgage or super conforming mortgage.  The mortgage rates for conforming jumbo loans may be slightly higher than the interest rates for conforming mortgages, although sometimes they are the same, depending on market conditions.

  • Jumbo Loan Amounts
    • Jumbo mortgage: Also known as a non-conforming jumbo loan, the loan amount for a jumbo mortgage exceeds the high cost conforming loan limit in a county.

    You usually see more variation in interest rates and loan terms for jumbo mortgages as lenders have greater flexibility in setting pricing and borrower qualification guidelines as compared to conforming mortgages.  This dynamic creates competition between jumbo mortgage lenders and borrowers can benefit from this competition by comparing multiple proposals and negotiating the best terms for their loan.

    The maximum LTV ratio for jumbo mortgages usually 80% - 90%, although borrowers may pay a higher mortgage rate or private mortgage insurance (PMI) if your LTV ratio is more than 80%.  Additionally, the LTV ratio limit may be lower for larger loan amounts.  Borrower credit score requirements for jumbo mortgages are usually higher than for conforming loans. Lenders typically require that jumbo borrowers have a minimum credit score of 680 - 720. Lenders may also apply a lower maximum LTV ratio for borrowers with lower credit scores.  Most jumbo mortgages are not eligible for conventional and government-backed low down payment programs.

    The table below outlines the general and high cost area 2018 conforming loan limits by the number of units in the property.  Properties with more than one unit have higher loan limits.

  • Conforming Loan Limits – Maximum Original Principal Balance
    Number of Units Contiguous United States, District of Columbia,
    and Puerto Rico
    Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
      General High Cost General High Cost
    1 $453,100 $679,650 $679,650 $1,019,475
    2 $580,150 $870,225 $870,225 $1,305,325
    3 $701,250 $1,051,875 $1,051,875 $1,577,800
    4 $871,450 $1,307,175 $1,307,175 $1,960,750
  • The table below shows interest rates and fees for conforming mortgages.  We recommend that you contact multiple lenders in the table below to compare mortgage proposals.  Comparing loan terms is the best way to save money on your mortgage.

  • Rate Details*
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    Points  More Info:
    Points: Fees you are willing to pay in order to get a lower interest rate. The number of points refers to the percentage of the loan amount that you would pay. For example, "2 points" means a charge of 2% of the loan amount.
    Total Lender Fees:  
    Loan type:  
    Property Value:  
    Loan to Value:  
    Credit Rating:  
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    Monthly Housing Payments
    P & I More Info
    Principal & Interest: A periodic payment, usually paid monthly, that includes the interest charges for the period plus an amount applied to the reduction of the principal balance.
    Mortgage Insurance More Info
    Mortgage Insurance: The monthly cost for a policy that protects the lender in case you’re unable to repay the full amount of the loan. It is typically required for loans that have a loan-to-value ratio between 80% to 100%.
    Property Tax More Info
    Property Tax: (Also called "Real Estate Tax.") Property taxes are government assessments on real estate property. With mortgage financing, the local, county or state tax assessment on real estate property is considered part of the monthly housing obligation and typically collected and set aside by the lender ...
    Homeowner Insurance More Info
    Homeowner Insurance: or also commonly called hazard insurance, is the type of property insurance that covers private homes. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents, loss of its use, or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.lender ...
    Homeowner Association Fee More Info
    Homeowner Association fee: (HOA) fees are funds that are collected from homeowners in a condominium complex to obtain the income needed to pay (typically) for master insurance, exterior and interior (as appropriate) maintenance, landscaping, water, sewer, and garbage costs.
    (If Any)
    Total Monthly Housing Payments
    Lender Fees
    Points More Info
    Points Fees you are willing to pay in order to get a lower interest rate. The number of points refers to the percentage of the loan amount that you would pay. For example, "2 points" means a charge of 2% of the loan amount.
    Origination Fee More Info
    Origination Charge: A loan origination charge is a fee charged by the lender for evaluating, processing, and closing the loan.
    Credit Report Fee More Info
    Credit Report Fee: Fee charged to obtain an applicant’s credit history prepared by one or all of the three major credit bureaus. Used by lender to determine the borrower’s creditworthiness.
    Tax Service Fee More Info
    Tax Service Fee: A fee charged by the lender to cover the cost of retaining a tax service agency. These agencies monitor the property tax payments on the property and report the results to the lender.
    Processing Fee More Info
    Processing Fee: A processing fee is a charge by the lender for clerical items associated with the loan. Examples of processing include loan set up, organization of loan conditions for underwriting, and preparing required disclosures for the borrower.
    Underwriting Fee More Info
    Underwriting Fee: A fee charged by the lender to verify information on the loan application, authenticate the property’s value, and perform a risk analysis on the overall loan package.
    Wire Transfer Fee More Info
    Wire Transfer Fee: In most cases lenders wire funds to escrow companies to fund a loan. Commercial banks that perform this function will charge the lender so the fee is generally passed on to the borrower.
    (If Any)
    FHA Upfront Premium More Info
    FHA Upfront Premium: A fee paid in cash at the close of escrow or more commonly it is financed into the loan. These premiums are pooled together by the FHA and are used to insure the risk of borrower default on FHA loans. FHA upfront premiums are prorated over a five year period, meaning should the homeowner refinance or sell during the first five years of the loan, they are entitled to a partial refund of the FHA upfront premium paid at loan inception.
    (If any)
    VA funding Fee (If any)
    Flood Fee
    Other Fees More Info

    Other fees could be either additional Administrative Fees that a lender charges or it could be a Flat Fee to cover all lender charges such as: (Origination Fees, Points, Underwriting and Processing Fees, Credit Reports and Tax Service Fees)

    The flat fee does not include prepaid items and third party costs such as appraisal fees, recording fees, prepaid interest, property & transfer taxes, homeowners insurance, borrower’s attorney’s fees, private mortgage insurance premiums (if applicable), survey costs, title insurance and related services.

    Total Lender Fees
    *Actual rates and other information may vary. Sponsored results shown only include participating lenders. The information you enter on this page will only be shared with lenders you choose to contact, either by calling the phone number or requesting a quote.
    Current Mortgage Rates as of December 11, 2018
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    Data provided by Informa Research Services. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment obligation will be greater if taxes and insurance are included. Click here for more information on rates and product details.
  • Sources

    Conforming loan limits:

About the author

Harry Jensen, Mortgage Expert

Harry is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. He is a mortgage expert with over 45 years of industry experience. Over his career, Harry has closed thousands of loans for satisfied borrowers and now offers his advice and insights on FREEandCLEAR. More about Harry


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