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What is a Jumbo Loan?

O. Wallace
O. Wallace

The housing bubble that has been driving up prices across the country has left house buyers looking for alternative ways to finance their dream home. Unfortunately, many starter homes in certain areas of the country have prices that leave buyers in sticker shock. Many of these buyers find that jumbo loans are the only way they can finance a new home. A jumbo loan, also known as a non-conforming loan, is a residential or commercial mortgage loan that does not conform to the guidelines set by Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) or Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). Basically, it is a loan that exceeds the limit and guidelines that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac require for loans they are willing to purchase from mortgage originators.

The new conforming loan limits are set every January, and the amounts for a jumbo loan are determined based on those limits. Effective January 1st, 2006, the conforming loan limits are as follows: for houses in the contiguous United States, the maximum loan limit for a single family residence is $417,000. For a two unit property, the maximum loan amount is $533,850. A three unit property loan limit is $645,300 and a four unit loan limit is $801,950. In Alaska and Hawaii, the maximum loan limit for a single unit is $625,000; a two unit, $800,775; a three unit, $967,775; and a four unit, $1,202,925.

The jumbo loan limit is $417,000 for a single family home.
The jumbo loan limit is $417,000 for a single family home.

As if a jumbo loan wasn't big enough, the designation of super-jumbo loan has been applied to loans over US$650,000. Due to the higher risk associated with these large loans, a jumbo loan usually has a higher interest rate than conforming loans do. One way lenders get around the higher rates is by breaking up the jumbo loan into two separate loans. The advantage of the jumbo loan is that it enables a buyer to finance a primary residence, vacation home, or investment property in markets with high prices. The primary disadvantage of a jumbo loan is the higher interest rate associated with it.

Discussion Comments


but with good credit and a good down, you can get a jumbo for less than 400.000.


that's what I'm wandering,#1 and do you need good credit and proof of income?


Yes, a jumbo loan can consolidate other debts but they are hard to find for consolidation purposes. You need good sources for jumbo loan some have it and some will say it doesn't exist. They just don't have the resources


It is true super jumbo loans are over $650,000 but some areas consider a super jumbo loan to be over $1,000,000.


Can a jumbo loan be used as to consolidate a current 1st mortgage, 2nd mortgage and credit card debt if the amount is more than the current value of the home?

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    • The jumbo loan limit is $417,000 for a single family home.
      By: Diseñador
      The jumbo loan limit is $417,000 for a single family home.