Top 20 Conventional Mortgage Questions and Answers

1. What is a Conventional Mortgage?

A conventional mortgage is a home loan not insured by the federal government, in contrast to FHA, VA, and USDA loans. These mortgages are available through private lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies.  Click here to see if you qualify.

2. Who Qualifies for a Conventional Mortgage?

Borrowers with good credit scores, a stable income, and a down payment typically qualify for a conventional mortgage. Generally, a credit score of 620 or higher is recommended.  Click here to see if you qualify.

3. What are the Benefits of a Conventional Mortgage?

Conventional loans offer flexibility in terms and conditions, such as adjustable or fixed rates and various loan periods. They can also eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) with a 20% down payment.  Click here to see if you qualify.

4. How Much Down Payment is Required?

The minimum down payment for a conventional loan is typically 3% for first-time buyers and 5% for repeat buyers, but a 20% down payment can eliminate the need for PMI.  Click here to see if you qualify.

5. Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Required?

PMI is required on conventional mortgages with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. It can be removed once equity reaches 20%.

6. What is the Maximum Loan Amount for a Conventional Mortgage?

The maximum loan amount for a conventional mortgage is set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and can vary by county. Maximum Baseline Loan Amount for 2024 1 unit $766,550, 2 unit $981,500, 3 unit $1,186,350, 4 unit $1,474,400.  For high-cost areas the Maximum Ceiling for Loan Limits in High-Cost Areas for 2024 are 1 unit $1,149,825, 2 unit $1,472,250, 3 unit $1,779,525, 4 unit $2,211,600.  Click here to see if you qualify.

7. Can I Use a Conventional Loan to Buy an Investment Property?

Yes, conventional loans can be used to purchase investment properties, second homes, and primary residences.  Click here to see if you qualify.

8. What Types of Properties are Eligible for Conventional Loans?

Eligible properties include single-family homes, multi-unit properties, condos, and planned unit developments (PUDs).  Click here to see if you qualify.

9. How Does My Credit Score Affect My Conventional Loan?

Your credit score influences your interest rate and loan terms. Higher scores generally qualify for better rates.  Click here to see if you qualify.

10. Are There Income Limits for Conventional Loans?

Unlike some government-insured loans, conventional loans do not have set income limits. However, lenders will consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to ensure you can afford the monthly payments.  Click here to see if you qualify.

11. Can I Refinance My Mortgage with a Conventional Loan?

Yes, homeowners can refinance their existing mortgage into a conventional loan, potentially to secure a lower interest rate or change their loan terms.  

12. What are the Interest Rates for Conventional Loans?

Interest rates for conventional loans vary based on the market, the lender, your credit score, down payment, and other factors. Click here to see if you qualify.

13. How Long Does the Loan Process Take?

The conventional loan process can take from 10 to 30 days, depending on the lender’s requirements, the borrower’s responsiveness, and the complexity of the loan.

14. Can I Get a Conventional Loan with a Low Credit Score?

While possible, securing a conventional loan with a low credit score can be challenging and may result in higher interest rates or additional requirements.  Click here to see if you qualify.

15. What Are Closing Costs Like for Conventional Loans?

Closing costs vary but typically range from 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price, covering fees for the lender, title insurance, appraisals, and more.  Click here to see if you qualify.

16. How Do I Apply for a Conventional Loan?

Begin by comparing lenders to find the best rates and terms. Then, gather necessary financial documents and apply through our website.  Click here to see if you qualify.

17. Can I Pay Off My Loan Early?

Yes, most conventional loans do not have prepayment penalties, allowing you to pay off your loan early without extra fees.

18. What is the Difference Between Conforming and Non-Conforming Loans?

Conforming loans adhere to the loan limits and guidelines set by the FHFA, while non-conforming loans, such as jumbo loans, exceed these limits.

19. Can First-Time Home Buyers Get Conventional Loans?

Absolutely. First-time home buyers often choose conventional loans for their low-down payment options and flexibility in terms and conditions.  Click here to see if you qualify.

20. What Happens if I Default on a Conventional Loan?

Defaulting on a conventional loan can lead to foreclosure, impacting your credit score and ability to purchase a