Jumbo vs. Conventional Mortgages: What's the Difference?

By  STEVEN RICHMOND Updated February 06, 2022 Reviewed by  ANDY SMITH Fact checked by  AMANDA JACKSON

Jumbo vs. Conventional Mortgages: An Overview

Jumbo mortgages and conventional mortgages are two types of financing borrowers use to purchase homes. Both loans require homeowners to meet certain eligibility requirements including minimum credit scores, income thresholds, repayment ability, and down payments. Both are also mortgages issued and underwritten by lenders in the private sector, as opposed to government agencies like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS).

Though they may serve the same purpose—to secure a property—these two mortgage products have several key differences. Jumbo mortgages are used to purchase properties with steep price tags—often those that run into the millions of dollars. Conventional mortgages, on the other hand, are smaller and more in line with the needs of the average homebuyer. They also may be purchased by a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.


Jumbo and conventional mortgages are two types of private loans borrowers use to secure properties.

A conventional mortgage usually falls within a certain size, as set by the FHFA annually, and adheres to certain government guidelines.

A jumbo mortgage is in excess of FHFA standards, typically starting around $650,000, and cannot be backed by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.1

Jumbo mortgages tend to have more stringent requirements for borrowers than conventional loans do.2

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