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A conforming loan, also referred to as a conventional mortgage, is one that meets certain underwriting guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum size of a conforming loan is currently $417,000. Conforming loans are attractive to borrowers because they usually offer lower interest rates. Since this loan is not government insured, it does not require any upfront mortgage insurance and does not require monthly mortgage insurance if the down payment is 20% or greater. At the end of the 2014 year, the minimum down payment for Fannie Mae conventional loans was reduced to 3% giving first time homebuyers a great opportunity for homeownership.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines establish the maximum loan amount, borrower credit and income requirements, down payment, and suitable properties. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announce new loan limits every year.
For every county and county-equivalent in the country, maximum loan limits for mortgages can be found at: Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)