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What’s a Jumbo Mortgage? Finance your property in a extremely aggressive market

After years of building an excellent credit history, you may have decided that you are finally ready to invest in this vacation home, but you still don't have enough in the bank for this eye-catching property. You may want to start your investment journey early so you don't have to spend years increasing the savings of your life.

When an aspiring luxury homeowner cannot adequately invest in a property with a standard mortgage loan, there is an alternative form of financing: a jumbo mortgage. This mortgage allows people with strong financial histories who may not necessarily be a billionaire to get into the luxury real estate market. But what is a jumbo mortgage (commonly known as a jumbo loan) and how exactly does it work?

Jumbo Loan Definition

A jumbo loan is a mortgage loan that is worth more than the maximum amount of a traditional compliant loan. This threshold is set by government sponsored companies (GSE) such as Fannie Mae (FHMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC). Jumbo loans are for high quality real estate such as villas, luxury apartments, and houses in high income areas. Because jumbo credit limits are above GSE standards, they are not guaranteed or guaranteed by the government. As a result, jumbo loans are riskier than compliant mortgage loans for borrowers.

Jumbo loans are designed for those who earn a high salary but are not necessarily "rich" yet. Lenders typically value this particular group because they typically have a solid wealth management history and make better use of financial services to ensure lower risk for the private investor.

Because of the uncertainty of a jumbo loan, borrowers must have a comprehensive, secure credit history and undergo a more careful screening process if they want to take out a jumbo loan. While jumbo loans can be useful for those without millions in savings, prospective borrowers are still required to present adequate income documentation and an upfront payment from their cash.

Jumbo loans, like conforming loans, are available at fixed or adjustable interest rates. The interest rates on jumbo loans are traditionally much higher than those on compliant mortgage loans. This has slowly shifted in recent years, with some jumbo lending rates even matching or falling below conforming lending rates. For example, Bank of America's 2021 estimates for a 5/1 jumbo floating rate loan were the same rate for a 5/1 floating rate loan.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has set the new base limit on a compliant loan for 2021 at $ 548,250, an increase of nearly $ 40,000 since 2020. This new compliant credit limit sets the new minimum jumbo loan limit for 2021 for the majority out of the United States. As the FHFA adjusts its estimates for the median house value in the US, these limits are adjusted proportionally and apply to most counties in the US.

Certain US states and territories maintain jumbo credit limits that are even higher than the FHFA baseline because the median house values ​​are higher than the baseline-compliant credit limits. In states like Alaska and Hawaii, areas like Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and counties in select states, the minimum jumbo loan limit is $ 822,375, which is 150 percent of the rest of the country's loan limit.

Ultimately, your jumbo credit limits and interest rates will depend on property values ​​and the competitiveness of the property market in the area you are looking to invest in.

Jumbo Loan vs. Compliant Loan: Pros and Cons

The biggest question you might be asking yourself is, "Do the risks of a jumbo loan outweigh the benefits?" While jumbo loans can be a useful resource for home financing, sometimes it makes more sense to seek out a property that is covered by a compliant loan instead. Here are some pros and cons of jumbo loans that could make your decision easier.

Solid investment strategy: Jumbo loans give the investor a solid start in the luxury real estate market that can serve as a beneficial asset over the long term.
Escape the GSE restrictions: The jumbo credit limits are designed to exceed those set by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, allowing borrowers to be more flexible about restrictions they would deal with under a compliant loan.
Diversity in installments (Fixed, Adjustable, etc): While Jumbo Lending Rates differ from conforming lending rates in many ways, they still offer similar options for the rates you want. Both offer 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed, 5/1 adjustable, and numerous other options for pricing.


Usually higher interest rates: Although jumbo loans are known for their higher interest rates, the discrepancies between them and the corresponding loan rates are narrowing year by year.
More careful approval process: To get a jumbo loan, you must have a near airtight financial history, including good credit history and a good debt to income ratio.
Higher initial deposit: Even though jumbo loans exist for those who cannot finance a luxury home from savings alone, they still require a higher advance than a compliant loan.

Jumbo Loan vs. Conforming Loan - Pros and Cons

How To Qualify For A Jumbo Loan

As mentioned earlier, jumbo loans charge a lot more from you in the application process than a compliant loan.

First and foremost, most jumbo lenders require a FICO credit score of around 700 or higher, depending on the lender. This way, your lender will ensure that your financial track record is stable and trustworthy and that you have not received any late or missed payments in the past.

In addition to the amount of cash you have in the bank, jumbo lenders will also look for full documentation of your source (s) of income. This can include tax returns, pay slips, bank statements, and secondary income records. By requesting full documentation, lenders can determine whether you will be able to make a sufficient down payment on your mortgage and the likelihood that you will be able to make your payments on time. Usually, lenders need enough cash to make a down payment of around 20 percent.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, lenders also require that you have maintained low debt relative to your gross monthly income. A low debt-to-income ratio, combined with a high credit score and ample wealth, will put you on your way to getting that jumbo loan secured in no time.

In addition, you will also likely need to get an appraisal to check the value of the property you want to make sure the property is rated high enough that you actually qualify for a jumbo loan.

The central theses:

Jumbo loans offer a solid alternative to those with a stable financial history who want to invest in luxury real estate but don't have enough in the bank.
A jumbo loan is considered any amount that exceeds the FHFA's underlying loan limit: $ 548,250 in 2021.
Jumbo loan rates tend to be higher than compliant loans, although the gap between the two has started to close over the past decade.
In order to receive a jumbo loan, strict financial criteria must be met, including a high credit score, low DTI, and the ability to make a substantial down payment.

It is important for any financially responsible person to maintain this responsibility with every investment. Any decision made should be considered carefully and you should consider any future implications.

While jumbo loans can be a valuable stepping stone to competitive real estate success, always make sure your income and budget are in a safe position before making any investment decisions. You always want to be realistic and if you're not interested in saving another few years or funding through a compliant loan, a jumbo loan might be for you!

swell: Investopedia | Bank of America | Federal Office for Housing Financing

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