Conforming Loan Limits 2024

Conforming loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and can’t exceed FHFA loan limits ($766,550 in most areas). Nonconforming loans can be bigger but may cost more.
Barbara Marquand
By Barbara Marquand 
Edited by Alice Holbrook Reviewed by Michelle Blackford

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Conventional mortgages — home loans that aren't backed by the federal government — come in two basic types: conforming and nonconforming.

The main difference between the two is that conforming loans have maximum dollar limits and comply with certain underwriting rules while nonconforming loans can be bigger and stray outside the guidelines.

What is a conforming loan?

Conforming loans comply with mortgage loan limits set every year by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and underwriting guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that purchase mortgages. These behind-the-scenes companies provide a secondary market for mortgages, allowing lenders to package loans into investment bundles and sell them so they're able to lend again.

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Conforming loan limits 2024

The 2024 conforming loan limit for single-family homes is $766,550 in most areas, but it can be higher in some expensive housing markets. For example, conforming loans can top out at $1,149,825 in Alaska and Hawaii; in Washington, D.C.; and in some counties, such as San Francisco.

The conforming loan limit in 2023 is $726,200 for single-family homes for most counties and up to $1,089,300 in high-cost areas.

To get a conforming loan, you’ll want to shop for homes in a price range that will allow you to stay under the conforming loan limit in your area. Use the tool below to find out what that limit is.

2024 conforming loan limits by county

Conforming loan benefits

Conforming loans have some advantages over nonconforming loans. Conforming loans:

  • Are often easier to qualify for.

  • May have a lower mortgage interest rate.

  • May accept a lower down payment.

  • Can allow some wiggle room for the credit score needed to buy a home.

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What is a nonconforming loan?

A nonconforming loan is a mortgage that exceeds the FHFA conforming loan limits or is outside the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines. The terms and conditions of nonconforming mortgages can vary widely from lender to lender, but the mortgage rates are typically higher because the loans carry greater risk for a lender.

Jumbo loans

Jumbo loans are one type of nonconforming loan. They're used for properties that are more expensive than conforming loan limits. The criteria for getting a jumbo loan are stricter than the standards for a conforming loan.

Jumbo loans often have:

  • A minimum down payment requirement of 10% to 20% or more, although some lenders require less.

  • Tighter credit-qualifying criteria with more scrutiny of your credit profile and income.

  • Higher mortgage interest rates.

Other nonconforming loans

Mortgage size is just one reason a loan may be nonconforming. Other factors can lead to the nonconforming loan label, including loans offering:

  • Flexibility for those with credit issues, a low credit score or a large amount of debt in relation to income (a high debt-to-income ratio).

  • A down payment of less than 20% of the home’s value, which affects your loan-to-value ratio.

  • Special features for self-employed borrowers or new graduates of professional programs.

  • Interest-only payments.

One important note: A lower down payment doesn’t always result in a nonconforming loan. In fact, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have 97% loan-to-value mortgage products. With these loans, you can make a 3% down payment and still get a conforming loan.

If you can’t qualify for a conforming mortgage, you might want to apply for an FHA loan. The Federal Housing Administration helps potential homeowners qualify for a mortgage by guaranteeing the loan.

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