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A Jumbo mortgage is a home loan that’s too big for your lender to sell it to government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That contributes to making Jumbo loans riskier for your lender, and as a result they typically carry higher mortgage interest rates, require higher down payments and have stricter qualifying criteria.
A Jumbo mortgage is any loan amount above the national conforming loan limit, which is $424,100 in 2017 for most areas, but can be more in some high-cost markets. For example, conforming loans can top out at $636,150 in Alaska, Washington, D.C., and metro areas in other high-demand housing markets. Limits are even higher in some cities in California and Hawaii.
You should consider a Jumbo mortgage if you’re purchasing a high-priced home and are in a position to qualify for the more stringent requirements they carry, including a high credit score, strong credit history and usually a 20% down payment.
Jumbo mortgage rates are higher, so if you can decrease your mortgage loan size to qualify for a conforming loan, you should consider doing that.