Conventional loans can be conforming or nonconforming. Loans above the lending limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are called nonconforming or jumbo loans. Most conventional mortgages have either fixed or adjustable interest rates. Typical fixed interest rate loans have a term of 15 or 30 years. As a rule of thumb, they tend to be less forgiving on credit than government loans.

These days, conventional mortgages (whether conforming or not) typically have higher down payment and as mentioned, higher credit score requirements than government loans, and if the LTV exceeds 80 percent on a conventional loan, private mortgage insurance is required by the mortgage lender.

While debt ratios are more conservative on conventional loans, they can also require less than paperwork, making it easier for the self-employed in some cases. To find out specifics to your scenario, please consult with our loan specialists.

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