Types of conventional loans for homebuyers


Mortgage brokers sell a wide range of products, including old, tired and boring classics. A bank may also make a conventional loan, but a bank’s product line is generally limited and unique to that bank. A mortgage broker can negotiate loans with any number of banks.

Many types of exotic loans disappeared after the collapse of the 2007 mortgage, but conventional loans were still there and, in fact, they regained a dominant position in real estate markets. Conventional loans have a reputation for being safe and there is a wide variety of choices.

How conventional loans are different

How conventional loans are different

The main difference between a conventional loan and other types of mortgages is that a conventional loan is not contracted or insured by a government entity. They are also sometimes called non-GSE loans – not a government-sponsored entity.

Conventional loans are not particularly generous or creative with respect to credit default, loan-to-value ratios or payments. There is usually not much room for qualification. They are what they are.

Government loans include FHA and VA loans. An FHA loan is provided by the government and a VA loan is supported by the government. Down payment requirements are much more favorable to buyers. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5%. The minimum down payment may be zero for VA loans to eligible veterans.

Conventional “portfolio” loans

Conventional "portfolio" loans

This is a subset of conventional loans held directly by mortgage lenders. They are not sold to investors like other conventional loans. Lenders can therefore set their own rules for these mortgages, which can sometimes make it easier for borrowers.

Conventional subprime loans

Conventional subprime loans

Mortgage lenders, like other industries, offer a special type of loan to borrowers with impaired or even poor credit. The government sets guidelines for marketing these “sub-prime” loans, but this is the beginning and end of any government involvement. These are also conventional loans and the interest rates and associated fees are often quite high.

Conventional loans amortized

Conventional loans amortized

Homebuyers can borrow a conventional loan from a bank, a savings or credit union, a credit union or even through a mortgage broker who finances their own loans. or have them followed by brokers. Two important factors are the loan term and the loan-to-value ratio:

  • LTV of 97% with a common term of 30 years (or 20, 15 or 10 years)
  • LTV 95% with a common term of 30 years (or 20, 15 or 10)
  • LTV at 90% with a common term of 30 years (or 20, 15 or 10)
  • LTV 85 percent with a common term of 30 years (or 20, 15 or 10)
  • LTV 80% with a common term of 30 years (or 20, 15 or 10)

The loan-to-value ratio indicates how much the loan represents for the value of the property. A $ 200,000 mortgage on a property valued at $ 250,000 corresponds to an LTV of 80%: the mortgage loan of $ 200,000 divided by the value of $ 250,000.

The LTV may be less than 80%, but lenders require that borrowers pay private mortgage insurance when the LTV is greater than 80%. Some conventional loan products allow the lender to pay private mortgage insurance, but this is rare.

The loan term may be longer or shorter, depending on the credentials of the borrower. For example, a borrower could be eligible for a 40-year term, which would significantly reduce payments. A 20-year loan would increase payments.

For example, a $ 200,000 6% loan payable over 20 years would pay $ 1,432.86 per month, while a $ 200,000 6% loan payable over 30 years would result in a payment of $ 1,199.10. per month. A loan of 200,000 USD at 6% payable over 40 years would give a payment of 1,100.43 USD per month.

A fully amortized conventional loan is a mortgage in which the same amount of principal and interest are paid each month, from the beginning to the end of the loan. The last installment bears the full repayment of the loan. There is no balloon payment.

Compliant loans – those that comply with the GSE guidelines – are limited to € 453,100 as of 2018. This number can be adjusted annually. A minimum credit score for a good interest rate is usually higher than that required for FHA loans.

Loan limits in excess of € 453,100 are considered agency loans and are sometimes referred to as non-conforming loans. Some are jumbo loans and interest rates are generally higher here, too.

Adjustable conventional loans

Adjustable conventional loans

Some loans are fixed for a certain period and then become adjustable rate loans. For example, a 3/1 ARM over 30 years is set for three years, then it starts to adjust for the remaining 27 years. A 5/1 arm is attached for the first five years. A 7/1 arm is fixed for seven years before starting to adjust.

Characteristics of an adjustable conventional loan

Characteristics of an adjustable conventional loan

Many borrowers fear conventional variable rate loans. They prefer to stick to traditional amortized loans, so there are no surprises with respect to mortgage payments that will expire. But an adjustable rate mortgage could be the solution to help the first years of payment of borrowers whose income should increase.

The initial interest rate is generally lower than the rate of a fixed rate loan and there is usually a maximum, called the capitalization rate, on the ability of the loan to adjust over its life. The interest rate is determined by adding a margin rate to the index rate. Adjustment periods may be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

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