Jumbo Loan

They are designed to finance luxury houses and residences in highly competitive local real estate markets

A jumbo loan (J.L.), often known as a jumbo mortgage, is a kind of financing that exceeds the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) lending restrictions. Unlike a standard mortgage, a J.L. is not insured or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

They are designed to finance luxury houses and residences in highly competitive local real estate markets and have particular underwriting criteria and tax consequences.

These mortgages are gaining popularity as the housing market recovers from the Great Recession.

Its value differs by state and even county. The FHFA determines the conforming loan limit size for each area every year. For most of the country, the cap for 2022 stands at $647,200.

It represents a $98,950 increase over the previous cap of $548,250 in 2021. The baseline limit for counties with more outstanding property prices is $970,800, or 150% of $647,200.

The FHFA has different requirements for places outside of the continental United States for loan limit calculations. As a result, the base maximum for a J.L. in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands is $970,800 as of 2022.

This figure might be significantly higher in counties with more incredible property prices.

How does this Loan Work

If you want to buy a property that costs half a million dollars or more and does not have that much money in the bank, you will probably need a jumbo mortgage.

And if you try to get one, you will have to meet far stricter credit standards than homeowners seeking a traditional loan.

property price

Because there are no guarantees from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, JLs pose a higher credit risk for the lender. It is also more dangerous because there is more money involved.

  • Debt-to-income ratio

Lenders will also consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to avoid getting overly indebted, but they may be more flexible if you have a large cash reserve. However, some lenders have a strict maximum of 45% DTI.

  • Cash reserves

If you have a large amount of cash in the bank, you are more likely to get accepted for a J.L. Lenders sometimes require their borrowers to demonstrate adequate financial reserves to cover one year of mortgage payments.

  • Documentation

You will need more proof to establish your financial health than you would for a conventional loan. Therefore, when applying, you should be prepared to provide your complete tax returns, W-2s, and 1099s, and bank records and details on any investment accounts.

  • Appraisals

A house appraisal is an opinion of a qualified or certified appraiser on a home's worth. The assessment bases itself on a review of previous sales of comparable properties in the area, an examination of the property, and the appraiser's professional judgment.

house appraisal

The mortgage lender requires an appraisal to determine the loan's risk. If the borrower fails, the property acts as the security. Thus the lender wants to ensure the loan is not too large compared to the property's worth.

According to HomeAdvisor, a digital marketplace for home services, a house assessment typically costs between $300 and $400, with a national average of $339. 

However, house appraisal quotations start at $600 in some areas, and prices might approach $1,000 for more extensive or complex homes.

Like conventional loans, minimum standards for J.L.s have become increasingly strict since 2008. It would help if you had a perfect credit score (700 or above) and a very low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to get authorized.

The DTI should be less than 43%, preferably closer to 36%. Despite being nonconforming mortgages, they must adhere to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) definition of a "qualified mortgage."


It is a lending system with standardized terms and restrictions, such as the 43% DTI.

You will need to show that you have enough cash on hand to afford your payments, which will most likely be extremely expensive if you choose a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Income levels and reserves vary according to the loan amount, but all applicants must provide 30 days of pay stubs and W2 tax forms dating back two years.

If self-employed, you must provide two years of tax returns and at least 60 days of recent bank statements.

To qualify, the borrower must also have demonstrable liquid assets and cash reserves equal to six months of mortgage payments.

Furthermore, all applicants must provide evidence for any previous loans and confirmation of ownership of non-liquid assets (like real estate).

Jumbo Loan Rates

While jumbo mortgages used to have higher interest rates than standard mortgages, the difference has narrowed recently.

Today, the average annual percentage rate (APR) for a jumbo mortgage is frequently on par with conventional mortgages, if not cheaper in some circumstances.

Wells Fargo, for example, charged an APR of 3.360% on a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan and 3.065% on a J.L. as of January 1, 2022.

There are current rates for all mortgage loan types:

Current rates for all mortgage loan types
Loan TypePurchaseRefinance
30-Year Fixed5.31%5.48%
FHA 30-Year Fixed5.18%5.67%
V.A. 30-Year Fixed5.05%5.74%
Jumbo 30-Year Fixed4.57%4.65%
20-Year Fixed5.00%5.29%
15-Year Fixed4.43%4.79%
Jumbo 15-Year Fixed4.57%4.65%
10-Year Fixed4.38%4.79%
10/1 ARM4.60%4.91%
10/6 ARM5.53%5.88%
7/1 ARM4.46%4.76%
Jumbo 7/1 ARM4.00%4.28%
7/6 ARM5.22%4.46%
Jumbo 7/6 ARM4.24%4.42%
5/1 ARM4.12%4.42%
Jumbo 5/1 ARM3.92%4.22%
5/6 ARM5.43%5.70%
Jumbo 5/6 ARM4.11%4.19%

Adjustable-rate mortgages fluctuate based on a benchmark rate for the duration of the mortgage term-usually every six months or a year. Fixed rates remain constant throughout the loan.

This spread, however, has been decreased by the interest rate on the loans themselves.

One of the essential factors for customers looking at home finance choices is the mortgage rate since the interest rate will impact the monthly payments and the total amount of interest paid throughout the life of the loan.

Down Payment

Fortunately, down payment requirements have been relaxed within the same period. Previously, jumbo mortgage lenders frequently demanded that house purchasers put down 30% of the purchase price (compared to 20% for conventional mortgages).

This number has declined to as low as 10% to 15%.

As with any mortgage, having a larger down payment can have several advantages, including avoiding the expense of the private mortgage insurance that lenders charge for down payments of less than 20%.

As a general guideline, you should anticipate making a down payment of at least 10% on your loan. However, some lenders may ask for a minimum down payment of 25% or even 30%.

While a 20% down payment is a decent starting point, it is always a good idea to consult with your lender about all of your alternatives.

The good news is that these statistics do not have to limit you. You are allowed to make a more significant down payment if you so choose.

A larger down payment will result in a smaller total loan and cheaper monthly mortgage payments.

But who needs this loan?


The amount you may eventually borrow depends on your assets, credit score, and the value of the property you want to buy.

These mortgages are deemed best suitable for a subset of high-income individuals earning between $250,000 and $500,000 per year. This group is known as HENRY, which stands for "high earners who are not yet rich."

Yet, these individuals typically earn money but do not have millions in excess cash or other assets amassed.

The HENRY segment may not have earned the riches to purchase a high-priced new house with cash.

Such high-income individuals typically have superior credit ratings and longer credit histories than ordinary homebuyers seeking a traditional mortgage loan of a lesser amount.

They are also more likely to have well-established retirement funds. As a result, they frequently have contributed for a longer length of time than lower-income individuals.

It will not provide a significant tax advantage. In addition, for new mortgage debt, the mortgage interest deduction is restricted to $750,000.

These types of people institutions love to sign up for long-term products, partially because they frequently require extra wealth management services. 

Furthermore, it is more feasible for a bank to manage a single $2 million mortgage than ten $200,000 loans.

Considerations When Applying


Just because you may be eligible for one of these loans does not imply you should take it out. For example, you should not if you expect it to provide you with significant tax savings.

You are undoubtedly aware that you can deduct the mortgage interest you paid in any given year from your taxes if you itemize your deductions.

But you probably never had to worry about the IRS's ceiling on this deduction, given its removal by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Anyone who obtained a mortgage before December 14, 2017, can deduct interest on up to $1 million in debt, which was the former limit.

However, after December 14, 2017, you may only deduct interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt.

You do not get the entire deduction if your mortgage is more outstanding. For example, suppose you want to take out a $2 million jumbo mortgage with an annual interest rate of $80,000.

In this case, you may only deduct $30,000-the interest on the first $750,000 of your mortgage. Only 37.5% of your mortgage interest is tax-deductible.

tax deductible

That means you should borrow carefully and thoroughly crunch the figures to determine what you can genuinely afford and what kind of tax benefits you will obtain.

A highly taxed property will also cost you extra to possess since the state, and local tax deduction is restricted to $10,000 per year owing to the same tax bill.

Another option is to compare conditions to determine whether taking out a smaller conforming loan with a second loan, rather than one sizable J.L., will be better for your finances in the long run.



Researched and authored by Jun Feng Zhan | LinkedIn

Edited by Aditya MurarkaLinkedIn

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