Conventional loans are secured by government sponsored entities or GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Conventional loans can be made to purchase or refinance homes with first and second mortgages on single family to four family homes.
In general, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's single family, first mortgage loan limit is $726,200. This limit is reviewed annually and, if needed, changed to reflect changes in the national average price for single family homes.
Loans which are larger than the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are called jumbo loans. Because jumbo loans are not funded by these government sponsored entities, they usually carry a higher interest rate and some additional underwriting requirements.
In addition to common loan structures such as fixed rate, adjustable rate and balloon loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have loan programs for low to no down payments, community lending and affordable housing initiatives.