If you’re looking to buy a home, choosing the right mortgage lender can save you money. That’s especially true if you’re planning on taking out a larger jumbo loan. Jumbo mortgages typically come with higher interest rates than conforming loans, and also have stricter eligibility requirements, so it’s crucial to compare lenders and shop around to get the best deal.
To help you get started in your search, here is our guide to the best jumbo mortgage lenders in 2022.
To determine the best jumbo mortgage lenders, Bankrate evaluated lenders based on several criteria, including accessibility; cost (competitive jumbo loan rates and low or no fees); expediency (approval and closing times); and borrower experience (including customer support).
Best jumbo mortgage lenders
|Loan products||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, interest-only|
|Credit requirements||620 for conventional loans and FHA loans; 580 for VA loans|
|Highlight||Guaranteed Rate has ranked as a top three mortgage lender by Scotsman Guide.|
Chase Home Lending
|Loan products||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA|
|Credit requirements||620 for conventional loans; 680 for jumbo loans; 640 for FHA loans and VA loans|
|Highlight||Chase Home Lending offers jumbo loans of up to $3 million to qualified borrowers, but you’ll need a down payment of at least 20 percent (potentially more).|
|Loan products||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo|
|Credit requirements||620 for conventional loans; 700 for jumbo loans|
|Highlight||Ally Bank offers jumbo loans with competitive interest rates, minus lender fees.|
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
|Loan products||Purchase and refinance; conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, construction and renovation loans, investment property|
|Credit requirements||620 for conventional loans|
|Highlight||Wells Fargo’s dedicated Private Mortgage Banking sales team serves borrowers seeking jumbo loans or another type of mortgage.|
Alliant Credit Union
|Loan products||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo, HELOC|
|Highlight||Homebuyers can get up to $6,500 from the lender if they work with a real estate agent in the Alliant network.|
Jumbo loan vs. conventional loan
A conventional loan is a mortgage that’s not guaranteed or insured by the government. As such, most jumbo loans are conventional loans.
However, conventional loans can be either conforming or nonconforming, which is where the difference lies when comparing jumbo loans to conventional ones. Conforming loans are required to meet loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For most of the U.S. in 2022, that limit is $647,200, but if you live in a high-cost area, it increases to $970,800. Nonconforming loans — jumbo loans — exceed these limits.
Jumbo loans also typically charge higher interest rates than conforming loans — generally 0.25 percent to 1 percent higher.
What are the requirements for a jumbo loan?
Because you’re borrowing an amount that’s greater than what’s acceptable for a conforming loan, jumbo loans typically have stricter eligibility requirements. For example, credit score requirements can be much higher, and while a 20 percent down payment is often recommended for a conforming loan, it can actually be a requirement for a jumbo loan.
In some cases, you might be able to get a jumbo loan with a lower down payment — sometimes 10 percent — but it could come with the added expense of mortgage insurance premiums to compensate.
Each mortgage lender has a different set of criteria, so it’s important to shop around and compare loan terms and eligibility requirements to find the best fit for you.
What is the minimum credit score for a jumbo loan?
It depends on the mortgage lender, but the minimum credit score for a jumbo loan is generally 700 or higher. One major exception is a VA jumbo loan, which you might be able to get with a credit score in the mid- or even low-600s.
In addition to your credit score, lenders will also review your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. It’s important to have a low DTI ratio, but even more so for a jumbo loan, in order to ensure your ability to repay. The DTI ratio for conforming loans is usually a maximum of 50 percent, but for a jumbo loan, it can be 38 percent to 43 percent.
How to choose the best jumbo loan lender
Before you start comparing mortgage lenders, it’s important to make sure your finances and credit file are in good standing. Regardless of what lenders have to offer, you’ll get the best loan terms if your credit score is high, your DTI ratio is low, and you have a large down payment.
As you shop around, apply with multiple jumbo loan lenders to get quotes on interest rates and closing costs. You might even consider working with a mortgage broker who can help you with this process.
With the rates and closing costs laid out side by side, you’ll be able to choose the best lender based on what they have to offer. You might also be able to use this information to negotiate with lenders to cut their rates or costs to a more favorable level.
Take your time with this process, because even a small decrease in your interest rate could save you tens of thousands of dollars, especially when you’re borrowing such a large sum of money.
How to apply for a jumbo loan
The process of applying for a jumbo loan is the same as a traditional mortgage loan. Start by submitting applications to at least three to five lenders that offer jumbo loans. You’ll need to submit documentation about your financial situation, which the lenders will then use to determine whether you qualify for a loan and what the terms will be.
Summary: Best jumbo mortgage lenders
With additional reporting by Allison Martin