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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 (although that norm has been turned on its head at times in the odd mortgage market of 2022 and 2023). Jumbo mortgages 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 2023.
|Jumbo mortgage lender||Bankrate rating||Minimum credit score||Minimum down payment|
|Chase Home Lending||4.7/5||680||10%|
|Alliant Credit Union||4.3/5||720||10%|
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).
|Why we chose Guaranteed Rate:||Guaranteed Rate has ranked as a top three mortgage lender by Scotsman Guide, and it gets high marks from J.D. Power.|
|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|
|Nationwide availability:||Available in all 50 states|
|Link to full review:||Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Review 2023|
Chase Home Lending
|Why we chose Chase Home Lending:||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, FHA, VA|
|Credit requirements:||620 for conventional loans; 680 for jumbo loans; 640 for FHA loans and VA loans|
|Nationwide availability:||Available nationwide|
|Link to full review:||Chase Home Lending Mortgage Review 2023|
|Why we chose Ally Bank:||Ally Bank offers jumbo loans with competitive interest rates, minus lender fees.|
|Loan products:||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo|
|Credit requirements:||620 for conventional loans; 700 for jumbo loans|
|Nationwide availability:||Available in all states|
|Link to full review:||Ally Bank Mortgage Review 2023|
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
|Why we chose Wells Fargo:||Wells Fargo’s dedicated Private Mortgage Banking sales team serves borrowers seeking jumbo loans or another type of mortgage. This giant has taken reputational hits, but J.D. Power ranks it above average in customer satisfaction.|
|Loan products:||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, construction and renovation loans, investment property|
|Credit requirements:||620 for conventional loans|
|Nationwide availability:||All states – but you’ll need a Wells Fargo account|
|Link to full review:||Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Review 2023|
Alliant Credit Union
|Why we chose Alliant Credit Union:||Homebuyers can get up to $6,500 from the lender if they work with a real estate agent in the Alliant network.|
|Loan products:||Purchase and refinance; conventional, jumbo, HELOC|
|Credit requirements:||720 for jumbo loans|
|Nationwide availability:||Available in all states|
|Link to full review:||Alliant Credit Union Mortgage Review 2023|
How to find the best jumbo loan lender for you
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.
Next steps 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.
Depending on the mortgage lender, 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 reassure the lender of your ability to repay. The DTI ratio for conforming loans usually maxes out at 50 percent; for a jumbo loan, it can be as low as 38 percent to 43 percent.
Frequently asked questions about jumbo loans
A jumbo loan is a mortgage for an amount that exceeds the limits set by the FHFA on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored agencies that buy most U.S. home loans and package them for investors. For 2023, the limit for conforming loans in much of the country is $726,200. However, the loan limits are higher, $1,089,300, in more expensive areas. Borrow more than those amounts, and you’ll need a jumbo loan.So, if you’re buying a mansion — or just a regular home in a high-priced area like Silicon Valley — you might need a jumbo loan.
Actually, most jumbo loans are conventional loans. A conventional loan is a mortgage that’s not guaranteed or insured by the government.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.Jumbo loans historically charge higher interest rates than conforming loans — generally 0.25 percent to 1 percent higher. But in 2022, that trend reversed. As of mid-2023, jumbo loan rates are just about the same as — or even lower than — rates on conforming conventional loans.
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. The 2023 jumbo loan limits vary by state.