A conventional mortgage or conventional loan is any type of home buyer’s loan that is not offered or secured by a government entity, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the USDA Rural Housing Service, but instead is available through or guaranteed by a private lender (banks, credit unions, mortgage companies) or the two government-sponsored enterprises, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
Conventional mortgage borrowers typically make larger down payments than FHA borrowers, and they tend to have a more secure financial standing and are less likely to default. A larger down payment means lower monthly payments. Plus, with the ever-increasing mortgage insurance premiums on FHA loans, payments for conventional loans that don’t require private mortgage insurance can be much more manageable in comparison.
In addition, with a conventional loan, you can cancel your mortgage insurance when the principal loan balance drops to 78% of the home’s value. FHA loans charge mortgage insurance premiums for the life of the loan.
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