If you are planning to borrow $424,100 or less for a single-family home, you should be looking into a conforming conventional loan. Conventional conforming loans are not made by a government entity, like FHA and VA loans, but instead follow the guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These established guidelines usually call for a minimum credit score, certain income requirements, and a minimum down payment (generally between 3% and 20%).

Conventional home mortgage loans have either fixed or adjustable rates. A fixed-rate mortgage means that your monthly mortgage payment remains the same for the life of the loan, and typically has a term of 15 or 30 years. A shorter-term loan can often denote a lower interest rate. An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, fluctuates in relation to market index; therefore, monthly payments can increase or decrease accordingly.

Conventional loans generally have the most rapid qualifying process, as the guidelines are clear and concise. However, every conventional mortgage lender will review and verify a borrower’s credit, income and assets, along with an appraisal of the property.