Are you planning to buy a luxurious house in Arkansas or a home in an expensive market this year? If so, you might be wondering what a jumbo loan is and if it’s right for you. Whether your sights are set on a home in Little Rock or sprawling land in Fayetteville, join us as we break down what a jumbo loan is in Arkansas, the 2023 conforming loan limits, and what’s needed to qualify for this type of loan.
What is a jumbo loan?
A jumbo loan in Arkansas is a type of mortgage that enables homebuyers to borrow more than the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for conforming loans. The conforming loan limit is the maximum amount of money that a lender will provide to borrowers at a specific interest rate and is established each year. Jumbo loans are necessary for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-value property, such as a luxury home, that exceeds the conforming loan limit.
If you need to borrow more than the conforming loan limit, you’ll need a jumbo loan. Arkansas jumbo loans allow you to borrow more money to buy a more expensive home, but they also come with higher interest rates and stricter requirements than conventional loans.
What is the jumbo loan limit in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, the conforming loan limit is $726,200 across all counties. For example, the conforming loan limit in Pulaski County is $726,200, so if the loan amount needed is even $726,201, it’s considered a jumbo loan.
Keep in mind that the loan amount is what determines whether or not you’ll need a jumbo loan, not the home price. So, if you were to put $50,000 down on a $750,000 home in Pulaski County, the mortgage would be $700,000, which is under the conforming loan limit for this area. In this case, your loan wouldn’t be considered a jumbo loan.
This FHFA map will give you more specific information related to the conforming loan limits in your county.
What are the requirements for a jumbo loan in Arkansas?
To qualify for a jumbo loan in Arkansas, borrowers must meet stricter requirements than they would for a conforming loan. Each lender may have different requirements or processes, but below are the typical requirements for borrowers seeking a jumbo loan.
Higher credit score: In order to be eligible for a jumbo mortgage, lenders generally expect homebuyers to have a credit score of at least 720. While some lenders may consider a score as low as 660, a credit score of less than that is typically not accepted.
Larger down payment: Purchasing a high-priced home typically requires a larger down payment from the buyer. Conforming loans may offer programs for down payments as low as 3%- 5%, but jumbo loans require a minimum down payment of 10%, with some lenders requiring up to 30%. If the homebuyer puts down less than 20%, they will likely need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
More assets: To qualify for a jumbo loan, lenders require borrowers to demonstrate that they have sufficient liquid assets or savings to cover at least one year of loan payments. The exact amount of assets needed can vary depending on the lender and the size of the loan, but having more assets can increase the chances of approval and potentially lead to better terms and interest rates.
Lower debt-to-income ratio (DTI): Mortgage lenders typically require a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of under 43% for jumbo loan borrowers, although a DTI closer to 36% is preferred. This ratio is calculated by dividing the sum of all monthly debt payments by the borrower’s gross monthly income. A lower DTI indicates a stronger ability to repay the loan and can help applicants secure more favorable terms and rates. It’s important for Arkansas borrowers seeking a jumbo mortgage to have a clear understanding of their DTI and take steps to improve it if necessary.
Additional home appraisals: Your mortgage lender may require a second home appraisal as an extra layer of protection when it comes to jumbo loans. The second appraisal serves as an additional opinion to ensure the property’s value aligns with the loan amount. In places with limited comparable property sales, this supplementary appraisal may cost more than in neighborhoods with more frequent sales.