A conventional loan is any loan other than a government insured loan (FHA or VA). These can be both conforming (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) or Jumbo loans. Jumbo loans are also known as "portfolio" loans. These loans are made according to the investor's specific guidelines and are typically offered to borrowers that are seeking loan amounts that exceed conforming limits.
Conforming loans are offered according to guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because of the "conformity" of these guidelines and their universal appeal, they are typically better-priced loans with lower interest rates. Most lenders offer conforming loan options that appeal to a wide variety of borrowers.
As little as 3% down payment with conforming loan amounts
Conforming (within county loan limits) follow Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae Guidelines
Jumbo (above county loan limits) follow Portfolio guidelines
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