A conventional mortgage/conventional loan is any type of mortgage 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 rather available through a private lender, such as a bank, credit union, mortgage company, or the two government-sponsored enterprises, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
Currently, conventional mortgages comprise about two-thirds of the homeowner’s loans issued in the U.S. The secondary market for conventional mortgages is very large and liquid. Most conventional mortgages are packaged into pass-through mortgage-backed securities, which trade in a well-established forward market known as the mortgage TBA (to be announced) market. Most of these conventional pass-through securities are further secured into collateralized mortgage obligations, or CMOs.
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