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2021 Conforming Loan Limits in Pennsylvania by County

Picture of Fannie Mae signWithout getting into a long narrative about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, think of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a banker's, bank.  So here's what all this means.  You go to your bank and apply for a mortgage and the mortgage is NOT an FHA or a veteran's loan (VA). The bank puts you through the grinder and you finally close. Now, behind the scenes, the bank sells your mortgage to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and earns a commission.

But . . . Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will only buy mortgages UP TO a certain amount (see below).  You'll notice that most Pennsylvania counties have a mortgage limit of $510,400  for a single family home or condominium, however, there are some exceptions.

And, you'll notice that the maximum loan amount increases with the number of units. Two-Family is a duplex, Three Family is a triplex and of course a 4-unit building. Loans ABOVE these mortgage limits are called JUMBO LOANS. A jumbo loan cannot be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, so the bank has to keep the loan on their books. The interest rates are always higher on jumbo loans because the bank is on the hook if there's a foreclosure. The higher the risk, the higher the rate. Too many bad loans can bring down a bank . . .  or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Now you may be wondering, if my mortgage is sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, why don't I make my mortgage payment to Fannie or Freddie? Keeping track of millions of mortgages would be overwhelming. Can you image opening up a million envelopes? So Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contracts with the banks (or servicing companies) to collect your mortgage payment every month, pay the property taxes and homeowner's insurance; and for their efforts, the bank takes a little something out of the mortgage payment every month and remits the balance to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. So where does a mortgage broker fit in?

Think of a mortgage broker as a sub-contractor to the bank. The mortgage broker originates your mortgage and passes it over to a bank for a commission.

2021 Conforming (conventional) loan limits for Pennsylvania

PA CountyOne Family2 units3 units4 units
Adams County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Allegheny County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Armstrong County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Beaver County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Bedford County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Berks County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Blair County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Bradford County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Bucks County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Butler County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Cambria County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Cameron County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Carbon County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Centre County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Chester County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Clarion County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Clearfield County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Clinton County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Columbia County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Crawford County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Cumberland County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Dauphin County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Delaware County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Elk County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Erie County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Fayette County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Forest County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Franklin County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Fulton County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Greene County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Huntingdon County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Indiana County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Jefferson County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Juniata County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Lackawanna County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Lancaster County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Lawrence County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Lebanon County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Lehigh County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Luzerne County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Lycoming County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Mckean County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Mercer County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Mifflin County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Monroe County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Montgomery County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Montour County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Northampton County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Northumberland County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Perry County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Philadelphia County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Pike County822,3751,053,0001,272,7501,581,750
Potter County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Schuylkill County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Snyder County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Somerset County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Sullivan County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Susquehanna County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Tioga County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Union County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Venango County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Warren County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Washington County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Wayne County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Westmoreland County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
Wyoming County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500
York County548,250702,000848,5001,054,500

Rotating question mark Frequently asked questions about conforming loans and loan limits

Q. Are conventional loans federally backed?
A. Technically, the conventional loans are not backed by the Federal Government, however, the Feds will jump in to back Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if they get into trouble.

Q. Are interest rates higher on jumbo loans?
A. Interest rates are indeed higher than conforming loans because jumbo loans cannot be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac due to the loan size. As such, the lender (bank) has more risk and can suffer a substantial loss with a default. The lender therefore compensates for the risk by an increased interest rate.

Q. Do conventional loan have PMI?
A. Conventional loans will have private mortgage insurance (PMI) if the loan amount is less than 80% of the value of the home.

Q. Do conventional loan require home inspection?
A. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (conventional loans) do not require a jome inspection. Fannie and Freddie will require an appraisal.

Q. Is a conforming loan a conventional loan?
A. Yes

Q. Is a conventional loan better than an FHA loan?
A. Conventional loans have higher lending limits and there is no upfront mortgage insurance. However, the private mortgage insurance can be pricey with conventional/conforming loans with low credit scores. Seller paid closing cost limits are higher with FHA mortgages. In short, the conventional loan and FHA loans each have advantages and disadvantages. The choice depends on your situation.