Various loan programs in Utah have their own internal guidelines that lenders and banks follow. Most of these guidelines are similar from one program to another and follow the same basic documentation process. For example, lenders are required to determine affordability and they do so by comparing your monthly credit obligations, including your mortgage payment, with gross monthly income.
Income is documented by providing the lender with your most recent pay check stubs covering a 30-day period. Or, if you’re self-employed, you’ll be asked to submit copies of your last two years of federal income tax returns. This process is pretty much the same for all loan programs that require full documentation regardless of where the property is located.
Mortgage loan programs also have their own individual loan limits as well. For example, for 2022 the conventional loan limit in most of Utah is $647,200. This is also referred to as a “conforming” loan. In higher-cost counties like Tooele and Summit, around Salt Lake City, these limits can increase based on the higher median home values in the area compared to the national average. Jumbo loans are those mortgages where the amount is higher than the local conforming maximum.
Jumbo loan limits are generally based on the amount of down payment. For example, a low down payment jumbo loan might ask for a 3.5% up to $1.5mil, 5% down payment up to $2.0 million or with a 10% down payment, the limit can be $3.0 million. Buyers are encouraged to read the differences between Jumbo and Conforming loans and all the Utah Jumbo loan requirements on the Jumbo purchase page.
Please connect with us 7 days a week with questions by calling the number above, or just submit the short request form on this page.
The limits above apply to regular loans, not government-backed programs like FHA, USDA, and VA. How are the loan limits set for government-backed home loans?
VA Loan Limits:
As of January 1, 2020, VA eliminated loan limits for eligible military vets. Thanks to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 Veterans will no longer be subject to the VA loan limits, which used to mirror those of Conforming loan limits. This means veterans may obtain a 100% VA mortgage regardless of price in all locations nationwide.
The elimination of mortgage limits does not translate into unlimited purchasing power Vets will of course be subject to all qualifying lender requirements and debt to income ratio caps, just the same as other home loans.
It’s also important to note that VA loan limits do still apply to Vets that have more than one active VA mortgage, or only partial entitlement, or those buyers that have defaulted on a past VA loan.
USDA Loan Limits:
USDA Rural Housing limits are simply based upon debt to income and household income limits. USDA household income limits can depend on many variables, but the borrower’s gross monthly income cannot exceed 115% of the median income for the area. Read more USDA income limits here
FHA maximum loan amounts are set county-by-county are tied to the conforming conventional loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and is set at 65% of the conforming limit, or $420,680 in most locations. In high-cost areas, where the median home values are higher than the national average, the limit is at 150% of the conforming loan limit, or as high as $970,800. Please see the complete Utah FHA loan limit chart at the bottom.
Yet even though an FHA loan limit is capped at $523,250 in Salt Lake County doesn’t automatically mean the borrowers will be approved for that limit. Instead, loan amounts are based on affordability and debt to income caps, the loan limit only means that’s how high a loan can be and still be considered an FHA eligible.
If a lender approves an FHA loan application and doesn’t use proper FHA underwriting protocol, the loan won’t be sellable in the secondary market. Lenders apply these guidelines when evaluating a loan application to make sure the loan is eligible for sale. Doing so replenishes a lender’s line of credit which allows the lender to make still more loans.
Let’s say there is a home listed at $390,000 and the borrowers want to use the FHA loan program due to the small down payment requirement of 3.5%. In this example, the down payment is $13,650 leaving a loan amount of $381,135 before adding in the FHA mortgage insurance premium. FHA loans also require mortgage insurance and the upfront premium is 1.75% of the initial loan amount, or $6,673 making the final loan amount $387,800, within the limit for this county.
FHA loan limits are adjusted annually based on the median home values in the county where the property is located. As property values rise, so too can the FHA loan limit increase. These values are reviewed in the fall of each year and compare the average home price from the previous year to the current one. If there is an increase, the new loan limits will take effect on January 1 of the following year.