Fannie Mae can only purchase loans up to a certain dollar amount. This dollar amount is known as the loan limit. Fannie Mae’s loan limits are imposed under its federal charter as amended by law.
The loan limits apply to all conventional loans delivered to Fannie Mae for whole loan purchase or MBS pool issuance and are based on the original loan amount of the loan (irrespective of the origination date). The limits are subject to change annually and vary, depending upon the number of units in the property and the property’s location. The Loan Limits for Conventional Mortgages are posted on Fannie Mae's website.
Lenders are responsible for ensuring that the original loan amount of each loan does not exceed the applicable maximum loan limit for the specific area in which the property is located at the time the loan is delivered to Fannie Mae.
Fannie Mae’s first mortgage loan limits are defined in terms of general loan limits and high-cost area loan limits:
The general limits apply to the majority of the loans that Fannie Mae purchases.
The high-cost area loan limits apply to loans secured by properties in designated high-cost areas, as determined by Fannie Mae’s regulator. The high-cost area loan limits vary across the country.
High balance loans are subject to the high-cost area loan limits. Fannie Mae’s eligibility and delivery requirements may vary for high-balance loans. See Chapter B5-1, High-Balance Mortgage Loans for additional information.
If the loan is a first lien securing an ownership interest in a co-op corporation, the amount of the first lien and prorated share of the co-op corporation blanket mortgage cannot exceed Fannie Mae’s loan limits.
Fannie Mae has no minimum original loan amount requirement for either whole loans or MBS loans.
Loan limits for modified loans are based on the original loan amount of the loan and not on the unpaid principal balance of the loan at the time of modification or acquisition by Fannie Mae. A modified loan with an original loan amount exceeding the current loan limit is not eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae, even though the balance at the time of the modification may be at or below the current applicable loan limit.
The table below provides references to the Announcements that have been issued that are related to this topic.