Types of Home Loans – An Overview

When choosing a mortgage, understanding the different types of home loans is essential. Here are the five main types of mortgages, each with unique benefits and features:

  • Conventional Loans: These loans are ideal for borrowers with good credit scores. They’re not insured or guaranteed by the government and often require a higher down payment. However, they offer competitive interest rates and flexible terms. Conventional loans can be conforming (meet certain size and credit requirements) or non-conforming (often called jumbo loans).
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgages: This type of loan has a consistent interest rate throughout its term, providing predictable monthly payments. Fixed-rate mortgages are ideal for borrowers who want stability and plan to stay in their home for a long time. The most common terms are 15-year and 30-year.
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs): ARMs offer lower initial interest rates, which can change after a set period. They’re suitable for borrowers who don’t plan to stay in their home long-term or are comfortable with potential rate fluctuations. ARMs often start with a lower rate than fixed-rate mortgages, making them appealing for short-term homeownership or investment properties.
  • Jumbo Loans: A type of conventional loan, jumbo loans are best for borrowers with excellent credit looking to purchase high-value properties. These loans exceed the conforming loan limits (currently $766,550.00 in PA) set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, making them a suitable option for luxury homes. They often require a larger down payment and may have stricter credit requirements.
  • Government-Backed Loans: These include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, designed for borrowers with lower credit scores or those who have minimal cash for a down payment. FHA loans are popular among first-time home buyers, offering lower down payments and credit score requirements. VA loans are for military members and veterans, allowing for $0 down payment. USDA loans are aimed at rural home buyers and often come with lower interest rates and $0 down payment. Learn more about Government-Backed Loans.


These different types of mortgages provide a range of options to suit various financial situations and homeownership goals. Consider your credit score, down payment capacity, and long-term plans when choosing the right loan for your needs. If you need help selecting the best mortgage, consult with a mortgage specialist who can guide you through the process.

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