On Friday, President Obama signed a congressional resolution that extends through 2010 the current conforming loan limits of $417,000 for most areas and $729,750 for high-cost areas. Had he not signed, these limits would have expired at the end of 2009, thus returning to the lower limits set in 2008.
Conforming limits are important to borrowers because they define the maximum loan Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and FHA will purchase. It is possible to borrower a larger loan amount, known as a non-conforming or "jumbo" loan. But these larger loans usually come with higher interest rates and greater loan fees.