You are thinking of a jumbo loan for a home refinance while rates are low but you’ve been told, “Do not to waste your time applying. Not now, because the banks aren’t lending!” Most banks aren’t too keen on approving jumbo loans. The jumbo loans are considered a higher risk loan, especially in a stagnant economy. Some banks may offer jumbo loans but their underwriting process is so strict that getting the jumbo loan to the closing table is impossible. There are a few banks that handle jumbo loan efficiently and will hold these loans in their portfolio. Finding this type of bank may be the first step in your quest to have your jumbo loan refinanced. The right bank will have the widest array of terms and have the most flexible underwriting guidelines. There are other points that should be considered in choosing the right bank.Despite the inherent risks posed by higher loan amounts, the basics of mortgage loan underwriting still apply. Like mortgage loans with amounts below $417,000, the 5 Cs of lending remain intact, (capacity, credit, capital, collateral, character.) So what’s different with jumbo loan underwriting?A residential jumbo loan is any home mortgage loan where the loan size exceeds GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprise such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) limits. Currently, the GSE’s loan limits are capped at $417,000.00 or $625,500 in Alaska or Hawaii. Any mortgage loan exceeding these limits is considered a jumbo loan. This is of course the first obvious difference between a standard home mortgage and the jumbo loan. With higher loan amounts comes a lower LTV (loan to value) Expect to have at least a 20% equity position on a rate/term refinance.The loan terms will vary from lender to lender and it’s always prudent to look for a lender that has a variety of options that can be tailored for your specific needs, whether you need a 30 year fixed rate, a 15 year fixed rate or a 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 hybrid ARM or interest only. The interest rates on these higher loan amounts are not as high as some borrowers think they would be. They generally are a little bit higher than conventional mortgage rates and in some cases they may be lower than some conventional loans after their rate adjustments.Many borrowers have unique situations and the bank that you should turn to is one that has a clear understanding of the uniqueness of the higher loan borrower. For example, although many borrowers have a standard salary and W2 income, there are a disproportionate number when compared to lower loan amount applicants that have a W2 income that include bonuses or commissions. With the higher loan values, there are also a larger number of self employed borrowers and professionals. Different calculations should be used for this type of borrower to allow for depreciation, depletion, bonuses and commissions. For a borrower’s best shot at loan approval and efficiency, the higher loan amounts require a bank that has a staff of underwriters and originators who have a higher skill set and proper training for this type of loan origination and underwriting.In order to be approved for a jumbo loan, you must be prepared with support documentation. Income documentation, documentation of reserves, letters of explanation, tax documents, etc. In short, you will need two years tax returns with all schedules, one month’s most recent pay stubs, two months most recent bank statements, schedule of real estate owned, most recent statements of stocks, bonds 401k and IRA accounts. A professional loan originator who is accustomed to this type of loan will give you insight on what documents you need for your application.