A conventional loan is a long-term loan that generally comes with a fixed interest rate. These loans usually carry a term of 15 or 30 years. Borrowers qualify for these loans based on their credit score and overall financial situation. Conventional loans differ greatly from an unconventional loan. There is little leeway or other loopholes that allow an unqualified borrower to get the loan. For example, there are no allowances made for a borrower who has a debt-to-income ratio above 40 percent. Down payment requirements must also be met to qualify. Generally, a down payment of at least 20 percent is required to get the loan. A loan underwriter will analyze your financial situation to determine if you would be likely to repay the loan under conventional terms. You may have to lower your debt level or increase savings to be approved.