A home loan from the USDA loan program, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, is a mortgage loan offered to rural property owners by the United States Department of Agriculture.
A USDA home loan is different from a traditional mortgage offered in the United States in several ways.
- USDA loans require no down payment, you may finance up to 100% of the property value.
- You must meet the income restrictions for the County you are interested in. Each county has a maximum Income Requirement. The USDA Home Loan Program does allow for considerations for expenses like Child Care.
- To be eligible, you must be purchasing a property in a rural area as defined by the USDA. Often times the eligible property is just outside city limits.
- The home or property that you are looking to purchase must be owner-occupied, investment properties are not eligible for USDA loans.
- Refinancing your current USDA loan is also available.
Type of USDA Loan
Guaranteed USDA Loans
USDA partners with local lenders to offer guaranteed loans. Guaranteed means USDA insures a portion of the mortgage in the event you default on your loan. Therefore, these lenders tend to feel comfortable offering modest loan terms to low-income individuals with less-than-favorable credit scores. These types of loans typically suit low- or moderate-income borrowers. To be eligible for a guaranteed USDA loan, your adjusted household income can’t exceed more than 115% of the median family income in the designated rural area you wish to live in. Household income generally includes the combined income of the loan applicant and every adult in the household, regardless if their names are on the loan application.
Direct USDA Loan
USDA funds the borrowers of these loans directly. In other words, your lender becomes USDA instead of a bank. These loans usually favor low-income and very-low-income Americans who can’t access any other type of financing for an adequate residence. Qualifying borrowers’ income must fall at or below the low-income limit in a designated area as defined by USDA. In some areas, the limit falls below $17,000.
USDA Home Improvement Loans
These loans help low-income Americans repair or enhance their homes. Depending on your circumstances, USDA may combine these with grants you don’t have to pay back.