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USDA Home Loans, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, are mortgages from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These home loans are offered to home buyers with low-to-moderate incomes who want to purchase a property in a rural area. USDA home loans provide affordable homeownership opportunities with the benefits of zero down payment and fixed interest rates.

These loans aren’t just for farmers or ranchers, but Rural Development Loans stipulate that a home buyer must meet certain criteria to qualify for the program.


How to Qualify for a USDA Home Loan

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.
  • Have dependable income with a debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 41%. The USDA will consider higher ratios if your credit score is above 660.
  • Agree to occupy the home as your primary residence and purchase a property that will meet program requirements.
  • The property must be located in a rural property designated area. View eligible areas.
  • Meet income eligibility requirements, including the Maximum Household Income Limit (MHIL). MHIL can vary by the county in which the home is purchased and can change annually. MHIL is based on everyone in the home who is a wage earner, even if their income is not going to be used to qualify for the USDA home loan.
  • An appraisal of the property will determine the maximum amount you’ll receive for a loan. As a borrower, you can borrow up to 100% of the appraised value for purchase transactions and 100% for refinance transactions (if guarantee fee is included in the loan amount).

Additional Resources
USDA Programs & Services
USDA Home Loan Property/Income Eligibility
Like any government backed loan, there are even more specific guidelines to obtaining a USDA home loan. It could be a great opportunity for you if you would like to live in one of the beautiful rural areas of the Pacific Northwest. One of our mortgage bankers can help you through the entire process. Contact us today to learn more about USDA home loans and find out if you may be eligible.

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