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What is a USDA Loan?
The USDA loan is also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. Like the FHA, VA and other government-backed loans, it’s guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was originally designed to provide a mortgage alternative to rural property buyers who had limited financing options. Today, as populations grow and suburbs expand, it’s not just a loan for farmers and rural property owners. It’s becoming a viable mortgage option for people who want to live away from cities and enjoy country living.
The USDA Loan benefits
No down payment: The USDA loan comes with 100% financing. You don’t need to make a down payment, which can often bea big obstacle for first time home buyers.
Very low interest rates: Because the loan is guaranteed, we offer a lower standard interest rate that is not tied to your credit score or down payment.
Low monthly private mortgage insurance: As of October 1, 2016, the upfront mortgage insurance rate on a USDA loan is just 1%, with an annual fee of only 0.35%, the lowest numbers of virtually any mortgage financing program. The upfront fee can also be rolled into the loan, eliminating an out-of-pocket expense at closing.
Flexible credit guidelines: Borrowers with lower credit scores or less than perfect credit history can often meet the program’s qualifying guidelines.
USDA loan restrictions and eligibility requirements
Eligible Geographic Areas: To get a USDA loan, the property you buy has to be in a USDA designated rural area, but it’s not all farm land. Almost 97% of the U.S. is eligible, which includes small towns and suburbs. The USDA Mortgage eligible area requirement map will show you all the areas where you can use this loan.
Income limits: THE USDA loan was originally designed for low to moderate income earners. The program’s guidelines define income level as being up to 115% of the area’s median income. In many parts of the country, this can be quite generous. For lower income buyers, all of a household’s income is considered during the application process, which helps increase eligibility. This can include income from a child or other family member living in the house but who isn’t listed on the loan application.
Length of the loan: The USDA loan is a 30-year fixed rate loan. One of the most common types of mortgage, with low and affordable monthly payments.
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