USDA Rural Development Loans

What You Need to Know About a USDA Home Loan

What You Need to Know About a USDA Home Loan

Owning a home and fully applying for mortgage loans don’t necessarily require you to splurge. With a bit of research, you can land on a viable option for your current budget and needs.

That said, if you’re running on a budget, and a rural home will already be enough for you, then you should highly consider getting a USDA Home Loan. This is probably one of the most popular ones among homeowners who can’t afford high deposits and interest rates at the moment.

To give you a better overview of what a USDA Home Loan includes, what it can provide you, and how you can apply for it, we have prepared everything you need to know in the following sections.

What is a USDA Home Loan?

A USDA Home Loan is a mortgage loan that assures a more budget-friendly home financing, homeowner flexibility, and lower interest rates.

Another essential quality of the said loan is it only applies to specific USDA-approved rural properties. You can go to this link to see a complete list of the eligible areas under each of the program’s offers.

The home loan is a government-backed aid specially reserved for households on the lower or median side of the income spectrum. This means that people with higher financial capabilities may need to look into regular mortgage loans from financial institutions like banks, company lenders, and likes.

USDA Home Loan Programs and How They Work

There are three main USDA Home Loan programs. First, you need to apply based on your current needs, eligibility, and existing requirements. For reference, see the list below:

USDA Loan Guarantees

The first USDA Home Loan program points to loans guaranteed by the USDA.

This involves a third party, usually a private lender, which will provide a specific loan amount to homeowners. Note that the primary basis of the loan will revolve around a particular property’s appraised value. It can then be used to buy an already built home and pay for its necessary repairs.

Depending on the amount, the financial loan can also build an entirely new home from scratch.

USDA loan guarantees don’t require down payments. However, terms are limited to 30 years, and the desired home should be no more than a single-family residence.

Applicants must have an income of no more than 115% of the middle level. They should also prove that they can repay the loan throughout the included loan terms.

Loans and Grants for Home Improvement

USDA Home Loans under home improvement grants are somewhat limited to home repairs and renovations.

This is also ideal if the aspiring homeowner’s goal is to make a particular property more livable and sustainable through upgrades. For instance, this is best if you plan to install or repair your heating and ventilation systems, sewage, or improve electric and water lines.

Here, loan amounts can only reach up to $27,500 at most. However, some eligibility-based loans under these won’t go above $20,000, depending on the intensity of planned repairs. But, on the other hand, terms are limited to 20 years at a 1% interest rate.

For the qualification requirements, the applicant must be the official owner of their home. They also must be currently living in it. In addition, they should be included in the lower half of the mid-income limit for income.

Section 502 Direct Loans

The last program on our list revolves around Section 502 Direct Loans. Under this, the USDA directly provides a loan amount to aspiring homeowners who can buy their rural homes or improve their existing ones.

Direct loans won’t require a downpayment unless you have a certain height of asset value, and there is also no need for mortgage insurance. Terms range from 33 to 38 years with a 1% interest rate. However, if you’re qualified and want to opt for a longer-term for repayment rates, this will be the best choice.

To be qualified, the applicants must have an income limited to the low-income range in the US. They must also have only one residence, which is the one that they plan on building and repairing. Lastly, the applicants should not have any other loan apart from USDA’s.

Qualifications and Requirements to Apply for a USDA Home Loan

Apart from the requirements involved in each of USDA Home Loan’s programs, here are some more qualifications that an applicant should be able to meet:

  • Must be a US Citizen or has a title of being a permanent resident
  • Must be able to prove that they can shoulder the subjected monthly payments
  • Should have a dependable income present
  • Must have a credible credit history
  • Applicant’s loan-related background should be free of issues for the last 12 months

Note that the credit score plays a vital part in how qualified an applicant should be. Expect an easier approval if you have a 640 score or more.

How to Apply for a USDA Home Loan

The first step to applying for a USDA Home Loan is to contact the office of the USDA. They will be the ones to walk you through background checks, eligibility standings, and the overall process on how you can avail of a home financial assistant.


To summarize: A USDA Home Loan is a program that allows aspiring homeowners to have their own homes in some rural areas. Unlike others, this loan type won’t require a downpayment. It also comes with low-interest rates to fully cater to households with low to moderate-income needs and capabilities.

You can choose from three programs when applying for the said home loan. These are Loan Guarantees, Home Improvement Loans, and Direct Loans. Each has its terms, requirements, and eligibility criteria, so make sure that the one that you’ll apply for is the right for you.

If you’re interested in applying for a USDA Home Loan, you will have to go through USDA’s approval process. You also need to complete screenings and USDA-approved housings to ensure that both you and the property are qualified for the loan.

For more information, call the pros at Goldstar and speak to the Ballard Team at 954-643-8539.