Utilizing The USDA Home Loan Program? Five Things You Need To Know

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If you’re thinking about utilizing the USDA home loan program, you’re making a smart move. The program helps low-and-moderate-income bracket households find and maintain safe, comfortable housing in rural areas. Let’s talk about some things you need to know before taking advantage of the program.

*Please note that this information is based on current USDA laws, which are subject to change.

1) Why was the program created?

The USDA wants home ownership to be a realistic dream for hard working people in rural America. These loans aren’t just about moving into houses that are already built- they can also be applied to rehabs and new builds. The USDA wants to support and uplift rural communities.

2) What are the eligible areas?

Click here to check out the areas supported by the USDA home loan program. It’s important to note that if you’re applying to use the land for farm labor housing, any area can be used. While the maps provided here can give you a good idea of areas that will be approved, the final determination is up to Rural Development.

3) Who can apply?

In order to apply to the program, you’ll need to meet USDA home loan requirements, including income requirements. Applicants need to be U.S. citizens or legal aliens. It’s important that you haven’t gotten in trouble for not following the rules of other government housing programs. You also need to complete all the credit requirements set forth by the USDA in a timely manner.

4) How can I use the money?

You have quite a few different options when it comes to utilizing your USDA home loan. The most common way to use the loan is to purchase an existing house to use as a permanent residence. Purchasing a fixer upper? You can use your USDA home loan for home repairs and renovations.

This can include updating a house to accommodate a person with a disability. Your loan can also be used towards connecting your utilities (such as sewer, gas, and electric) to your new home.

Household essentials get the thumbs up as well- large kitchen appliances, wall to wall carpeting, laundry equipment, and heating and cooling equipment are all permitted purchases. You may also use your USDA home loan to refinance an existing loan to lower your mortgage payments.

Another money saving option: use your USDA home loan to make your home more energy efficient by installing solar panels, insulation, or double paned glass.

5) How do I get a USDA home loan?

First, you’ll need to talk with a mortgage lender in your area. Your lender will help you understand if you qualify for a USDA home loan, and help you navigate through the application process.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions- getting a loan can feel daunting and can become even more tedious when government paperwork is involved. People who get loans through the USDA home loan program by and large agree that the hassle of the paperwork is well worth the effort.

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