USDA Qualification Requirements in A Nutshell

USDA rural housing programGovernment-insured mortgages are, perhaps, the best and most affordable options for first-time homebuyers and households who have to work with a limited budget. These loans are famous because of their lower qualification requirements and economical initial costs.

Out of the several home loans guaranteed by the government the USDA loan, backed by the U.S Department of Agriculture, has one of the most attractive features. It boasts of a zero-down payment option, low mortgage insurance fees, and lower interest rates. It also has flexible qualification and amortization guidelines to accommodate the families who need it the most.

Direct Loan vs. Guaranteed Loan

What most people are not aware of is that USDA rural housing loans come in two forms: The USDA Direct Loan and The USDA Guaranteed Loan.

The USDA direct loan only qualifies households and individuals who have no access to a safe, sanitary, and decent dwelling with incomes less than the minimum for their location. Moreover, the USDA itself issues the direct loans through its Rural Development Program. Because this type of USDA mortgage is designed for families with meager means, only those with accumulated gross earnings less than 80% of the AMI may take advantage of the credit.

The USDA guaranteed loan is the more common and more popular of the two. Interested applicants can apply for the mortgage through USDA-authorized lenders all over the United States. With an AMI qualification limit of 115%, it has a higher income ceiling than the direct loan. That said, the USDA loan is not for everyone. Those whose incomes go beyond the set threshold and have better means of acquiring a home may try for other government-insured mortgages such as the FHA loan and the VA loan.

USDA Guaranteed Loan Requirements

Property Requirements for USDA Qualification

  • The property is in an area within the USDA eligible sitemap.
  • The home’s value should be within the maximum limit for the region.
  • It must meet the livability standards according to USDA guidelines.

If a property fails to pass the conducted appraisal due to specific issues, due improvements may be performed before the loan closes.

Homebuyer Requirements for USDA Qualification

  • The applicant is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • They must afford the monthly payments and all other fees included in the loan: the interest, insurance, and taxes.
  • The loan should only cover less than 29% of their gross monthly income. The sum of all their debts is must not exceed 41%. If the borrower has a credit score above 680, the lenders may consider a higher debt-to-income ratio.
  • Applicants must have stable employment and must have worked for a minimum of 24 months in the same company.
  • Acceptable credit history and a credit score of more than 640, if the applicant wants to qualify for streamlined processing.

People with poor credit ratings may still qualify for the USDA rural housing if they are able to prove that their score is affected by circumstances beyond their control. Moreover, those without a credit history can make use of “non-traditional” references. This includes proof of payments for home bills and utilities.

For additional information and a more thorough assessment, talk to participating USDA lenders or pre-qualify online.

by jkyle