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USDA Loans

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) gives borrowers the opportunity to own a home in areas considered by the Department to be more rural. Benefits of a USDA loan include flexible credit underwriting requirements and 0% down payment (no down payment required).

What Is A USDA Loan?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers loan programs for low- to moderate-income
borrowers in eligible rural areas. The programs are managed by the USDA's Housing and Communities
Facilities Programs (HCFP). The USDA has a program to insure loans made by lenders as well as offers
direct loans to applicants. These are called Section 502 loans. 

USDA Borrower Requirements

  • Borrowers must have a qualifying debt-to income ratio

  • There are income limits, and borrowers cannot have an income that exceeds more than 115% of the median household income for the rural area the property is located in. These income limits can be found on the USDA's website by clicking here.

  • The loan term is set at 30 years

  • This program typically requires a minimum credit score of 640. However, the USDA doesn’t have a minimum credit score, so borrowers with scores below 640 may still be eligible for a USDA-backed mortgage.

USDA Property Requirements

  • To see what locations qualify for USDA loans, you can click here.

  • The home must be modest in size, cost, and design, and must meet state construction guidelines and HCFP site standards. For new manufactured houses, the house must be attached to a permanent foundation as well as meet HUD safety standards and HCFP site standards. Existing manufactured houses will not qualify unless it was previously financed with a HCFP loan.

  • There are many areas in Florida close to major metros like Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Sarasota that have USDA eligible areas close by. If a home buyer is willing to live slightly on the outskirts of these major metropolitan areas, they can take advantage of a 0% down USDA loan and more affordable home prices.

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