While the past few years have been a financial challenge for many Americans, the goal of achieving the American Dream of homeownership remains strong.

USDA Rural Development has two low-interest, no-down-payment loan programs to help eligible families living in rural communities and areas purchase new or existing homes. Loans, and some grants, are also available to help families make needed repairs to their homes. Eligible homes must be located in a rural area and/or community of less than 20,000.

In most cases, a family of four with an adjusted annual income of up to $74,750 may qualify for the agency’s guaranteed home loan program. If that same family of four’s adjusted annual income is less than $42,150 they may also qualify for a direct loan from the agency. These income limits increase in communities located near metro areas.

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Direct Home Loan Program

Under the Direct Loan program, individuals or families receive direct financial assistance directly from Rural Development in the form of a home loan at an affordable interest rate.

Most of the loans made under the Direct Loan Program are to households with income below 80% of the median income level in the communities where they live.

Since Rural Development is able to make loans to those who will not qualify for a conventional loan, the Rural Development Direct Loan program enables many more people to buy homes than might otherwise be possible. Direct loans may be made for the purchase of an existing home or for new home construction.

Home Repair and Grant Program

For very low income families who own homes in need of repair, the Home Repair Loan and Grant Program offers and loans grants for essential renovations. The Home Repair program also provides funds to make a home accessible to someone with disabilities.

Click Here for More Information on the Direct Program and the Repair Program.

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Guaranteed Home Loan

Under the Guaranteed Loan program, USDA Rural Development guarantees loans made by private sector lenders.  This means that, should the individual borrow default on the loan, Rural Development will pay the private financier for the loan.  Individual borrowers work with private lenders and make their payments to their respective lender.

Under the terms of the program, an individual or family may borrow up to 102% of the appraised value of the home, which eliminates the need for a down payment.  Since a common barrier to owning a home for many low-income people is the lack of funds to make a down payment, the availability of the loan guarantees from Rural Development makes home ownership available to a larger percentage of rural Americans.


Click Here for More Information on the Guarantee Program.

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System for Award Management (sam.gov)

SAM is the new streamlined reporting system for USDA staff and other federal agencies. The consolidated system simplifies the process for loan and grant recipients and makes project tracking more transparent.

SAM replaces the following systems: Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List.

More information is at http://sam.gov and frequently Asked Questions/Quick Start

The web addresses for legacy systems will also automatically redirect users to sam.gov.