News Release
Release No.STELPRD4014952
ContactJoan Messina217-403-6248
Champaign, Feb 23, 2012 --

@@Contact: Joan Messina (217) 403-6248

Cell: (217) 622-3699

USDA Pilot Program Available to Help Illinois Home Loan Borrowers Refinance

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Feb. 23, 2012—USDA Rural Development is launching a pilot program that can help Illinois homeowners with existing home loans with the agency refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Rural Refinance Pilot Program will operate in Illinois and 18 other states. These states are among the hardest hit by the downturn in the housing market.

“This program can help as many as 15,000 homeowners in Illinois,” Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan said.

“Homeowners who have Rural Development direct or guaranteed loans can now refinance their loans at a better rate,” she said. “We can help them save money on their mortgage payments at a time when they may need it most.”

The pilot program makes it easier for eligible homeowners to refinance their loans. They do not have to provide a new credit reports, property inspections or home appraisals.

Some stipulations apply. To be eligible under this pilot, borrowers must have made their mortgage payments on time for 12 consecutive months prior to their loan application. Interest rates must be at least one percent below the borrowers’ current interest rate for a new 30 year loan term. Borrowers cannot get cash back from the transaction or include repair costs in the refinancing.

The pilot program is USDA's most recent effort to help rural homeowners. In the last several years, the agency has modified its policy for guaranteed loans to help homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages. It also has instituted a way to provide guaranteed lenders up to 12 months of mortgage payments on behalf of borrowers who have fallen behind on their payments due to job loss or other hardships.

After two years, the performance of the pilot program will be reviewed to evaluate whether to continue it, terminate it or make it permanent. In addition to Illinois, the other states involved in the pilot are Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Interested borrowers can contact Rural Development at 217-403-6216 or a mortgage lender of their choice to apply for the Rural Refinance Pilot.


    Rural Development has more than 40 programs that foster growth and economic stability in rural areas by providing affordable financing and technical assistance. Support is available for regional food systems, broadband and biofuel infrastructure, housing, business development and community needs. More information on USDA Rural Development programs is available on the web at


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).