Kearney, Nebraska, Apr 25, 2014 -- USDA Rural Development reached a milestone on March 24, 2014 by guaranteeing more than one billion dollars in home loans to rural families in Nebraska since 1992. USDA has made an unprecedented commitment to Nebraska in providing affordable rural housing for decades and continues this dedication.
The $1 billion milestone loan was for a home purchased by Isaias Lorenzo Izara and his family from Axtell, NE. The loan was originated through Farmers & Merchants Bank of Kearney and USDA provided a guarantee on the loan. The home owners were recognized at an event sponsored by USDA and Farmers & Merchants Bank today.
"It is always an honor to work with our partners to provide homeownership to rural residents," said USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul. "USDA Rural Development has assisted 13,264 families to become homeowners in rural Nebraska through our partnership with lenders and the guarantee rural housing loan program."
"As a lender, the Guaranteed Home Loan Program is extremely valuable to us and our customers. Partnering with the USDA and being able to offer customers 100% financing keeps the dream of home ownership strong in rural Nebraska and that is good for all Nebraskans," said Farmers & Merchants of Kearney Vice President, Lori Leonard.
"We are pleased that this hallmark loan was provided by one of USDA Rural Development’s top 10 lenders in Nebraska," said Moul. Farmers & Merchants Bank of Kearney provided 45 loans for $4,807,229 in Fiscal Year 13, ranking it seventh in the state. In FY 12, it ranked 10th, with 35 loans for $3,447,852.
Housing plays an important role in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. USDA Rural Development has worked to increase homeownership opportunities for rural Americans by providing a guarantee to participating lenders that allows the lender to offer applicants 100% home ownership financing at affordable rates and terms.
Sometimes good credit is not enough as conventional credit may require a substantial down payment. Through the USDA home programs, rural families are able to become home owners with no down payment. USDA uses sound underwriting criteria to ensure borrowers are able to repay their loans. By doing so they are helping to keep people in their homes. In addition, the guaranteed program is self-supporting which makes the program “budget neutral.” Therefore, there is not an additional cost to the taxpayers in providing this program.
The Farmers and Merchants Bank also supported the borrower by utilizing the Nebraska Investment Financial Authority (NIFA) program that offered a 3.75 percent rate of interest and the borrower also received down payment assistance through Federal Home Loan Bank. These partnerships allowed the home loan to remain affordable without requiring a down payment.
"For Fiscal Year 2014, USDA Rural Development in Nebraska has received an allocation of more than $110 million for financing home loan purchases through our guaranteed rural housing program in rural communities, so please give your lender a call to see if you would qualify to utilize the program," said Moul.
Homes must be located in rural communities. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and South Sioux City/Dakota City. See http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do for eligible areas.
Individuals interested in homeownership opportunities may also contact their local USDA Rural Development office. Visit the Nebraska USDA website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne for additional program information and to locate the office nearest you.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)