Program Description

A direct or guaranteed housing loan may be able to help those with low income get a decent, safe, and healthy home in an eligible rural area.

The Direct Loan Program offers a subsidy to help reduce your mortgage payments for a short time. Your family income determines the amount of the subsidy. The Guaranteed Loan Program offers approved lenders a 90% loan note guarantee. This reduces the risk of extending 100% loans to eligible rural buyers.

You may use these loans to help you buy, build, repair, improve, or relocate your primary home. You may also use funds to buy and prepare sites, including water and sewer.

Loans may be available if you live in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana islands, and Pacific Trust Territories. 

For more details, visit the program pages below:

General Program Requirements

To qualify for these loans, your home must be in an eligible rural area. You can go to the USDA Property Eligibility Site to check your address.

Your income must also be within one of the levels below: 

  • Very low - Below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI),
  • Low - Between 50 and 80 percent of AMI, or
  • Moderate - Below 115 percent of AMI.

See income limits (PDF, 5 MB) to learn more.

To apply, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Be without decent, safe, and sanitary housing.
  • Not be able to get a loan elsewhere for fair terms and conditions.
  • Agree to live in the home as your primary home.
  • Be able to take on a legal loan obligation.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Not be barred from taking part in federal programs.

The home must also meet the conditions below:

  • Be modest in size for the area.
  • Meet the market value loan limit for the area.
  • Not have an in-ground swimming pool.
  • Not be designed for business use.

Application Process

To learn more, contact your local USDA Rural Development field office.

To apply for direct loans, you need to complete the forms below:

To apply for a guaranteed loan, you must contact an approved lender. A Guaranteed Loan Contact can help you get information about the approved lenders in your state.

Last Updated: 07/22/2020