The USDA is one of the best loans for eligible home buyers. There is no down payment requirement! And the home seller is permitted to pay up to 6% of the sales price toward the borrower's closing costs. Read more about the USDA home loan requirements.
#1 How to apply for a USDA loan?
The Department of Agriculture works with approved mortgage companies and banks to originate USDA home loans. USDA home loan lenders
#2 How do you qualify for a USDA loan?
Qualifying for the USDA rural housing loan program is similar to other mortgage programs. Applicants must have a two-year work history, reasonably good credit, and meet the income limits.
- They agree to live in the house as their main residence
- Be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. non-citizen national, a U.S. permanent resident, or non-citizen with Qualified Status
- Have not been prohibited from participating in federal programs due to suspension or exclusion
- Have the legal authority to take out the loan
- Purchase a home that satisfies all
#3 How hard is it to get a USDA loan?
The USDA loan is a great path to homeownership. The loan requirements are very reasonable.
#4 How long does the USDA loan take?
The USDA loans don't take any longer than any other home loan. A well-prepared borrower and a house that does not have any appraisal issues can close within 30 days, however, allow 60 days to process the loan to be on the safe side. See Documentation needed for mortgage application
#5 How much are the USDA loan closing costs?
Closing costs vary from state to state. However, the USDA closing costs are no greater than most other home loans. In fact, the upfront mortgage insurance premium is less than the FHA upfront mortgage insurance premium. USDA loan calculator & payment estimate
#6 How much is PMI on USDA loan?
The monthly mortgage insurance premium is .35% X loan amount divided by 12 (months).
#7 What are the USDA credit score requirements?
The USDA "desires" a credit score of 640 or higher when the mortgage application is manually underwritten (scored), however, the loan application most likely will be initially evaluated by a software program designed to evaluate credit risk. The loan evaluation program is known as automated underwriting (Read more about automated underwriting). A USDA loan application with a credit score below 640 may still be approved because the loan software takes into consideration not only the credit score but, the monthly income, debt-to-income ratio, and other proprietary metrics. The following is straight out of the USDA manual. Again, the referenced scores are intended for "manual" underwriting". The USDA also provides for compensating considerations for low credit scores due to unforeseen circumstances (Read more at Can you get a mortgage with bad credit?).
A credit score of at least 680 is considered excellent.
Perform a basic degree of underwriting to ensure that the applicant has a good credit history.
If the applicant's credit history contains indications of poor credit, as described in Paragraph 10.7 of this Chapter, do further investigation.
The credit score ranges from 679 to 640.
Carry out a thorough degree of underwriting.
Examine all elements of the applicant's credit history to ensure that the applicant has a good credit history.
Credit scores in this range suggest that the applicant's reputation is shaky, necessitating a comprehensive examination by the credit underwriter in order for the underwriter to reach a reasonable conclusion about the applicant's willingness to make payments on the new mortgage obligation.
The applicant's credit history should show a desire and capacity to fulfill financial commitments in the past.
A credit score of less than 640 is considered poor.
Perform a degree of underwriting that is conservative.
Examine all elements of the applicant's credit history in detail to determine the applicant's desire to repay and capacity to meet agreed-upon commitments.
A credit score in this range is usually seen as a strong indicator that the applicant does not have an acceptable credit reputation, unless there are mitigating circumstances recorded in line with this Chapter.
Little or no credit history: If the applicant can demonstrate a desire to pay recurrent obligations via other acceptable methods, such as third-party verification or canceled checks, the absence of credit history on the credit report may be mitigated.
Third-party verification from relatives of household members is not permitted due to impartiality concerns.
In line with Paragraph 10.6 of this chapter, lenders may create a Non-Traditional Credit Report for applicants who do not have a credit score.
SOURCE: USDA manual
#8 What homes are eligible for USDA loans?
Homes must be located in a targeted rural area. Many people think that the USDA home loan is only available for very remote areas. But, it's not uncommon to find homes that are eligible for a USDA loan just outside a suburban area. USDA home loan map
#9 What is the USDA loan limit?
The USDA loan program does not have loan limits like other home loans. The maximum loan is determined by the applicant's debt to income calculation. Estimate your debt to income ratio
#10 Who is eligible for a USDA home loan?
Homebuyers must be able to occupy the house after settlement, be a citizen(s) of the United States or have permanent residency. Co-borrowers (cosigners) who will not occupy the house are not permitted. In most cases, borrowers are required to sell their current home prior to closing on a USDA mortgage, if applicable.
Applicants must have an adequate and dependable income. Prospective homebuyers are required to meet the income guidelines for the USDA loan. Annual income cannot be greater than 115% of the median income for the area, however, the USDA provides adjustments to income that exceed the limits (i.e. family size, childcare expenses for children age 12 or younger, etc.).
The applicant(s) should have a 24-month work history or adequate and dependable income. Qualifying income includes salary, hourly wages, documented tip income, re-occurring bonus, consistent overtime, alimony, child support, etc.) received by the applicant and co-applicant(s).
The monthly debt (i.e. credit cards, installment loans, school loans, etc.) should not exceed 41% of the applicant(s) gross monthly income. The proposed mortgage payment with taxes and insurance is also included in the debt calculation. The monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 29% of the monthly income. The qualifying ratios are called debt-to-income. It should be noted that the USDA permits some flexibility with the debt to income ratio with compensating factors, such as a good credit score, stable employment with the potential for increased earnings, and the ability to save.
Applicants may apply for a USDA home loan who do not have a credit score, however, the lender will attempt to determine the applicants’ creditworthiness with a 12-month history of rental or housing payments, utility payments, insurance payments, or payments to a retail store. The typical verification is made with canceled checks or receipts.
#11 Why would USDA deny a loan?
Like any other home mortgage, a loan application could be denied for poor credit, inadequate cash savings, spotty employment history, or the house may not meet the customary appraisal guidelines.