USDA Offers 100% Direct Rural Housing Loans for Low Income Families

Kate O'Hara
Release Date
Mar 10, 2015

Home-buying season is just around the corner, but saving enough money to qualify for a mortgage is one of, if not the, biggest barriers to buying a home. Through the 502 Direct Single Family Housing Loan program, USDA Rural Development helps low income individuals and families purchase a home with 100% financing.  As homeownership grows, rural communities across Illinois are strengthened.

Heather and her husband had no idea where they would get the money for a down payment on a larger home for their growing family.  They, and 240 other families around Illinois in FY2014, qualified for and purchased a home with 100% financing – a reality that would not have been possible for them without the Direct Single Family program.

Rural housing loan funds are also available for qualifying families and individuals to build or rehabilitate a modest home in rural areas.

“Rural Development’s mission is to strengthen our rural communities,” said Barry Ramsey, IL Housing Program Director. “A strong homeowner base is foundational to a strong community.  Assisting low income families and individuals in becoming and remaining homeowners also helps the economy of the communities and counties where they live.”

The current fixed interest rate of 3.0% for up to 33 years is available to eligible borrowers who cannot meet the down payment requirements for a conventional loan.  Applicants must have acceptable credit and sufficient repayment income.

Qualifying population levels, income, maximum home size and purchase price vary by county.

For example, to qualify in Kankakee County, adjusted income for a 2-person household cannot exceed $41,800; a 4-person household cannot exceed $52,250. A “rural” area is defined as open country and places with populations of 10,000 or less. Maximum loan and purchase price is $188,000 for a home of up to 1,800 sq. ft. of living area.

For specific information about eligibility in your county, or for additional information on Rural Development programs, please call the Rural Development field office nearest you:

Bourbonnais – 815.937.8940 x113; Oregon – 815.732.6127 x4; Ottawa – 815.433.0551 x4; Princeton – 815.875.8732 x4; Pontiac – 815.844.6127 x4; Champaign – 217.352.3536 x4; Effingham – 217.347.7107 x4; Mt. Vernon – 618.244.0773 x4; Marion – 618.993.5396 x4; Jacksonville – 217.243.1535 x4; Quincy – 217.224.9307 x4; Galesburg – 309.342.5138 x4.  The Rural Development State Office is also located in Champaign - 217.403.6202.