Program 101

Program Status: Open
Program FactsheetPDF

What does this program do? 
This program assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants may build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in an eligible rural area. The program provides a 90% loan note guarantee to approved lenders in order to reduce the risk of extending 100% loans to eligible rural homebuyers.

Who may apply for this program?
Applicants must:

  • Meet income-eligibility
  • Agree to personally occupy the dwelling as their primary residence
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. non-citizen national or Qualified Alien
  • Have the legal capacity to incur the loan obligation
  • Have not been suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs
  • Demonstrate the willingness to meet credit obligations in a timely manner
  • Purchase a property that meets all program criteria

What is an eligible area?
Check eligible addresses for the loan guarantees.

How may funds be used?
Funds backed by loan guarantees be used for:

  • New or existing residential property to be used as a permanent residence.  Closing cost and reasonable/customary expenses associated with the purchase may be included in the transaction
  • A site with a new or existing dwelling
  • Repairs and rehabilitation when associated with the purchase of an existing dwelling
  • Refinancing of eligible loans
  • Special design features or permanently installed equipment to accommodate a household member who has a physical disability
  • Reasonable and customary connection fees, assessments or the pro rata installment cost for utilities such as water, sewer, electricity and gas for which the buyer is liable
  • A pro rata share of real estate taxes that is due and payable on the property at the time of loan closing.  Funds can be allowed for the establishment of escrow accounts for real estate taxes and/or hazard and flood insurance premiums
  • Essential household equipment such as wall-to-wall carpeting, ovens, ranges, refrigerators, washers, dryers, heating and cooling equipment as long as the equipment is conveyed with the dwelling
  • Purchasing and installing measures to promote energy efficiency (e.g. insulation, double-paned glass and solar panels)
  • Installing fixed broadband service to the household as long as the equipment is conveyed with the dwelling
  • Site preparation costs, including grading, foundation plantings, seeding or sod installation, trees, walks, fences and driveways

How do we get started?
To apply for this program, please contact a local mortgage lender.  Applications must be submitted through an approved lender.  If you are unable to find a participating lender, your state’s Guaranteed Loan Coordinator can help you find one.

Who can answer questions?
Applicants with questions should contact an approved lender.  Lenders with questions can contact a Guaranteed Loan Specialist in your state.

What governs this program?

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program helps lenders work with low and moderate income families living in rural areas to make homeownership a reality. Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, which in turn creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural areas.

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Law Governs this Program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.

Forms & Resources

Construction Loan Information for Applicants and Builders

Comparison of Direct and Guaranteed Home Loan Programs

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local mortgage lenders to inquire about applying for the guaranteed loan. USDA does not endorse any specific private sector lenders. This list of Nationally Approved Lenders is not inclusive of all participating lenders.

Income limits (pdf) are dependent upon location of the home, and the number of persons residing in the home.

NOTE: Please ensure your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to contact a Guaranteed Loan Coordinator in your state for more information.

Current Borrowers:

USDA Rural Development does not directly offer workout plans to distressed homeowners in the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program as USDA is not a financial lending institution.  We urge any customer with a guaranteed loan seeking assistance to contact their mortgage servicing lender immediately to determine their eligibility for potential work out options.  Examples of work out options include but are not limited to:  Informal Forbearance, Special Forbearance, Loan Modification, Special Loan Servicing and Pre-Foreclosure Sale.  The customer service number for the servicing lender is typically included with the mortgage statement or at their online internet address.

Need to refinance your USDA Home Loan? Learn more about this option.

Lenders:

Contacts

File Submissions:

  • Georgia will no longer be performing an upfront “complete file” review and sending a confirmation email of receipt on all files.
  • All files submitted through GUS will be considered RECEIVED by the Agency based on the date and time of the lender’s “Final submission”.   No emails confirming receipt will be sent.
  • Non-GUS loans (manually underwritten files) will still be submitted by lenders to our common email box at ra.gagrh@ga.usda.gov . These will continue to receive an automated response that the email containing the file has been received.

  File Correctness & Completeness:

  • The lender is responsible for making sure the file is underwritten correctly and all required documents have been uploaded into GUS (or emailed to our common email box).
  • If the file is not able to be approved upon the first review (errors or missing items), the lender will receive an email and be given the opportunity to correct the errors within 24 hours.  If the file is not corrected, or the additional information requested is not received, or all errors are not resolved within 24 hours, the file will be denied with appeal rights.
  • If you are working with one of our Specialists on a specific file, please communicate directly with the specialist.
  • Once the Conditional Commitment is ready to be issued, the lender’s representatives (listed on the GUS Credit/Underwriting page) will receive an email with a link to obtain the CC.  For Non-GUS loans, lender will receive an encrypted email with the CC attached.

 All general correspondence questions will now be received through our common email box at ra.gagrh@ga.usda.gov along with non-GUS submission files. This email box will be monitored daily.