What does this program do?
Also known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, this program assists low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Payment assistance is a type of subsidy that reduces the mortgage payment for a short time. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income.
Who may apply for this program?
A number of factors are considered when determining an applicant’s eligibility for Single Family Direct Home Loans. At a minimum, applicants interested in obtaining a direct loan must have an adjusted income that is at or below the applicable low-income limit for the area where they wish to buy a house and they must demonstrate a willingness and ability to repay debt.
- Be without decent, safe and sanitary housing
- Be unable to obtain a loan from other resources on terms and conditions that can reasonably be expected to meet
- Agree to occupy the property as your primary residence
- Have the legal capacity to incur a loan obligation
- Meet citizenship or eligible noncitizen requirements
- Not be suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs
Properties financed with direct loan funds must:
- Not have market value in excess of the applicable area loan limit
- Not be designed for income producing activities
Borrowers are required to repay all or a portion of the payment subsidy received over the life of the loan when the title to the property transfers or the borrower is no longer living in the dwelling.
Applicants must meet income eligibility for a direct loan. Please select your state from the dropdown menu above.
What is an eligible rural area?
Utilizing the USDA Eligibility Site you can enter a specific address for determination or just search the map to review general eligible areas.
How may funds be used?
Loan funds may be used to help low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas. Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities.
How much may I borrow?
Using the Single Family Housing Direct Self- Assessment tool, potential applicants may enter information online to determine if the Section 502 Direct Loan Program is a good fit for them prior to applying. The tool will provide a preliminary review after a potential applicant enters information on their general household composition, monthly income, monthly debts, property location, estimated property taxes, and estimated hazard insurance. Potential applicants are welcome to submit a complete application for an official determination by USDA Rural Development (RD) regardless of the self-assessment results. Upon receipt of a complete application, RD will determine the applicant’s eligibility using verified information and the applicant’s maximum loan amount based on their repayment ability and the area loan limit for the county in which the property is located.
What is the interest rate and payback period?
- Effective December 1, 2023, the current interest rate for Single Family Housing Direct home loans is 4.75% for low-income and very low-income borrowers.
- Fixed interest rate based on current market rates at loan approval or loan closing, whichever is lower
- Interest rate when modified by payment assistance, can be as low as 1%
- Up to 33 year payback period - 38 year payback period for very low income applicants who can’t afford the 33 year loan term
How much down payment is required?
No down payment is typically required. Applicants with assets higher than the asset limits may be required to use a portion of those assets.
Is there a deadline to apply?
Applications for this program are accepted through your local RD office year round.
How long does an application take?
Processing times vary depending on funding availability and program demand in the area in which an applicant is interested in buying and completeness of the application package.
What governs this program?
- The Housing Act of 1949 as amended, 7 CFR, Part 3550,
- HB-1-3550 - Direct Single Family Housing Loans Field Office Handbook
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
USDA Rural Development’s Section 502 Direct Loan Program provides a path to homeownership for low- and very-low-income families living in rural areas, and families who truly have no other way to make affordable homeownership a reality. Providing these 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.
NOTE: Please select your state using the "Select your location" menu above. By doing so, any state specific forms and resources will be shown above this note. Please visit the Eligibility Site to find out if your income is within the direct loan limits. Also, the home to be built or purchased must be located in an eligible rural area.
- Applicant Orientation Guide video
- Form RD 3550-23, Applicant Orientation Guide - English version
- Form RD 3550-23, Applicant Orientation Guide - Spanish version
- Rural Development State Office Contact Information
- New Homeowners Information Guide - English version
- New Homeowners Information Guide - Spanish version
- Streamlined Assist Refinance Loan
- Program Overview
- Pre-qualification and Application Processes
- Determining Income:
- Credit Requirements
- eForms Electronic Application Process (Video, User Guide)
Certified Loan Application Packager Resources:
Packagers are encouraged to routinely visit the Direct Loan Application Packagers page for information and resources specific to packaging single-family housing direct loans.
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
Main Phone Number: (530) 792-5800 extension 1
USDA Rural Development
Attn: Single Family Housing
430 G St, Agency 4169
Davis, CA 95616
Stephen Nnodim, Single Family Housing Program Director
email@example.com | (530) 792-5830
Debbie Morris, State Loan Coordinator (South)
firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 792-5820
Debbie Boyd, State Loan Coordinator (North) HPG Coordinator
email@example.com | (530) 217-6243
Maggie Slater, CA State Self Help Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | (760) 347-3675 x122
Roger Gardner, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (530) 792-5804
Paula Galvan, Loan Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 792-5823
Rosie Jaurige, Loan Technician
email@example.com | (530) 792-5809
Eduardo Saavedra, Loan Assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 792-5826
Guaranteed loans are centralized across the state
Email address: SFHGLPONE@usda.gov
Direct loan and grant contacts
Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama & Trinity Counties
Andrea Harbert, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (530) 691-5854
Alameda, Del Norte, Humboldt, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara & Santa Cruz Counties
Sylvia Barbosa, Area Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | (831) 975-7738
Lupe Benavides, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (831) 975-7738
Amador, Alpine, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo & Yuba Counties
Nicole Roldan-Leben, Area Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 693-3162
Barinder Kaur, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (530) 693-3174
Sumanjeet Dhanju, Loan Specialist
Sumanjeet.firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 217-6252
Wanda Thompson, Loan Technician
email@example.com | (530) 217-6249
Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus & Tuolumne Counties
Liz Vannata, Area Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org |(559) 490-8030
Doris Geisenheimer, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (209) 205-4968
Alma Jaquez, Loan Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 209-205-4970
Inyo, Kern, Kings, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare & Ventura Counties
John Nicolet, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | 661-281-2743
Stacy Lopez, Area Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | (559) 754-3154
Fariha Harooni, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (661) 281-2754
Imperial, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties
Patty Coronado, Area Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | (760) 355-2208 x109
Carrie McLeod, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (760) 347-3675x120
Alejandro Macias, Loan Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | (760) 355-2208 x105
Maurice Brundidge, Loan Specialist
email@example.com | (760)355-2208 X100