USDA offers rural home loans for low-income residents


The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency has federal money available in its Single Family Housing Direct Loan program for eligible low-income rural residents who wish to purchase or build a home. No down payment is required and loan repayment is based on the applicant’s income.

“Many rural Ohioans who thought they could never afford a home because they couldn’t arrange a down payment or they believed their income was too low may actually have an opportunity to become homeowners,” said Ohio Rural Development Loan Specialist Kay Wilson. “In 2016 alone, our direct loan program helped more than 200 income-eligible families in Ohio become homeowners, many with monthly payments lower than the average cost of the borrower’s rent.”

USDA Rural Development offers 100 percent financing with a 33-year term and a fixed interest rate; currently 3.25 percent. Some loans qualify for payment assistance, which can drop the effective loan rate to as low as 1 percent. This often results in a monthly payment lower than the cost of the borrower’s rent.

USDA-financed homes must be located in eligible rural areas, which can be found here: The home must be considered modest, and the purchase price cannot exceed established loan limits ($165,000 in Highland County, for example). Applicants must have a stable source of income, a satisfactory credit history, and be able to demonstrate repayment ability. They also must meet established county income limits, which in Adams, Highland, Pike, and Scioto Counties are as follows:

Number of people in household: one – $31,200; two – $35,650; three – $40,100; four – $44,550; five – $48,100; six – $51,700.

Income limits may be higher in some areas. To find your county’s information, visit, select Ohio on the map, and then locate your region or county.

To learn more about home ownership or home repairs for current homeowners, call 937 393-1921 ext. 4, or email [email protected]. To learn more about all USDA Rural Development programs, visit

Submitted by Kay Wilson, acting lead specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development.

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