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How to Get a Government Home Loan with Low or Moderate Income

Written by: Rebecca Game

The government provides loans to those individuals who have low to moderate income for permanent residence in rural areas. To qualify for these government loans is not that hard and the restrictions are small.

The Federal agency that provides the loans for housing is: Rural Housing Service, (RHS)

Their main objective is to assist very low, low-income, and moderate-income households so that they can get decent, safe, and modest housing as a permanent residence.

The types of assistance they provide are "Direct Loans" or "Guaranteed / Insured Loans".

Description for Uses and Use Restriction Reads:

"Direct and guaranteed loans may be used to buy, build, or improve the applicant's permanent residence. New manufactured homes may be financed when they are on a permanent site, purchased from an approved dealer or contractor, and meet certain other requirements. Under very limited circumstances, homes may be re-financed with direct loans. Dwellings financed must be modest, decent, safe, and sanitary. The value of a home financed with a direct loan may not exceed the area limit. The property must be located in an eligible rural area. Assistance is available in the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana's, and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands. Direct loans are made at the interest rate specified in RD Instruction 440.1, Exhibit B (available in any Rural Development local office), and are repaid over 33 years or 38 years for applicants whose adjusted annual income does not exceed 60 percent of the area median income, if necessary to show repayment ability. Payment assistance is granted on direct loans to reduce the installment to an "effective interest rate" as low as one percent, depending on adjusted family income. Payment assistance is subject to recapture by the government when the customer no longer resides in the dwelling. There is no funding provided for deferred mortgage authority or loans for deferred mortgage assumptions. Guaranteed loans may be made to refinance either existing RHS Guaranteed Housing loans or RHS Section 502 Direct Housing loans. Guaranteed loans are amortized over 30 years. The interest rate is negotiated with the lender."

The eligibility requirements are:

"Applicants must have very low, low or moderate incomes. Very low-income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income. Low-income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI. Moderate income is below 115 percent of AMI. Families must be without adequate housing, but able to afford the housing payments, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI). Qualifying repayment ratios are 29 percent for PITI to 41 percent for total debt. In addition, applicants must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, yet have an acceptable credit history."

It would be very wise to check the area that you are interested in to see what they yearly taxes are as some areas are very high compared to others. Depending on your age, and area, taxes could run anywhere from 500.00 per year up to thousands of dollars per year. By age, I mean that senior citizens get a huge tax break on property taxes.

You can also lower property taxes by other means including farming. Check with their office to see what tax breaks you can get.

You may be required to show proof of your inability to get credit elsewhere, verification of your income, any debts that you owe,and other pertinant information on the application such as plans, specifications, and cost estimates.

How Do You Apply? For direct loans, application is made at the Rural Development field office serving the county where the dwelling is or will be located. For guaranteed loans, application is made to a participting lender. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Rural Development field offices have the authority to approve most Direct loan requests. The processing of guaranteed loans will vary from State to State. You will need to contact the Rural Development State Office in your area. It will be listed in your local telephone directory.

If no backlog exists, decisions on direct loan applications are made within 30 to 60 days. Requests for guarantee loans are acted upon in 3 days.

The time it takes to get approved or disapproved can range anywhere from 30 days to 60 days depending on the availablity of funds and whether or not the application was filed while a backlog of applications are present. For guarantees, a decision is required within 3 days of loan package submission by the approved lender.

You CAN appeal if you are denied the loan or loan guarantee: "Agency regulations providing customers with the rights for an informal review, mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or appeal to the National Appeals Division (NAD) are contained in 7 CFR Part 3550. NAD regulations are found at 7 CFR Part 11. Requests for an informal review, mediation and ADR must be received within 30 days from the date of the adverse decision. Requests for an appeal to NAD must be received within 30 days of receipt of the adverse decision."

You can also reapply at any time.

This assistance is available throughout the year by means of quarterly allocations. Funds may be given at the loan closing or they may be deposited in the bank account for purchase of a building site, and purchase or repair of a dwelling, or in multiple advances for construction. For guaranteed loans, funds are distributed after all the work has been completed.

Just so you know, the applications for direct loans far exceed available funding. There's usually a waiting list if you want direct loan funding for a home.

You are not required to, but you should keep copies of any of your loan related documents.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance From $1,000 to $105,000; an average of $73,350 for 502 direct loans, and 93,000 for guaranteed loans. Loans in high cost areas may be higher.

Literature and Guidelines: 7 CFR Part 3550 "Direct Single Family Housing Loans and Grants." For guaranteed loans, 1980-D "Subpart D -Rural Housing Loans."

You can contact their offices here:

For Your Local Office: They will be listed under United States Department of Agriculture for Rural Development in your local phone directory. If you can't find their listing, you can contact the Rural Development State Office on the web here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html.

Headquarters Office Director, Single Family Housing Direct Loan Division or Director Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, Rural Housing Service (RHS), Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-1474 (direct loans); (202) 720-1452 (guaranteed loans).

You can visit their web site here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

About the author:

Rebecca Game is the founder of Digital Women , an online community for women in business. A 30 year entrepreneur and dedicated to helping other women find business loans and business grants. Visit her site: Business Grants for Women or at her main site: http://www.digital-women.com


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