USDA - Rural Housing Loans
A USDA - Rural Housing Loan is a loan insured against default by USDA. In other words, the USDA guarantees that a lender won't have to write off a loan if the borrower defaults- the USDA will pay. This helps allow for better rates than on loans not insured.
What Areas Qualify?
The goal of USDA is to encourage home ownership in areas considered "rural." To check to see if the home you're looking to buy is in a qualified area click this link https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do Then click on Single Family Housing Guaranteed and agree and you'll be able to see a map of the US. Type in the address of the home you're considering and you'll be able to find out!
USDA wants to make sure you don't make too much or have too much in assets. You can't have over 20% down in liquid funds (retirement funds do not count towards this). They also have income restrictions which changes annually. They break it up into two groups. The 1-4 group and the 5+ group. So depending on how many are in your family you can click this link https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/incomeEligibilityAction.do to find out the income limits for your area. I find it best to just download the pdf under "Income Limits" on this page.
0% minimum down payment required on purchase
Minimum credit score 640
Lower MI rates than FHA