USDA Loans

what is a USDA loan?

A USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan is a fixed-rate mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These loans were long thought of as just for farmers, but the program has been expanded in recent years to help families purchase homes in rural and suburban areas.

No down payment is required, which sets these loans apart from more traditional home loans. Plus, the credit score requirements are more flexible than with other loan programs.

what are the benefits of a USDA loan?

USDA loans offer several unique benefits that set them apart from standard home loans. One of the biggest benefits is that they don’t require any money down, so you can finance up to 100% of the home’s total purchase price.

In addition, there are other benefits, like:

  • Better terms than an FHA or conventional loan
  • Credit score as low as 580 may still qualify
Did you know?
If you thought U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mortgage loans were just for farmers, think again. Many homes in rural areas, small towns, and even the suburbs are eligible for USDA loans.

who are USDA loans for?

Like we said, USDA loans aren’t just for farmers! The eligibility guidelines are pretty specific – but don’t let that stop you from achieving your homeownership goals. An experienced USDA mortgage professional at Waterstone Mortgage will help you navigate through the USDA loan process and determine if it’s a good fit.

Basic qualifications include:

  • The property being purchased must be in a rural area as defined by the USDA.
  • The property must be owner-occupied; investment or vacation properties are not eligible for USDA loans.
  • You must meet the income restrictions for the county the property is located in. Each county has a maximum income limit defined by the USDA. This maximum income limit depends on the cost of living, median income, and other economic characteristics of the county the property is located in. 


A USDA Loan is a government-insured loan subject to certain qualifications and restrictions. USDA guarantee fee and annual fees apply.

All loan requests are subject to credit approval as well as specific loan program requirements and guidelines. With Adjustable Rate Mortgage loans, the rate is variable and may increase or decrease every year after the initial fixed rate period based on changes to an index. This could result in an increase in the monthly payment.