About USDA Income Eligibility

Having a house of your own in the U.S is an outstanding achievement and a dream come true for most people. Just the thought of not ever paying rent anymore can cause you to dance, and you should; it calls for a celebration! With a USDA home loan, you can finally fulfill your age-long dream of acquiring your own home.

Also referred to as rural housing loans, USDA loans offer low-interest rates to citizens with no down payment required. USDA loans were created to help low earners who normally cannot access traditional mortgages. Traditional mortgages have a high-interest rate and require collateral; this limits low-income earners. See the Income Eligibility for USDA Loans here.

But before you can acquire a home, you will need to be eligible for it. One of the factors that hasten the process is a good income record. So, what are the USDA income eligibility requirements? It will all be revealed here.

Updated Eligibility Requirement for USDA Loans

Before applying for USDA loans, you have to meet some requirements. Here is a list of those requirements:


  • Gross Family Income: Homes with 1 to 4 persons are required to have a total gross income of less than $86,850 annually; this applies to most regions in the country. For areas with a high cost of living, the total gross income is $212,550. However, for a home between 5 to 8 family members, the total revenue required to qualify for USDA loans is $114,650 per year, or less, while for high-cost areas, it’s $280,550.
  • Adjusted Annual Income: This refers to the adjusted amount gotten after recurring expenses have been subtracted from the total gross income.  
  • Qualified Income: This refers to the median income. Before an applicant’s loan is qualified, the median income is thoroughly investigated; this happens when the adjusted annual income has been concluded.
  • Income for Payback: It’s not enough to be granted a loan; the applicant must also be able to pay back. The revenue for repayment will be looked into, an important feature that determines a candidate’s eligibility. 


Applicants can only be considered if they can prove that less than 41% of their total income is used to service debts. However, applicants who exceed this percentage limit can still apply, only that the guidelines will be more stringent. 

Minimum Requirements for USDA Loans

There are some minimum requirements expected of applicants; they include:


  • Citizenship: Americans created USDA loans for Americans and no one else. Hence, applicants must prove that they are citizens when applying. Not just that, they also need to have proof of permanent residency. 
  • Credit Worthiness: Applicants need to have a good credit background, and even though there is no set credit limit, applicants with a credit score of 640 and above stand a better chance of loan approval as the underwriting process is automated, making it easier and quicker to get their loans approved. 


On the other hand, if your credit score is less than 640, do not be deterred but rather apply; it may be slow, and more stringent rules may be used, but you still stand a chance of getting loan approval.

Lenders will consider your creditworthiness to know if you are eligible for a loan or not. To determine your credit eligibility, lenders will consider applicants’ repayment patterns, duration of credit history, and credit use. Applicants without an established credit background can still be granted loans; however, they will need to produce evidence of other repayments such as utilities, rents, insurance, and so on.


  • Income: USDA loan applicants need to show a stable income and meet some income requirements. This includes an income record of the same value or less than 115% of the region’s median income.
  • Willingness to Repay: Applicants must be willing to repay the loan collected without defaulting; they must have paid back all their creditors for 12 months straight without a late payment or default. Borrowers are advised to make a budget and stick to it; this way, they can meet their financial obligations. 
  • Location: The location of the property also matters. The area must be an approved rural environment and must be used as a primary residence; the site’s population must even not exceed 35,000 people.
  • Lenders: There are various lenders in the USDA loan program; hence applicants are advised to take their time in selecting a suitable lender, preferably one with a low-interest rate and a good reputation.


Final Thoughts

With the USDA loan program for first time home buyers, you need not be stuck in your rented apartments as now you can have a home of your own. The program has been structured in a simple way that makes it easier for low-income Americans to purchase houses. All you need do is meet with the requirements, and then you will be smiling into your new home sooner than you imagine.