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New Income Limits Provide Increased Homeownership Opportunity for Rural Families

LINCOLN, NEB. MAY 22, 2017-The U.S Department of Agriculture Rural Development has announced the new 2017 income limits for the direct and guaranteed homeownership loan programs. The increased income limits may make more households eligible to obtain 100% financing through the agency’s programs for homeownership. The income limits are based on the county and the size of household. In some counties, the new income limits have increased over $7,000.

In many counties of Nebraska, for the guarantee program, the household income for 1-4 persons can be up to $78,200 and a 5-8 person household income of $103,200. However, some counties have higher income limits up to $90,300 for 1-4 person households and $119,200 for 4-8 person households. For the direct loan program, in many counties 1-4 person households can have incomes of $50,100 and for 4-8 person household incomes of $66,150. The income limit for some counties may be as high as $62,800 for 1-4 persons and $82,900 for 5-8 person households for the direct program. A full list of income limits by county and household size are available on the Rural Development website at under the Guarantee Loan Program and Direct Loan programs.

USDA Rural Development loan programs are available to assist low and moderate income households to become homeowners when conventional financing is not available. Barriers to obtaining affordable housing may include lack of cash reserves for down payment and the availability of suitable financing. USDA Rural Development loan programs offer affordable fixed rates with no down payment. The current interest rate for the direct program is 3.25%. Depending on household incomes, mortgage payments may be further subsidized to as low as one percent interest rate. The interest rates for the guarantee program are negotiated with the approved lender.

Properties eligible for Rural Development financing must be located in rural communities. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for USDA Rural Development housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and South Sioux City/Dakota City.” An income eligibility calculator and eligible rural areas are available at the following website:

Applicants must have acceptable credit history and repayment ability. Credit scores of 640 or greater are typically considered as acceptable, however, credit scores below 640 may also be considered with additional credit analysis.

Visit and click on the link for “Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans or Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program” under Key Feature Programs for more information and a list of contact information.

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