What Are the USDA Home Loan Requirements in My State?

USDA home loan requirements vary by state. So, make sure you use an eligibility map with the updated information. A USDA loan is backed by the federal government-backed home loan offered and administered through the United States Department of Agriculture.

These loans are designed to help low-income families afford decent housing. The benefits include zero down payments, low interest rates and lower income and credit gates.

For a family looking for residential homes, the average interest rate is 3.125%, but that varies by region. The main criteria for USDA loans are:

  • Family Income. Family income is adjusted for the average in the area you live in and the area you are buying a home.
  • Sale Price. Sale price maximums also vary according to the area you live in and the area you are buying a home.

The limits for the individual maximum for family income and sale price are adjusted upward for a family of four members versus a family with up to eight members.


Income limits range from $75,000-$79,000 for a family of four. The maximum pricing for a family of four caps out at $272,000 in Bedford and most other counties.


Income limits range from $75,000-$85,000 for a family of four. The maximum pricing for a family of four is $289,000 in Huntsville with most eligible housing for a family of four capping at $272,000.

North Carolina

Income limits range from $75,000-$84,000 for a family of four. The maximum pricing for a family of four caps out at $272,000 in Yancy and most other counties.

Who Can Apply?

A number of factors come in to play to determine eligibility for single-family home loans. You have to meet the income and pricing guidelines and show that you can repay the debt.

Additional qualifications include:

  • Need for safe and sanitary housing
  • Inability to obtain a loan under reasonable conditions
  • Agreement to live in the property as your primary residence
  • Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen

Properties that you’re considering must:

  • Be under 2,000 square feet
  • Not exceed the maximum market value for the area
  • Not include an in-ground pool
  • Not be income-producing

Borrowers have to repay the payment subsidy if they move out of the property or transfer the title to another party.  Applicants also have to meet the income eligibility requirements in order to receive a direct loan. Examples are provided above.

What Are Area Criteria for Eligibility?

Rural areas with less than 35,000 generally qualify. You can look up individual properties at SSDA Income and Property Eligibility.

Notes on Interest Rates

Interest rates vary by individual lenders. Here are some guidelines to give you an idea of what you might pay for interest:

  • Fixed interest rate is based on current rates when the loan approves or closes, whichever is lower
  • Interest rate reduced by payment assistance can be as low as 1%
  • Up to 33-year payback cycle or 38-year payback for very low-income applicants

This USDA mortgage calculator can help you determine your eligibility and what you might pay for a USDA loan in your area.