USDA boosts opportunities for rural home buyers

FINDLAY – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency has federal money available in its Single Family Housing Direct Loan program for eligible low-income rural residents who wish to purchase or build a home. No down payment is required and loan repayment is based on the applicant’s income.

“In my 13 years with USDA Rural Development, I’ve seen our housing programs change a lot of lives,” said Findlay Loan Assistant Melodye Massey. “Not having to have a down payment can be a real godsend; it makes a huge difference to families with limited incomes. In 2016, our Direct Loan program helped more than 200 rural Ohioans get the keys to their new homes. It’s genuinely rewarding to help people who never thought they could own a home open that door.”

USDA Rural Development offers 100 percent financing with a 33-year term and a fixed interest rate; currently 3.25 percent. Some loans qualify for payment assistance, which can drop the effective loan rate to as low as 1 percent. This often results in a monthly payment lower than the cost of the borrower’s rent.

USDA-financed homes must be located in eligible rural areas. The home must be considered modest, and the purchase price cannot exceed established loan limits ($185,000 in Fulton County). Applicants must have a stable source of income, a satisfactory credit history, and be able to demonstrable repayment ability. They also must meet established county income limits.

To find your county’s information, visit, select Ohio on the map, and then locate your region or county.

To learn more about home ownership or home repairs for current homeowners, call (419) 422-0242 ext. 4, or email To learn more about all USDA Rural Development programs, please visit