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USDA Loans in PA: Homebuyer Requirements

Bank notes, calculator and a note pad with USDA loan written on itA USDA loan in Pennsylvania can be a great way to finance a home in a rural or suburban area. This loan offers 100% financing, low-interest rates, and flexible terms.

Additionally, there is no down payment required. The U.S. Department of Agriculture backs USDA loans available to those with certain income and credit requirements.

A USDA loan may be right for you if you want to purchase a home in Pennsylvania. Contact a local lender today to learn more about this financing option and see if you qualify.

What is a USDA Loan?

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or an experienced buyer, a USDA loan in Pennsylvania could help you realize your dream of owning a home; USDA loans are designed for borrowers with low or moderate incomes. 

Unlike conventional loans, a USDA loan does not require a down payment. In addition, the interest rate on a USDA loan is typically lower than those on conventional loans.

The United States Department of Agriculture insures USDA loans. This means you can take out a loan even if your credit is less than perfect.

Also, the loan is fixed-rate and has a 30-year repayment period.
USDA loans are available in most areas of the country. However, there are specific income and property requirements.

If you want to know more, visit the PA USDA eligibility website. The site has an interactive map to determine if you qualify for a USDA Loan.

USDA loans are available to purchase a primary residence. Second homes and investment properties are ineligible. You may also use a USDA Loan to repair or remodel your home (see below).

How to Get a USDA Loan in Pennsylvania

Getting a USDA Loan in Pennsylvania is a great way to buy a home without spending money. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers this type of loan. The loan provides no down payment and can be secured with a credit score of 640. Some lenders will permit a lower credit score.

USDA loans are meant for low-income and moderate-income borrowers. They offer competitive rates and terms, and the loan is also an excellent way for borrowers to build home equity.

To qualify for a USDA loan, applicants must meet a certain income, and homes must be located in USDA-designated areas. Two programs are available to eligible borrowers: the USDA Guaranteed Loan and the USDA Direct Loan.

The USDA Guaranteed Loan, a Section 502 Guaranteed Rural Loan, is a zero-down loan with low rates and terms. It is available in approved rural areas and offers less strict eligibility requirements.

The USDA Direct Loan is for borrowers who do not qualify for the USDA Guaranteed Loan. Borrowers can with up to 115% of the median income in a specific area.

USDA Loan Requirements PA (check)

If you're considering buying a home in Pennsylvania, you may feel a USDA loan. USDA loans are an excellent option for first-time homebuyers or buyers with less-than-perfect credit, but there are some requirements you should be aware of before you apply.

First, let's review what a USDA loan is. A USDA loan is a mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Program was created to help rural homeowners obtain financing, but now the loans are available to residents of some suburban regions. USDA loans are unique because they offer 100% financing – meaning you can buy a home with no down payment.

Now that we've reviewed what a USDA loan is let's look at the requirements for obtaining one in Pennsylvania.

Types of USDA Loans

There are two types of USDA Loans. 

The USDA Direct Program and the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan. Each Program is different, and each has its income and down payment limits.

USDA Direct Loan Program

The Direct Program is only available to low and very low-income borrowers. There are no down payment requirements, and loan application is made directly through one of the USDA field offices.

USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed

The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program, is designed for low-to-moderate-income families. It has less restrictive income limits than the Direct Program and is available through private lenders.

USDA Loans in Pennsylvania do not require any down payment, and these loans can be used to purchase a primary residence.

The United States Department of Agriculture insures these loans. You must meet the income and credit requirements to qualify for a USDA loan. In addition, you must be located in an eligible rural area.

USDA Loan Limits Pennsylvania

This is shocking. USDA has no maximum lending limit, and the borrower's debt-to-income ratio determines the maximum loan amount.

USDA Loan Income Requirements

Whether you want to purchase a new home or refinance your existing one, a USDA Loan can be a great option. It's backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which provides competitive interest rates and flexible income requirements.

A USDA loan is a fixed-rate mortgage that does not require a down payment. The USDA also ensures you feel secure in your new home. It's a great financing option for those with modest incomes, allowing you to build equity in your home over time.

The USDA has established loan income limits for Pennsylvania's 67 counties.

As of the 8th of June in 2022, the following are the standard income limits that apply to the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program:

Household income of 1-4 occupants - $103,500
Household income of 5-8 occupants - $136,600

TTo determine the maximum income limit for your area, check the USDA income lookup. You can also consult with a USDA representative to ensure accuracy.

USDA Loan Credit Score Requirements

Whether a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, you should understand Pennsylvania's USDA Loan credit score requirements. The USDA program is designed to help moderate-income buyers become homeowners.

You can qualify for a USDA Loan even if your credit is not excellent. Some lenders require a credit score of 640, but you may also be eligible for a USDA loan if you have a credit score of 580 or lower.

USDA loans are more flexible than other mortgage financing options. Lenders can manually underwrite loans for those with lower credit scores. The lender also reviews the applicant's additional financial information. For example, if you make rent payments on time, they may consider it a compensating factor.

USDA loans offer low-interest rates and zero down payments, which is an attractive option to many people. A USDA mortgage is also easier to qualify for than a conventional loan.

A USDA Loan is also known as a USDA Rural Development loan. This type of loan is designed to help those who need a new home or are remodeling their current home.

USDA Loan Down Payment Requirement

Whether you want to purchase a home, refinance, or consolidate your debt, you may wonder if you qualify for a USDA Loan. USDA loans are available for owner-occupied, single-family homes and come with fixed-rate loans with 30-year terms.

These loans do not require a down payment and are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

USDA Guarantee Fee

Guarantee Fee
Two costs are associated with USDA mortgages that are program-specific. The first cost is an upfront guarantee fee, and the second fee is an annual fee.

Currently, the upfront guarantee charge equals one percent of the total loan amount. Instead of paying for it out of pocket, this charge can be rolled into the mortgage. The guarantee fee is equivalent to the upfront mortgage insurance the FHA loan program charges, although the USDA guarantee fee is less expensive.

Annual Fee
The annual fee is the USDA private mortgage insurance (PMI) version. However, the yearly monthly fee is cheaper than FHA conventional mortgages.

The cost is calculated at 0.35 percent of the total loan amount each year. Therefore, a mortgage loan of $100,000 would need a monthly payment of $29.17 ($100,000 X .35% = $350 divided by 12 months equals $29.17). The monthly annual fee is included in your mortgage payment.

Both of these fees are assessed by the lender, who then, in most cases, must charge the borrower for the expense. These costs ensure that USDA loans are not subject to any federal subsidy, implying that any losses suffered by the Program are covered by these fees rather than by taxpayer money.

The costs are subject to modification yearly and are determined by the Program's requirements.

The Direct loan program does not require a guarantee or annual fee.

USDA Loan Terms

The USDA only offers 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

I chuckled when I wrote this, and it reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit with John Belushi.
The Olympia Restaurant: Cheeseburger, Chips, and Pepsi 

USDA Gift Funds for Closing Costs and Down Payment

If you're looking to buy a home with a USDA loan, you may be able to get help with your prepaid expenses and closing costs. The USDA has specific guidelines for gift funds that can be used for these purposes.

First, the gift funds must come from a qualified source, such as a relative, friend, employer, or charitable organization. The funds must be explicitly given to buying a home.

Second, the USDA requires that the gift funds be appropriately documented. The donor must write a letter stating that the funds are gifts, not loans. The letter must also state the relationship between the donor and the borrower. Your loan officer will provide you with an approved gift letter and instructions.

Follow the lender's guidelines if you use gift funds to help with your USDA loan. By doing so, you can be sure that your loan will be approved and that you can close on your new home.

Can You Have a Cosigner on a USDA Loan?

A USDA Loan in Pennsylvania can be an excellent option for those looking to buy a home with little to no money down—however, some things to consider before applying for a USDA Loan. 

One of the most important things to consider is whether or not you will need a cosigner. A USDA Loan cosigner may be necessary if you have bad credit or insufficient income to qualify for the loan. Having a cosigner on your USDA Loan can help you get approved for the loan and can also help you get a lower interest rate.

If you are considering applying for a USDA Loan in Pennsylvania, talk to your lender about whether or not you will need a cosigner.

UUSDA Loan Seller Concessions (seller assist)

Seller concessions are allowed on USDA loans in Pennsylvania. This is when the seller agrees to pay a portion of the buyer's closing costs. This can be a great way to save money on your home purchase. The amount of seller concessions that are allowed depends on the loan program.

For USDA loans, the seller can contribute up to 6% of the sales price toward the buyer's closing and prepaid costs.

This can be a great way to reduce the money you need to bring to closing. If you are looking for a home in Pennsylvania and think you may qualify for a USDA loan, ask your real estate agent about seller concessions; it could save you a lot of money!


In conclusion, USDA loans are an excellent option for purchasing a home in a qualifying rural area. With a lower interest rate and no closing costs, you can afford your dream home without breaking the bank.


Recommended Reading
Mortgage Calculator for a USDA Loan
USDA Loans PA: Income Limits

Read more about USDA Loans at

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