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HURON – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Rural Development is currently accepting loan applications from low-income families to purchase or repair homes in rural communities in South Dakota.

Recent changes to USDA Rural Development housing programs mean that more rural South Dakotans can now achieve their homeownership goals.

Earlier this year, the maximum mortgage limit for a direct USDA Rural Development home loan increased to $220,532, a jump of nearly $3,700 from the previous mortgage limit.

In addition, a typical income limit for a one-person household using the USDA Direct Home Loan Program to purchase a home in an eligible South Dakota community or rural area is now $44,100. For a family of four, a common limit is $63,000.

Income limits vary by county and household size, so applicants are encouraged to contact USDA South Dakota Rural Development staff for limits in their specific area.

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The loans offer 100% financing, require no down payment or private mortgage insurance, no points and no origination fees. The loans have a fixed interest rate for a term of 33 or 38 years. Low-income applicants can benefit from subsidized payments and an effective interest rate as low as 1.0%. Loan funds can also be used to help eligible current owners complete repairs at reasonable rates and terms.

Applicants must have an acceptable credit history, meet income guidelines, have repayment capacity to repay the new loan and all existing obligations, be a U.S. citizen or legally eligible for permanent residence, and personally own and occupy the house permanently.

For more information, contact Single Family Housing Director Janell Telin at the USDA Rural Development Office in Aberdeen at (605) 824-3622 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/sd.

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