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Time running out for USDA rural home loans

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POSTED: June 28, 2010 11:20 a.m.
Time is running out for Georgia families who want to take advantage of more than $21 million in recovery act and regular funding to become homeowners in rural Georgia.
The grants are through U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s direct loan program, but recovery act funds will no longer be available after Sept. 30, 2010.
USDA Rural Development has two home loan programs, the direct and the guaranteed. Direct loans, which are still available, are made directly by the agency to qualified home buyers.
However, the guaranteed program – which allows the government to partner with local lenders – is so popular that all funds have been exhausted for FY2010. Funds for the guaranteed program should be available again on or after Oct. 1 as part of FY2011 funding, but may be available sooner.
The good news about the direct program is not only that funding remains, but that the interest rates will drop to 4.625 percent on July 1, 2010, for a 33-year mortgage.
“This program has very good terms for low and very low income families ready to become homeowners,” said Shirley Sherrod, state director of USDA Rural Development. “We want these funds spent in Georgia, so we need people to apply now.”
To qualify, Georgians must have low or very low dependable income and have good credit and debt level to show repayment of the loan. And the houses must be in eligible rural areas.
The low and very low designation is based on Median Household Income for each county, as well as how many people are living in the house. Loans are also for rural areas only, so urban areas are not eligible.
To check your income or the house address, visit http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do. Use the panel on thEd Peace, director of single-family housing programs, said it doesn’t take long to determine if someone can start shopping for a home.
“We can run a pre-qualification and know pretty quickly whether or not the person will qualify,” he said. “We would like to use this money to help Georgia families. But all of these funds will go away on Sept. 30, 2010.”
For pre-qualification forms, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ga/SFH-prequal.htm.
 

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