Jul 14 2023

New USDA Loan income limits: Are you eligible?


Great news: USDA Loan income limits have increased for 2023. Now, more homebuyers may qualify.

If you’ve been hunting for an affordable path to homeownership, this could be it. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) just announced its updated USDA Loan income limits for 2023. More homebuyers may now be eligible for this no down payment mortgage, available in rural and some suburban USDA-approved areas.

The affordability of a USDA Loan is hard to beat if you meet the new income limits and can find an approved property.

Still, opportunities are out there. USDA-approved zones typically have a population of less than 35,000. But even near major cities, like Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, and others, there’s plenty of USDA-approved space. Currently, many homebuyers are searching outside of city centers, where homes may be up to 65 percent lower in price.

Higher USDA Loan income limits help homebuyers

Though a USDA Loan isn’t the right fit for everyone, these increased USDA Loan income limits may extend eligibility to more homebuyers.

What changed?

  • 2023 USDA Loan income limits have increased nationwide.
  • Income limits may vary by county and household size and could be higher in some areas to accommodate cost of living.
  • Select a state in this pdf to see the income limits for the counties within that state.

While Academy Mortgage is proud to offer 100 percent financing for USDA Loans, USDA Loans aren’t available with all lenders. For those who currently have a USDA Loan, you may be eligible to improve your loan terms using a USDA Streamline Refinance.

What are a USDA Loan’s benefits?

  • Affordable. A USDA Loan, also known as the “rural development loan,” is government-backed by the United States Department of Agriculture and has no down payment requirement. This makes the loan friendly to first-time and low/mid-income buyers.
  • Allows gift funds/down payment assistance (DPA). A USDA Loan is also friendly in the sense that it permits gifts and other forms of assistance, like grants, to be used toward closing costs or a down payment. Though it isn’t required, putting money down may help to decrease your monthly payment.
  • Competitive rate. Since it’s insured by the government, a USDA Loan carries less risk to a lender and typically comes with a more reasonable rate. A lower mortgage rate can lower your monthly payment.
  • Flexible. While a USDA Mortgage is usually associated with rural properties, the loan can be used for some suburban homes too. Plug an address into the USDA’s map to see if it’s eligible.
  • More inventory options. Right now, housing inventory remains historically tight. Many homebuyers are expanding their home search to less populated areas, using the USDA Loan to turn up new listings.
  • No cash reserve requirement. Other mortgage programs—like Conventional and FHA Loans—may require you to carry cash reserves to reduce risk, especially in instances of higher debt or spotty credit. A USDA Loan doesn’t.

Fun fact: You could even use a USDA Loan to cover 100 percent of your closing costs if a property appraises higher than its sales price. USDA is the only loan program to do this.

Reach out to your local Academy Loan Officer for details.

What else?

  • Property requirements apply. A USDA Loan can only be used to purchase a single-family home for a primary residence. Along with being a primary residence, an approved home must be structurally sound, be accessible, have a functional roof, and meet other similar requirements.
  • Added fees also apply. A USDA Loan doesn’t technically require mortgage insurance, but it does carry an upfront Guarantee Fee and Monthly Fee. You can read more about this here.

It’s important to point out that you don’t have to be a first-time buyer to apply for a USDA Loan—though the zero down payment requirement makes it attractive to anyone buying their first house. All eligible buyers have potential to qualify. This includes first-time and repeat homebuyers.

Without having to save up for a down payment, you may be ready to become a homeowner sooner than you expected. Nixing the down payment may also free up extra funds to pay for movers, furnish your new house, and take on any needed repairs or upgrades.

Get home with no down payment?

It’s possible that a USDA Loan could help you to achieve your dream of homeownership. Contact your local Academy Loan Officer to find out if you qualify.

Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. No specific results are guaranteed. Not all applicants will qualify. MAC624-1487259/MAC724-1487669.