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USDA funding available to buy, repair rural homes

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WASHINGTON — USDA Rural Development has funding available for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.

The Direct Home Loan program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as 1% with a subsidy.

Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of generally 35,000 people or less.

The maximum loan amount is $20,000 at a 1% interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term, and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing or replacing a furnace.

Contact a USDA Rural Development housing specialist in your area to see if you qualify.

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For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn .

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