What Is a USDA Loan?

A USDA loan, or a Rural Development Loan, is a mortgage program run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that’s aimed towards promoting homeownership in rural areas and less densely populated suburban areas. USDA loans come with some great perks, like low or even no down payment requirements and competitive interest rates. That’s why they are a popular choice for folks with limited finances or those eyeing properties in rural areas.

To obtain a USDA loan, borrowers need to meet certain conditions. For instance, there are income limits, which vary depending on where the property is located. Plus, the property itself has to meet USDA eligibility standards, meaning it’s in an approved rural area.

If you’re thinking about going the USDA route for a loan, here’s how it works: You apply through a lender approved by the USDA and they will look over your income, credit history, and other factors to see if you qualify. Once you are given the green light, the USDA steps in to guarantee a portion of the loan, easing the lender’s concerns and allowing them to offer better terms to borrowers.

All in all, USDA loans provide a chance for individuals and families to own a home in rural areas without facing major financial hurdles. It’s a win-win that helps boost economic growth in these communities.

USDA Loan Requirements in Delaware

To explore USDA loan requirements in Delaware, individuals should familiarize themselves with what exactly that criteria is. As a baseline, potential borrowers must meet the general USDA loan standards outlined below:

  • Citizenship status: Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, demonstrating a stable income and commitment to loan repayment.
  • Income eligibility: Borrowers need to adhere to income limits set by the USDA, which vary based on household size and location.
  • Property location: The property must be situated in a designated rural area as defined by the USDA. Income and location serve as fundamental factors in determining borrower eligibility.
  • Lender-specific requirements: While there are overarching guidelines, lenders may impose additional criteria like minimum credit scores, debt-to-income ratios (DTI), and proof of ample funds for closing costs. These lender-specific conditions ensure borrowers possess the financial capacity to repay the loan and help mitigate the lender’s risk.

Prospective borrowers are encouraged to consult with a USDA-approved lender to fully comprehend all requirements and assess their eligibility for a USDA loan in Delaware.

Pros and Cons of USDA Loans

When it comes to deciding which loan is best for you, there are a few pros and cons of USDA loans to consider. 


Here are some key advantages of USDA loans:

  • No down payment required: USDA loans offer the benefit to buy a house with no money down. This accessibility is especially helpful for individuals with low income, as it allows them to still be able to buy a house with low income as they can then allocate their funds towards other home-related expenses such as closing costs or renovations.
  • Competitive interest rates: Since USDA loans are backed by the government, lenders can offer borrowers relatively low interest rates, making home ownership more affordable over the long term.
  • USDA streamline refinance: Refinance your existing USDA mortgage with little to no paperwork, no credit review, and no appraisal to a lower rate (if available).
  • Flexible credit requirements: Compared to conventional loans, USDA loans often have more lenient credit score requirements. This flexibility is great for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit histories, providing them with opportunities for homeownership that they might not have with other loan options.
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) required: Unlike many conventional loans, USDA loans do not require borrowers to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This can result in lower monthly mortgage payments, providing additional savings for homeowners.
  • No prepayment penalties: USDA loans do not impose prepayment penalties on borrowers who choose to pay off their mortgages early. This allows homeowners the flexibility to reduce their debt and save on interest costs over time.


Here are some aspects to consider regarding USDA loans:

  • Location restrictions: Properties eligible for USDA loans must be situated in designated rural areas, which might not suit buyers preferring urban or suburban settings. Additionally, homes must meet specific criteria concerning size, safety standards, and location within these eligible areas.
  • Guarantee fees: Although USDA loans don’t require PMI, they do require upfront and annual guarantee fees. Guarantee fees help fund the USDA rural housing loan program in Delaware and other states across the country. Expect to pay 1% upfront and .35% annually as of 2024. The fee can be rolled into the loan amount and financed instead of paid out of pocket.
  • Income limits: One downside of USDA loans is that they have region-specific income limits, so you may earn too much to qualify for a Delaware USDA loan if your income exceeds the local limits. 
  • Funding limitations: The availability of funds impacts USDA loans, and there may be periods when resources are depleted, leading to delays in loan approval.

How to Qualify for a USDA Loan in Delaware

As you weigh your loan options, it is a good idea to kick things off by asking your lender some basic questions. This will help you get a clear picture of your choices and ensure you’re well-prepared for what lies ahead. While there are a handful of loan options to consider, the Delaware USDA rural home loan could be just what you need to achieve your home-buying goals.

Qualifying for a Delaware USDA loan involves taking a few factors into account. As mentioned earlier, borrowers should thoroughly understand the lender requirements to ensure they meet all the necessary criteria. Key considerations for applicants pursuing a USDA home loans in Delaware include:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • A minimum 600 FICO score.
  • Meet the minimum 41% debt-to-income ratio.
  • Household income can’t exceed 115% of the median income for the county.
  • Monthly housing expenses, including mortgage, taxes, and insurance is around 29% of gross monthly income.
  • At least three years have passed since facing bankruptcy or foreclosure,
  • Properties in Delaware must be located in rural areas, typically defined as areas with fewer than 10,000 people.

Apply for a USDA Loan in Delaware

If you are gearing up for the next step in your home buying journey and considering a USDA home loan in Delaware, think about tapping into Griffin Funding’s resources, like the Griffin Gold app, to make things smoother and less daunting.

Griffin Funding knows the ins and outs of USDA loan requirements in Delaware and can help you wrap your head around income and location guidelines. The Griffin Gold app is extremely user-friendly, letting you keep tabs on your loan progress, upload documents, and connect with loan officers when it works best for you, making the application process a breeze.

By teaming up with Griffin Funding, you can streamline the Delaware USDA home loan application process and secure beneficial rates and loan terms. Fill out an application today to get started.