Zero-down USDA Guaranteed Loans are the most popular rural development mortgage program in North Carolina. These loans are available for anyone with low to moderate income to purchase a home in approved rural areas with no down payment.  The USDA Guaranteed Loan Program is also the favorite no-down payment mortgage in North Carolina for non-veterans today, and can be used for a broader range of applicant incomes than USDA Direct Loans.

What are North Carolina USDA Loans?

The USDA loan program was created by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, also known as “USDA RD”. USDA Guaranteed Loans (also known as USDA Section 502 Guaranteed Loans) are a mortgage program for low and moderate income mortgage applicants. North Carolina USDA loans provide low-cost, government insured mortgage options that suit a variety of home buying needs. The most common mortgages offered through USDA are known as “Guaranteed” loans. USDA Guaranteed Loans are 100% financing mortgages, which means you can use them to buy a home with no down payment.

North Carolina USDA Loan Requirements

USDA loan requirements mainly focus on the home loan applicant and the property. First off, the home must be located in an approved rural areas to be considered eligible for USDA financing. Second off, the home buyer must meet all income requirements set forth by USDA. These income limits are established through a combination of debt-to-income ratios and income ceilings that equal 115% of the area median income (AMI) for the particular area. Statewide, North Carolina carries a median household income of $54,602, but that can vary from county to county. Ultimately, the applicant must also meet all lender requirements for mortgage approval which include:

  • Credit Requirements
  • Income Requirements
  • Documentation Requirements

North Carolina USDA Loan Limits

USDA doesn’t set specific maximum loan amounts for guaranteed mortgages. Instead, local limits are determined by a combination of the area USDA maximum income limit and the borrower’s debt-to-income ratios. This approach means that guaranteed North Carolina USDA loan limits are fluid and based upon numerous factors. The limits listed below are based on approximate calculations. Actual guaranteed loan limits may vary.

1-4 Person Households
5-8 Person Households
Alleghany County, NC$306,000$391,000
Anson County, NC$306,000$391,000
Ashe County, NC$306,000$391,000
Asheville, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Avery County, NC$306,000$391,000
Beaufort County, NC$306,000$391,000
Bertie County, NC$306,000$391,000
Bladen County, NC$306,000$391,000
Brunswick County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Burlington, NC MSA$306,000$391,000
Camden County, NC$306,000$391,000
Carteret County, NC$306,000$391,000
Caswell County, NC$306,000$391,000
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC HUD Metro FMR Area$323,000$408,000
Cherokee County, NC$306,000$391,000
Chowan County, NC$306,000$391,000
Clay County, NC$306,000$391,000
Cleveland County, NC$306,000$391,000
Columbus County, NC$306,000$391,000
Craven County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Dare County, NC$306,000$391,000
Davidson County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Duplin County, NC$306,000$391,000
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$340,000$431,000
Fayetteville, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Gates County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Goldsboro, NC MSA$306,000$391,000
Graham County, NC$306,000$391,000
Granville County, NC$306,000$391,000
Greene County, NC$306,000$391,000
Greensboro-High Point, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Greenville, NC MSA$306,000$391,000
Halifax County, NC$306,000$391,000
Harnett County, NC$306,000$391,000
Haywood County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Hertford County, NC$306,000$391,000
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC MSA$306,000$391,000
Hoke County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Hyde County, NC$306,000$391,000
Iredell County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Jackson County, NC$306,000$391,000
Jacksonville, NC MSA$306,000$391,000
Jones County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Lee County, NC$306,000$391,000
Lenoir County, NC$306,000$391,000
Lincoln County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Macon County, NC$306,000$391,000
Martin County, NC$306,000$391,000
McDowell County, NC$306,000$391,000
Mitchell County, NC$306,000$391,000
Montgomery County, NC$306,000$391,000
Moore County, NC$306,000$391,000
Northampton County, NC$306,000$391,000
Pamlico County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Pasquotank County, NC$306,000$391,000
Pender County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Perquimans County, NC$306,000$391,000
Person County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Polk County, NC$306,000$391,000
Raleigh, NC MSA$374,000$483,000
Richmond County, NC$306,000$391,000
Robeson County, NC$306,000$391,000
Rockingham County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Rocky Mount, NC MSA$306,000$391,000
Rowan County, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Rutherford County, NC$306,000$391,000
Sampson County, NC$306,000$391,000
Scotland County, NC$306,000$391,000
Stanly County, NC$306,000$391,000
Surry County, NC$306,000$391,000
Swain County, NC$306,000$391,000
Transylvania County, NC$306,000$391,000
Tyrrell County, NC$306,000$391,000
Vance County, NC$306,000$391,000
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC HUD Metro FMR Are$323,000$417,000
Warren County, NC$306,000$391,000
Washington County, NC$306,000$391,000
Watauga County, NC$306,000$391,000
Wilkes County, NC$306,000$391,000
Wilmington, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Wilson County, NC$306,000$391,000
Winston-Salem, NC HUD Metro FMR Area$306,000$391,000
Yancey County, NC$306,000$391,000

Additional USDA Limits

What is the maximum amount that I can borrow with a USDA Loan?

The maximum amount for a USDA home loan in North Carolina is determined by:

  • Maximum Loan Amount: There’s no set maximum loan amount for USDA rural home loans in NC. Instead, your debt-to-income ratios dictate how much home your can afford (29/41 ratios). Additionally, your total household monthly income must be within USDA allowed maximum income limits for your area. Maximum USDA Guaranteed Loan income limits for all areas can be found at here.
  • Maximum Financing: The maximum USDA Rural Development Loan amount in NC is 100% of the home’s appraised value plus the 1% USDA RD Loan guarantee fee.

What types of loans does USDA offer in North Carolina?

Two USDA home loan options are presently available in North Carolina for single family households. These programs are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by way of its Rural Development Housing Loans:

  • North Carolina USDA Guaranteed Home Loans – Guaranteed Loans the most common Rural Housing Loans in North Carolina, because they accommodate higher income limits and 100% financing for home purchases. USDA Guaranteed applicants may have an income of up to 115% of the median household income for the area, which average $54,602 across the state. Specific area income limits for the program can be viewed here. All USDA Guaranteed Loans carry 30 year terms and are set at a fixed rate.
  • North Carolina USDA Direct Home Loans – USDA Direct Housing Loans in North Carolina are less common than USDA Guaranteed Loans and are only available for low and very low income households to obtain homeownership, as defined by the USDA. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI); low income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI; moderate income is 80 to 100 percent of AMI. Click here to see area income limits for this program.

What factors determine if I’m eligible for a USDA Loan in North Carolina?

To be eligible for a USDA loan in North Carolina, your monthly housing costs (mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, and insurance) must meet a specified percentage of your gross monthly income (29% ratio). Your credit background will be fairly considered. A 620 FICO credit score is generally required to obtain a USDA Rural Housing Loan approval through most lenders. You must also have enough income to pay your housing costs plus all additional monthly debt (41% ratio). These ratios can be exceeded somewhat with compensating factors. Applicants for loans may have an income of up to 115% of the median income for the area. Families must be without adequate housing, but be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance.

How much money will I need for the down payment and closing costs?

Rural Development Mortgages in North Carolina require no down payment and they allow for the closing costs to be included in the loan amount (appraisal permitting).

What property types are allowed for USDA Mortgages?

While USDA Guidelines do require that the property be Owner Occupied (OO), they also allow you to purchase condos, planned unit developments, manufactured homes, and single family residences.

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