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Backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA home loans are available to borrowers in certain rural areas. If you’re in an eligible area, you could qualify for this special no-down payment mortgage, provided your income falls within the program’s criteria. Here’s how to know if you’re eligible, and how to apply.

How do USDA loan programs work?

The USDA backs several mortgage programs, including the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (sometimes known as Section 502 Guaranteed), which assists USDA-approved lenders with providing 30-year, fixed-rate financing to low- to moderate-income homebuyers in specially designated rural areas.