Kentucky Eligible Area Maps forKentucky USDA Rural Development Housing Programs

Kentucky Eligible Area Maps for
Kentucky USDA Rural Development Housing Programs

Potential Changes to Kentucky Eligible Area Maps for
Kentucky USDA Rural Development Housing Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is conducting a review of all areas under its jurisdiction to identify areas that no longer qualify as rural for housing programs. The last rural area reviews were performed in 2017–2018 using 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data. Rural area designations are reviewed every five years. This review will use the 2020 United States decennial census data.

Based on the 2020 U.S. census data and rural area guidance located in Handbook HB–1–3550, Chapter 5, the rural eligibility designation is under review for the following areas in Kentucky:

Currently eligible communities under review:

Scott County – Georgetown
Boone County – Burlington
Kenton County – Independence
Campbell County – Alexandria
Bourbon County – Paris
Woodford County – Versailles
Jessamine County – Nicholasville
Shelby County – Shelbyville
Bullitt County – Mt. Washington
Hardin County – Elizabethtown

Ineligible communities under review (expansion of ineligible areas):Madison County – Richmond
Christian County – Fort Campbell 

Ineligible communities under review (reconsideration of eligibility):McCracken County – Paducah
Boyd County – Ashland

The public shall have 90 days from the date of this public notice to submit comments regarding the potential loss of eligibility for Rural Development housing programs. Comments should be sent to For details, or questions about specific changes, please contact the Kentucky Rural Development Housing Program staff at 859-224-7353.

$0 Down, 100% Financing for Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Loans

$0 Down, 100% Financing for Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Loans


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Out of Pocket Costs
$0 Down, 100% Financing for Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Loans


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Home Qualifications
Single & Multi-Family Rural Homes and Condos that meet FHA Guidelines or Fannie Mae Guidelines

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Competitive Interest Rates
Often Lower than Conventional Loans with lower mortgage insurance requirements than FHA and Fannie Mae.


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Flexible Credit Guidelines
640 Credit Score Requirement* Can go lower possibly if the loan meets credit and debt to income ratio requirements. 


*Scores below 640 may be eligible via manual underwriting. 

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USDA Defined Rural & Suburban Areas See may below for approved areas in Kentucky for USDA loans. 👇 click on link

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Closing Cost Opportunities
Roll Closing Costs into Mortgage and seller can pay for your closing costs and prepaids or if home appraises for more, can lump in the costs to higher appraised value. 

Kentucky USDA Loan Eligibility Requirements

As with any loan, you must meet certain requirements to confirm USDA loan eligibility. To be an eligible candidate for a USDA loan, consider these general requirements:

Be a legal U.S. resident.
Show two years of income history.
Demonstrate a willingness to repay the loan as proven by no late payments or collections within the prior 12 months.
Have an acceptable debt ratio.
Possess an adjusted annual income of no more than 115% above the median income for the area as related to family size.
Be interested in a property in an area certified by USDA loan agreements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a government-backed mortgage?

These mortgage loans are insured by an agency of the federal government, protecting the lender in the event a borrower can’t repay the debt. This significantly reduces the risk to the lender and may make it easier for borrowers to take out a loan by offering more lenient credit guidelines, interest rates, and down payment options.

What’s the difference between Kentucky USDA loans and other types of government-backed mortgage loans like Kentucky FHA loans?

While both are government-backed mortgages, Kentucky USDA loans are run by a different government agency than Kentucky FHA loans and has different application, underwriting, appraisal, lending amount, and mortgage insurance requirements. To be eligible for a Kentucky Rural Housing USDA loan, borrowers must be purchasing or refinancing property in rural areas that the USDA has defined as eligible.

Do I have to be a farmer or rancher to get a Rural Kentucky USDA loan?

No, despite what the name implies. As long as you meet the property and eligibility qualifications for a Rural Kentucky USDA loan, you can apply.

How do I know if a home is eligible for a USDA loan?

You can navigate to the link here👉  Rural Development Kentucky USDA’s eligibility website and type in the exact address of the home you want to purchase to find out if it’s in an approved area.

Are there maximum lending amounts for KY Rural Development USDA mortgage loans?

There are no set loan limits for USDA loans in Kentucky, but the maximum amount is set based on your ability to qualify for a USDA loan based on borrower’s income and work history over the last two years. and debt to income ratios. The max back-end debt ratio on USDA loans is set at 45.9% of a borrower’s gross monthly income while the front-end debt ratio centers around 28% to32% depending on credit score, ratios, assets. 

Do USDA loans require private mortgage insurance (PMI)?

Yes, Kentucky USDA mortgage loans have an upfront funding fee of 1% currently with a monthly mortgage insurance premium of .35%– mortgage insurance is required by the USDA and pays your lender if you default on your loan.

What’s a USDA guarantee fee and annual fee?

These are fees involved during the USDA home loan process. The upfront guarantee fee is normally equal to 1% of the loan amount. It’s usually added to the initial loan amount and paid at closing. The annual fee is normally equal to 0.35% of the loan amount and some is financed into your loan.


Have Questions or Need Expert Advice? Text, email, or call me below:

Joel Lobb
Mortgage Loan Officer

Individual NMLS ID #57916

American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle
Louisville, KY 40223
Company NMLS ID #1364

Text/call: 502-905-3708
fax: 502-327-9119

Kentucky USDA Home Loan Program Zero Down





  • 620+ GUS ACCEPTS – NO OVERLAYS – follow GUS findings
  • 101% LTV of appraised value
  • Ratios to 32/44 w/ 620+ and GUS approval w/ comp. factors for debt waiver
  • 35% Annual Fee, 1% Guarantee Fee
  • We Accept Transfer Appraisals – No Problem on all loans
  • File sent to RD within 24 Hours of UW clear!
  • File sent to docs within 24 Hours of Receipt of the RD commitment
  • Up to 6% seller concessions allowed
  • 620+ – GUS Accept – must have 2 trades for 12 months(open/closed) – or manual downgrade


  • 620– scores OK!
  • 29/41 max ratios
  • VOR or 12 months cancelled rents checks required
  • Tradelines or alt tradelines required
  • Medical collections & charge off accounts ignored – consumer collections follow HUD $2000 guidelines (Call us for details!)
  • Minimal lates allowed in past 12 months

Quick Guide to Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loans Approval Requirements

Quick Guide to Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loans Approval Requirements

Quick Guide to USDA Rural Development Loans
Not every community qualifies—but if it does, it’s the best thing since sliced bread!
Check your listings to see if the property location qualifies. Generous household income limits also apply, and you can check them out at this link as well.
Generate phone calls by letting everyone know 100% financing is still available for eligible properties and borrowers.
Add an additional note to the listing info and mention it in your ads.
Buyer Qualifications Highlights
• No down payment required, and zero move-in cost is possible.
• 30-year fixed rate loan.
• 6% seller contribution limit allowed.
• Lender closing cost contribution by premium pricing allowed. Does not count against 6% seller limit.
• 100% Loan up to appraisal allowed plus you can add the 1.00% Guarantee Fee on top of that.
• Low .35% Annual Fee included in monthly payment.
• Finance closing costs & prepaids if appraisal Is higher than sales contract.
• No stated maximum loan amount; maximum loan based on repayment ability.
• No cash contribution required from borrower.
• No pre-payment penalty
• Liberal income limits (by county)
• Gift funds and grants allowed.
• No cash reserve requirements.
Property Qualification Highlights
• Existing Home
• New Construction
• New Manufactured Homes (Existing MH allowed under test program in 22 states)
• Modular Homes
• Town Homes
• Condos (Must be approved projects)
Prohibited Loan Purposes
• Co-signors not residing in the household
• Furniture and personal property
• Income-producing property unless minimal income-producing activity.
• Previously occupied manufactured homes…unless refinancing existing Agency loan or home built on or after 2006 and in the certain states (22 test states).

Joel Lobb
Mortgage Loan Officer
Individual NMLS ID #57916

American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.

10602 Timberwood Circle 

Louisville, KY 40223Company NMLS ID #1364

click here for directions to our office
Text/call:      502-905-3708fax:            502-327-9119

How long does it take to close a Kentucky Rural Housing Loan in Kentucky?

Current Underwriting Turn Times on Rural Housing USDA Loans in Kentucky
Kentucky Rural Housing USDA Turn Times

Are you interested in knowing the current status of USDA’s turn times? USDA provides this information on their website.

 How long  will it take to close on your Rural Development USDA Loan in Kentucky?

On average, 30 to 45 days is usually okay. Sometimes quicker than 30 days, if the file is clean and submitted early to USDA office and the appraisal comes back okay.

It may take a 2-3 day longer turn time to Underwrite a USDA loan vs FHA, VA, Conventional loan. Not that big of a difference

The loan approval process for a USDA Loan is not like any other loan. Like all loan programs, the USDA Loan will have a lender that will assign the loan file to an Underwriter, who in turn will determine if the loan meets the loan program guidelines for approval.

Unlike other loan program, once the loan is approved by the lender/Underwriter, the file will be sent to one of the  centralized processing sites for the  Rural Development Offices in the Country. The turn time for loan approval varies  for Rural Development state offices, but most are on a 2-4 day turn time usually.

While some state offices have same day turn times, other states can take several weeks to sign off on the loan.

**Very Important ** Effective February 16th, 2020, all states were aligned to one of four production teams. Each production team has their own email inbox as shown below.

Production Teams States
Production Team One AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, IA, ID, KS, MT, NM, NV, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WP, WY
Production Team Two AR, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OK
Production Team Three CT, DE, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, RI, SC, VT, WV
Production Team Four FL, IN, OH, PA, PR, TN, VA, VI

Current USDA Turn times for Kentucky is listed below. Click on the link.

Loan Status

We are currently reviewing new loan applications and conditions received on or

Click on the link.



Kentucky Rural Housing USDA loans require One of the biggest eligibility requirements is that the property be located in a designated rural area of Kentucky. 
You can use this map for Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Eligible Areas for 2022  below to determine if the property you have your eye on is eligible for a Kentucky USDA home loan.

Generally, these areas are outside of major metropolitan areas of Kentucky to include Jefferson County, Fayette County, and parts of Northern Kentucky are not eligible.  

There are some smaller towns like Frankfort, Richmond,  Winchester, Bowling Green, Paducah, Owensboro, Henderson and Radcliff that are not eligible for the USDA loan program–(see brown shaded areas on map link)
The second crucial element for qualifying or a USDA in Kentucky is the income limits. USDA income limits can’t make more than 115% of the median family household income for the area in which you wish you purchase the home.

The base USDA income limits are for most Kentucky counties below:



Kentucky Rural Housing ​USDA ​Loan Program for 2022 ​ust recently increased their income limits Families of 4 or less people can now have a maximum annual income of $103,500 (used to be $90,000) in most counties and 5 or more people in the household income can now be a maximum of $136,600  What does that mean? It means if before you were told you make too much to qualify for a ​Kentucky ​USDA loan, you might qualify now


New Income limits for most counties (*) in Kentucky are $103,500 for a household family of four and household families of five or more can make up to $136,600 with the new changes for



2022 Kentucky USDA Income limits, the Jefferson County Louisville, KY Metro area (**) saw an increase of$103,500for a family of four and up to $136,600 for a family of five or more. The metro area surrounding counties of Jefferson County includes Oldham, Bullitt, Spencer are included in these higher income limits for USDA loans.



Remember, the entire Jefferson County and Fayette County Kentucky counties are not eligible for USDA loans. Along with parts of the following counties Daviess (Owensboro), Mccracken (Paducah), Madison County, (Richmond), Clark County (Winchester), Warren (Bowling Green), Hardin (Fort Knox and Radcliff), Bullitt(Hillview, Maryville, Zoneton, Fairdale, Brooks), Franklin, (Frankfort), Henderson (Henderson City Limits)…

With regard to income, the max DTI ratio is 29/41, meaning the housing payment can’t exceed 29% of gross monthly income and total liabilities can’t exceed 41% of income. You can go higher with an automated GUS approval. 
You must also occupy the property you’re buying – no second homes or investment properties are permitted. But manufactured homes are USDA eligible. And there area loan limits just like there are on conventional mortgages and FHA loans..
 The Kentucky USDA home loan program is not limited to just first-time home buyers. Repeat buyers are also eligible!

Types of Kentucky USDA Home Loans

The USDA home loan only comes in one flavor; a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Nothing fancy or exotic here to ensure borrowers don’t get into any trouble with an ARM.
The 15-year fixed also isn’t an option because such a loan would imply that the borrower could afford a conventional loan and not need to rely on the USDA and its zero down financing program.
However, you can use a USDA home loan to both purchase a new property or refinance your current mortgage under certain circumstances. But no cash out is permitted if you perform the latter.
There is a sister program known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program that assists low- and very-low income borrowers by providing subsidies that lower monthly mortgage payments for a select period of time.
The income limits for this program are significantly lower than those for the main USDA loan program, but the benefits are pretty amazing. For example, you can obtain an interest rate as low as 1% and get a 38-year loan term.

Minimum Credit Scores for a Kentucky USDA Home Loan Approval

Technically, there is no minimum credit score required to obtain a USDA home loan. However, lenders often impose overlays over USDA guidelines to ensure the borrowers are creditworthy.
Generally, you’ll need a credit score of 640 or higher to get approved for a USDA loan, though it’s possible to go lower with an exception or a manual underwrite.
When doing a manual underwrite, you should have compensating factors (such as long-term employment, assets, decent income, positive rental history etc.) to allow for the lower credit score. Your mortgage rate will also be higher to account for increased risk.
Also note that a higher credit score may be required if your DTI exceeds the allowable ratios.
In any case, you should really try to attain much higher credit scores if you want to get any type of mortgage, and favorable terms on said loan.
As with any other mortgage, it’s advisable to check your credit several months in advance to ensure your credit is on good shape, and if not, take steps to improve it before applying.


Credit score over 680: 

Perform a basic level of underwriting to confirm the
applicant has an acceptable credit reputation. Perform additional analysis if the
applicant’s credit history has indicators of unacceptable credit as noted in Paragraph 10.7
of this Chapter.

Credit score 679 to 640:

 Perform a comprehensive level of underwriting.
Underwrite all aspects of the applicant’s credit history to establish the applicant has an
acceptable credit reputation. Credit scores in this range indicate the applicant’s
reputation is uncertain and will require a thorough analysis by the underwriter of the
credit to draw a logical conclusion about the applicant’s commitment to making
payments on the new mortgage obligation. The applicant’s credit history should
demonstrate his or her past willingness and ability to meet credit obligations.

Credit score less than 640:

 Perform a cautious level of underwriting. Perform a
detailed review of all aspects of the applicant’s credit history to establish the applicant’s
willingness to repay and ability to manage obligations as agreed. Unless there are
extenuating circumstances documented in accordance with this Chapter, a credit score in
this range is generally viewed as a strong indication that the applicant does not have an
acceptable credit reputation.

Little or no credit history: The lack of credit history on the credit report may be
mitigated if the applicant can document a willingness to pay recurring debts through
other acceptable means such as third party verification or cancelled checks. Due to
impartiality issues, third party verification from relatives of household members are not
permissible. Lenders can develop a Non-Traditional Credit Report for applicants who
do not have a credit score in accordance with Paragraph 10.6 of this Chapter.

An applicant with an outstanding judgment obtained by the United States in a
Federal court, other than the United States Tax Court, is not eligible for a guarantee
unless otherwise stated in this Chapter. 

Validating the Credit Score. 

Two or more eligible trade lines are necessary to validate
an applicant’s credit report score. Eligible trade lines consist of credit accounts
(revolving, installment etc.) with at least 12 months of repayment history reported on the
credit report. At least one applicant whose income or assets are used for qualification
must have a valid credit report score. 

Confirm the applicant has at least two eligible tradelines reported to the credit bureau.
The tradeline may be open, closed and/or paid in full by the applicant. Eligible tradelines

 Loan (secured or unsecured);
 Revolving (generally a credit which is not repaid by a certain number of
 Installment credit (generally repaid through a specified number of
installments such as automobile, recreational vehicle, or student loans);
 Credit card (offered by banking institutions, commercial enterprises and
individual retail stores. Consumers make purchases on credit and if payment
is made within a stipulated period of time, no interest is charged);
 Collection (an account whereby an original creditor transfers an unpaid,
delinquent balance to a collection agency to retrieve any monies owed);
 Charge-off (is the declaration by a creditor that an amount of debt is unlikely
to be collected)
 Authorized user accounts may not be considered in the credit score and credit
reputation analysis unless the applicant provides documentation that they have
made payments on the account for the previous 12 months prior to


Indicators of unacceptable credit.

 Foreclosure within 3 years:
 Including pre-foreclosure activity, such as a pre-foreclosure sale or short sale
in the previous 3 years\
 Bankruptcy within 3 years:
 Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged in the previous 3 years;
 An elapsed period of less than 3 years, but not less than 12 months, may
be acceptable if the applicant meets the criteria of Section 10.8 of this
 Chapter 13 bankruptcy that has yet to complete repayment (repayment plan in
progress) or has completed payment in the most recent 12 months.
 Plans that are completed for 12 months or greater do not require a credit
exception in accordance with Section 10.8;




Kentucky USDA  Home Loan Mortgage Insurance Costs

One of the upside of the USDA home loan is the fact that there’s an upfront guarantee fee that the borrower must pay. It is currently set at 1.0% of the loan amount, and .35% monthly mi premium called the annual fee, which is much cheaper than FHA and Conventional loans on lower credit scores. 
This can be financed into the loan amount so it’s paid off over time, as opposed to upfront out-of-pocket at closing. And if the USDA guarantee fee is financed the LTV can exceed 100%.

Refinancing a Kentucky USDA Home Loan

It’s also possible to refinance an existing USDA home loan into another USDA loan, and actually quite easy thanks to a streamlined program that doesn’t require an appraisal, credit report, or a debt-to-income calculation.
The only requirement is that you must have been current on your mortgage for the past 12 months, and it must lower your interest rate by at least 1%. 
There is also a non-streamlined USDA refinance option that requires an appraisal to gain approval, but allows you to roll closing costs into the new loan.

Kentucky Rural Housing USDA Home Loan Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make a down payment on a USDA home loan?
No, you can obtain 100% financing with a USDA loan, which is the main draw of the program. The only other government housing loans that provide zero down financing are VA mortgages.
What credit score do I need to get a USDA loan?
You need a 640 credit score to get an automated approval for a USDA loan, but some lenders will go to 581 with expensive pricing adjustments. If you have bad credit, you may want to take a hard look at your credit history and clean it up as much as possible before applying.
Do I need two years of job history to get approved for a USDA loan?
Not necessarily. If you’re new to the workforce or returning after a reasonable and explainable absence and likely to continue working it may be permitted.
Can I get a USDA loan if I’m self-employed?
Yes, but you’ll need to provide two years of tax returns to ensure it is stable and in the same line of work.
Are USDA mortgage rates high or low?
They’re generally pretty low relative to conventional mortgage rates (Fannie and Freddie) and pretty close to FHA mortgage rates. If an FHA 30-year fixed is 4.5%, the USDA 30-year fixed rate might be 4.5%. In other words, they’re low and competitive.
But you have to factor in the upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums as well.
Additionally, USDA loan rates can’t be more than 1% above the current Fannie Mae yield for 90-day delivery for 30-year fixed rate conventional loans. This regulates how high the rate can be based on the market average.
What loan types are available via the USDA loan program?
Just the 30-year fixed. No adjustable-rate mortgages and no other fixed products are available. Additionally, balloon mortgages and interest-only mortgages aren’t permitted, nor are prepayment penalties.
Can you buy a condo with a USDA home loan?
Yes, but it must be on the approved list from Fannie/Freddie, the FHA, or VA, and it must be located in a rural area.
Can I get a USDA loan on a second home or investment property?
No, USDA loans are only available on owner-occupied primary residences.
Can I get cash out via a USDA loan?
No, only rate and term refinances are available, along with purchase financing.
Can I roll closing costs into a USDA loan?
Yes, as long as the property appraises for more than the purchase price and the DTI isn’t exceeded as a result. You can also use seller concessions or a lender credit to cover closing costs.
Is there mortgage insurance on a USDA loan?
It’s technically called a guarantee fee, and includes both an upfront fee at closing (that can be financed) and a monthly fee that is ongoing.
How long does it take to get a USDA loan in Kentucky?
Like all other mortgages, it depends on your specific scenario, but the USDA loan approval process does require an extra step in sending the loan to the USDA for final approval. They basically check the lender’s work before they allow them to fund the loan. This step can add an extra few days to few weeks (or more) onto your closing date, so beware!

On average it takes 30-45 days to close a USDA loan in Kentucky, so about the same as any other government-backed mortgage loan like FHA, VA KHC etc. 

Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Map Below:👇 Click on link below to see if the home is located in a Rural Housing Area.
American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle Suite 3
Louisville, KY 40223
Company ID #1364 | MB73346

Text/call 502-905-3708

If you are an individual with disabilities who needs accommodation, or you are having difficulty using our website to apply for a loan, please contact us at 502-905-3708.

Disclaimer: No statement on this site is a commitment to make a loan. Loans are subject to borrower qualifications, including income, property evaluation, sufficient equity in the home to meet Loan-to-Value requirements, and final credit approval. Approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines, interest rates, and program guidelines and are subject to change without notice based on applicant’s eligibility and market conditions. Refinancing an existing loan may result in total finance charges being higher over the life of a loan. Reduction in payments may reflect a longer loan term. Terms of any loan may be subject to payment of points and fees by the applicant  Equal Opportunity Lender. NMLS#57916



Joel Lobb (NMLS#57916)
Senior Loan Officer

American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.

10602 Timberwood Circle Suite

Louisville, KY 40223

Company ID #1364 | MB73346

Text/call 502-905-3708


Mortgage Application Checklist of Documents Needed below  👇


W-2 forms (previous 2 years)
Paycheck stubs (last 30 days – most current)
Employer name and address (2 year history including any gaps)
Bank accounts statement (recent 2 months – all pages
Statements for 401(k)s, stocks and other investments (most recent)
federal tax returns (previous 2 years)
Residency history (2 year history)
Photo identification for applicant and co-applicant (valid Driver’s License

If you are an individual with disabilities who needs accommodation, or you are having difficulty using our website to apply for a loan, please contact us at 502-905-3708.

Disclaimer: No statement on this site is a commitment to make a loan. Loans are subject to borrower qualifications, including income, property evaluation, sufficient equity in the home to meet Loan-to-Value requirements, and final credit approval. Approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines, interest rates, and program guidelines and are subject to change without notice based on applicant’s eligibility and market conditions. Refinancing an existing loan may result in total finance charges being higher over the life of a loan. Reduction in payments may reflect a longer loan term. Terms of any loan may be subject to payment of points and fees by the applicant Equal Opportunity Lender. NMLS#57916

— Some products and services may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. The content in this marketing advertisement has not been approved, reviewed, sponsored or endorsed by any department or government agency. Rates are subject to change and are subject to borrower(s) qualification.





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