When qualifying for a USDA Loan and the borrower already owns another house?

USDA Loan assumes a very conservative perspective on financing homeowners who already own a home, unless the borrower can prove that the current home is not “adequate or suitable” for the borrower’s needs.

The USDA Loan assumes a very conservative perspective on financing homeowners who already own a home, unless the borrower can prove that the current home is not “adequate or suitable” for the borrower’s needs. Owning a house can be defined as not only being on the mortgage loan but also being on title to the property without being on the mortgage loan for that property. Factors that can determine when a house is not “adequate or suitable” include the following:

  • Household size change in which the borrower’s family size now exceeds the room count of the current house. The assumption being made here is that there is more than 1.5 household residents per room. The room count generally includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, recreation room, and bedroom(s). Room counts do not include bathrooms, hallways, or foyers.
  • In the case of divorce where the borrower remains on the mortgage loan, but the Courts have awarded the house to the ex-spouse.
  • Job transfer in which the borrower has relocated more than 50 miles away from the current residence.
  • Manufactured houses (i.e. doublewides) not on a permanent foundation.
  • The current house is not suitable due to documentable health and safety related issue, which includes the disability or limited mobility of a household resident that cannot be accommodated without substantial retrofitting of the current house.

Under no circumstances will the borrower be able to obtain another USDA Loan if the existing home is already financed using a USDA Loan. When qualifying for a USDA Loan and the borrower already owns another house, the costs associated with the current house, including the mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowner insurance, condo or Homeowner Association Fees, and lot rent in the case of a manufactured home, will be considered a liability to the borrower when calculating their debt-to-income ratio.

If the borrower has two years of rental history, as documented on their tax returns, the mortgage liability can be offset by the rental income. Also, in the case of a court ordered divorce settlement where the borrower can document 12 months of on-time mortgage payments being made by their ex-spouse, the liability can be excluded.

 

Joel Lobb
Mortgage Loan Officer
Individual NMLS ID #57916
 
American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
 
Text/call:      502-905-3708
fax:            502-327-9119
email:
          kentuckyloan@gmail.com
 

Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loan Program:

Single Family Housing Guaranteed

The following is a list of the “nuts and bolts” of the Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loan Program:

  • The house has to be located in a Kentucky USDA Rural Development Loan Program: area designated as an USDA eligible area.
  • To determine the USDA approved designated areas, reference the following USDA map instructions:
    • Go the USDA Rural Development Website
    • On the top left hand side, click “Single Family Housing Guaranteed”
    • Click “Accept”
    • Enter the property address to determine if a specific house or general area is located in an USDA eligible area
  • The household income must be moderate as determined by USDA. The USDA Loan evaluates household income, which includes the combined income of all adults living in the household; even if they are not on the mortgage loan. Click here to determine your household income eligibility.
  • If it appears that the household income exceeds the moderate income thresholds established by USDA, do not throw in the towel just yet. USDA allows for deductions for child care and medical expenses as well as for children, students, and elderly members of the household that will be living in the USDA financed property.
  • This is not a farmer’s loan. As a matter of fact, the property cannot have any income producing capabilities, and when the land value of the property exceeds 30% of the appraised value additional requirements must be met.
  • The house has to be in fairly good condition. The appraisal type being utilized is an FHA appraisal, so make sure that there are not any safety related challenges(i.e. missing banisters, peeling paint, exposed electric).
  • This is a true no money down loan program. Or stated differently, you do not need a down payment.
  • While there is a monthly mortgage insurance premium (or prorated portion of an Annual Fee), the cost of the monthly mortgage insurance is 59% less than a comparable FHA Loan. This makes the USDA loan more affordable than an FHA Loan when analyzing down payment requirements and monthly mortgage payments.
  • The seller can pay all closing costs and pre-paids (i.e. escrows). Often the home buyer’s only out-of-pocket cost as part of the purchase transaction is approximately $550 for the appraisal report.
  • If the house appraises for more than the purchase price, the difference can be used to pay for closing costs and pre-paids (i.e. escrows). Only the USDA Loan program allows for closing costs to be rolled on top of the purchase price.
  • USDA has no restriction on whether you are a first time home buyer or move-up home buyer.
  • This loan program is only for primary residence (i.e. no second home or investment properties).
  • You should not own any other functional property; although there are some circumstances under which USDA may waive this requirement.
  • The preferred minimum credit score is 640. However, if you have a documented rent history, no late payments on your credit cards, and no new collections within the last 12 months, a credit score as low as 620 may be considered.
  • All property types including single family homes, town homes, modular, and even condominiums qualify for this loan program. Manufacture homes such as single and doublewides constructed prior to January 1, 2006 do not qualify.
  • There is no maximum mortgage amount, but the house does have to be considered moderate in a size

Income Requirements for a Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Loan.

Key reminders for income calculations:


• Look at the date of employment, date the recent pay stub pays through, and the VOE.
• Look for overtime, bonus, commission, or any additional income that should be counted and count it.
• Make sure you are calculating your days correctly when averaging the income.
• If there has been a recent increase in salary or hourly rate, use the higher salary or hourly rate when calculating the Annual Household Income.
• #1 Reminder: Document your process. USDA reviewers look for Underwriter notes and any sort of explanation. It helps them to review a file faster if they don’t have to recreate what has already been done. 

Q. The applicant has a history of overtime, with a substantial amount received year to date; however, the VOE states the overtime is unlikely to continue. Do I need to include overtime in the annual income calculation?

A. Annual income is calculated based on what is expected to be received in the ensuing 12 months. If there is a history of overtime, it would need to be considered by the underwriter when calculating annual
income. Ultimately it is the approved lender’s responsibility to review the complete income history to determine what is expected to be received in the ensuing 12 months and to document the permanent loan file
to support their lending decisions.

Q. Does the IRS child tax credit need to be included in the annual income calculation?

A. No, tax credits, including the Child Tax Credit are not included in the Annual income calculation.

Q. Is per diem considered in annual income calculations?

A. If the per diem is taxable income, then it must be included in annual income. If the per diem is non-taxable income, it is considered reimbursement and therefore not included in annual income.

Q. The VOE states the applicant is expected to receive a 3% pay raise within the next 3 months. Do we have to count this expected increase in annual income?

A. Annual income is calculated based on what is expected to be received in the ensuing 12 months, including bonus income, projected pay raises, etc. If a pay raise is expected within the next 12 months, it would need to be included in the annual income calculation.

Q. We have a borrower that is divorced and has joint custody of a child that is only claimed on the tax returns as a dependent every other tax year. Can we consider this child a household member for the calculation of family size and income eligibility?

A. Applicants with shared custody may include their children as household members and receive the $480 per
child deduction.
 Annual household income for Kentucky USDA Loans

All files must include an income calculation worksheet.
Lenders may document their income calculations on their own in-house income worksheet

Defines Annual Income as: Income from all household members who live or propose to live in the dwelling as their primary residence for all or part of the ensuing 12 months. Adjusted annual income is used to determine whether an applicant is income-eligible for a guaranteed loan, or interest assistance, if applicable.

Adjusted annual income provides for deductions to account for varying household circumstances and expenses.

Kentucky Rural Housing Development Mortgage Guide for USDA Loans

Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Mortgage Lender

 Kentucky Rural Development Mortgage Guide

  • 30 year fixed rate only for Purchases and Existing USDA loans Refinances.
  • Zero down Mortgage loan with no loan limits!
  • Upfront funding fee is 1.0% and annual mi fee is .35% (very low compared to FHA)
  • Typically cannot own other real estate. There are exceptions to this.
  • You do not have to be a first-time home buyer in Kentucky
  • Can refinance existing USDA loan as long as lowering rate by 1% and can do without an appraisal. There are overlays to this by lenders.
  • Closing costs and prepaids can be paid by seller but must be put into contract
  • Closing costs may be financed into the loan up to the appraised value.
  • You will need two credit trade lines reporting at least for 12 months on your credit file. They don’t have to be open and active. Just reporting on your credit report.
  • All Guaranteed Mortgage Loans are ran through GUS. GUS stands for the Guaranteed Underwriting System. USDA and their underwriters use this system to pre-approve you. They review credit score/history, income, debt to income ratio and assets to determine your loan eligibility. If your credit score is below 640 or your debt to income ratio is over 45%, it will get a refer and you will find most lenders will not approve the loan.
  • Some lenders will do a credit score down to 600, but they will want a lot of documentation to overturn the refer and compensating factors for the lower credit score. They typically will need to verify rent for last 12 months, with no lates, cash payments are not acceptable, and debt to income ratios are set at 29% and 41% respectively. Reserves are typically helpful too on lower credit scores, so keep in that in mind, if you have money in a savings account, for a rainy day fund, this will help sometimes get the loan approved.
  • If you have access to 20% down payment you cannot use the USDA Program. Money in a retirement account does not account toward the 20% rule.
  • Properties must be located in an eligible area of Kentucky. Typically the large metro areas of Kentucky including the following: all of Jefferson County,  all of Fayette County, Owensboro, Paducah, Hopkinsville, Bowling Green, Richmond, Frankfort and Northern KY cities of Covington, Florence, Erlanger, Beechwood, Richwood are not eligible
USDA Eligible Areas In Northern Kentucky for Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Grant Counties
  • Independence
  • Burlington
  • Hebron
  • Highland Heights
  • Walton
  • Alexandria
  • Cold Springs
  • All Of Grant County, Pendleton County And Owen County

Search for Kentucky USDA Eligible Properties 

A property must be located in an eligible area in order to use a USDA loan to purchase a home.  Contrary to belief, Rural Development loans are not only for farms or very rural homes.  

Actually, a property with an operating and income producing farm is not eligible for these loans!


 Kentucky USDA Rural Max Income Limits:

  • New Income limits for most counties (*) in Kentucky are $90,200 for a  4 unit household and household families of five or more + can make up to  $119,200.
  • The Northern Kentucky Counties (***) of Boon, Kenton, Campbell, Bracken, Gallatin, and Pendleton are $99,500 for a household of four or less and up to $129,400 for a family of five or more.
  • With the new changes for 2019 USDA Income limits, the Jefferson County Louisville, KY Metro area (**) saw an increase of $90,200 for a family of four and up to $119,100 for a family of five or more. The metro area includes Oldham, Bullitt, Spencer, Hardin, Larue and Meade are including in these higher income limits for USDA loans.Remember,  Jefferson County Kentucky, Fayette County Kentucky are not eligible for USDA loans.,Below is the website where you can check and make sure

Some More Facts about a Kentucky USDA loan:


It’s a two step approval process.  The chosen USDA lender must first underwrite the file and get it approved based on the income, assets, and credit report submitted. Then, the lenders must submit to USDA for a “conditional commitment”.  This conditional commitment is the final loan approval paperwork you are looking for. 


Even though the lender may have approved the file, it still must go to USDA office in Lexington for an assignment to SFH underwriter for the final approval process. They typically are checking the appraisal and income at this stage. There have been instances where the lender would approve the file but USDA would not due to appraisal issues or income and job history. 
This is very rare instances, so keep that in mind when it comes to final loan approval. 

This two-step approval process usually adds 4-6 days to the final loan approval process, so keep that in mind when you are writing up your contract because it takes a little longer to close these loans vs FHA, VA, and Fannie Mae loans.

Well Test Treatments:  Properties with a well as the primary drinking source will require a well water test.  There are local labs to perform this test and the water must pass.

Septic Test: Sometimes they will require the septic tank to be inspected if called for in the appraisal report or home inspection. 

Older Homes: As a general rule, USDA does not like homes older than 100 years old. They will sometimes require a home inspection in addition to the mandatory appraisal on older homes.

USDA Loan After a Short Sale:  A short sale is not the end of the world.  So it is very possible to obtain a USDA loan if 3 years have passed after the short sale.  But a buyer would need re-established good rent and other credit history.

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure:  If the mortgage debt that was foreclosed, was included in a Bankruptcy – then the USDA Home Loan waiting periods after foreclosure “waiting period” of 3 years, starts from the date of the discharge of the Bankruptcy.  Because it can take 6 months or more for Banks to process the Foreclosure, and transfer title, this is a tremendous plus.

RHS Student Loans
Effective immediately for all RHS loans, student loan calculations will be changed to the following
  • Fixed Payment Loans: A permanent amortized, fixed payment may be used when it can be documented that the payment is fixed, the interest rate is fixed, and the repayment term is fixed.
  • Non-Fixed Payment Loans (i.e. deferred, income based, graduated, adjustable, etc.): The payment should be calculated as the greater of 0.5% of the loan balance or the actual payment reflected on the credit report. No additional documentation is required.

Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Loans Direct Programs Interest Rates

What is the interest rate and payback period?

  • Effective January 1, 2022, the current interest rate for Single Family Housing Direct home loans is 2.50% for low-income and very low-income borrowers.
  • Fixed interest rate based on current market rates at loan approval or loan closing, whichever is lower
  • Interest rate when modified by payment assistance, can be as low as 1%
  • Up to 33 year payback period – 38 year payback period for very low income applicants who can’t afford the 33 year loan term

Not the same as the USDA Rural Housing Guaranteed Program. These rates follow the secondary market and change daily like FHA, VA, Conventional Mortgage Loans and set by individual lenders based on lock period, credit score, loan amount, state, and other incentives

the current interest rate for Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans

The USDA 502 Direct Loan Program helps low- and very-low-income applicants in federally-determined rural areas of the state obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. This payment assistance is a type of subsidy that reduces the mortgage payment. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income.

A number of factors are considered when determining an applicant’s eligibility for this loan. At a minimum, applicants interested in obtaining a direct loan must have an adjusted income that is at or below the applicable low-income limit for the area where they wish to buy a house and they must demonstrate a willingness and ability to repay debt.

This is a zero down payment loan.

Program Fact Sheet

Program Forms & Resources

Click here for the current rate for the USDA 502 Direct Loan Program

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