Q: What are the criteria to qualify for a Rural Development Loan?
BD: There are three things we'll look at: household income, credit score and the house itself.
CG: Every parish is a little different in terms of income limits, but generally a family of four or smaller needs to make around $75,650 or less per year. For a family of over four, that number goes to around $99,850.
Q: What about the credit score?
BD: Normally that needs to be around 640 or higher.
CG: And for those needing to improve their credit, we can recommend free credit seminars through Red River Bank University.
Q: What about the house?
BD: The house itself has to be approved through Rural Development and be outside of city limits.
CG: And sometimes it's surprising the houses that can qualify as rural. Right in the city of Alexandria, for instance, there are a few pockets that qualify.
Q: What's the purpose of the program?
BD: It's through the USDA, and the goal is to help low-to-moderate-income families purchase a home.
CG: It's a great program—most of our Rural Development Loans are first-time homebuyers.
Q: Do you have to be a first-time buyer?
BD: No, these loans are an opportunity to get 100% financing even if it's not your first home.
CG: However, you can't own a home and qualify for this program. If you already own a home, you would need to sell it first.
Q: How do you determine if a Rural Development Loan is your customer's best option?
BD: We sit down and discuss the four types of mortgage loans available—conventional, VA, FHA and Rural Development—to determine the ideal mortgage for each customer.
Q: What's the most important thing for customers to know about these loans?
BD: Come see us. It's best to understand your mortgage options before you begin shopping for a home. We make it simple and help save our customers a lot of time in the process.
CG: Buying a home is a very exciting thing, and we're proud to offer the streamlined service to get our customers to that exciting part—the closing—faster.