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Are you looking for a mortgage lender in Southern Wisconsin or Northern Illinois? ? First National Bank and Trust is a local, family-focused community bank headquartered in Beloit, WI, with additional branch locations in Clinton, Delavan, Darien, Elkhorn, Argyle, Williams Bay, Roscoe, Rockton, Janesville, Monroe, Walworth, and Winnebago.

FNBT is proud to play an award-winning part in financing home purchases in rural areas. When you apply for a USDA loan in Wisconsin or Illinois with us, decisions are made locally and we're committed to providing you with the highest level of customer service. If you’d like to get an idea of how much home you can afford or what your mortgage payments might be, check out our home loan calculators. Got 15 minutes? We can get you pre-qualified now!

What Is A Rural Development Loan?

A USDA home loan is a zero down payment mortgage with a fixed rate for eligible low- and moderate-income rural homebuyers. USDA loans are issued through the USDA loan program, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

How Do USDA Loan Programs Work?

The USDA helps rural and suburban homebuyers in several ways. 

Loan Guarantees 

The USDA guarantees a mortgage issued by a participating local lender—similar to an FHA loan and VA-backed loans—allowing you to get low mortgage interest rates, even without a down payment. However, if you put little or no money down, you will have to pay a private mortgage insurance (PMI) premium, though.

Home Improvement Loans And Grants

These loans or outright financial awards permit homeowners to repair or upgrade their homes. Packages can also combine a loan and a grant, providing up to $27,500 in assistance.

Qualifying For A USDA-Backed Mortgage Guarantee

USDA guaranteed home loans can fund only owner-occupied primary residences. Other requirements include:
  • U.S. citizenship (or permanent residency).
  • A monthly payment — including principal, interest, insurance and taxes — that’s 29% or less of your monthly income. 
  • Other monthly debt payments you make cannot exceed 41% of your income. 
    • The USDA will consider higher debt ratios if you have a credit score above 680.
  • Dependable income, typically for a minimum of 24 months.
  • An acceptable credit history, with no accounts converted to collections within the last 12 months, among other criteria.
  • Applicants with credit scores of 640 or higher receive streamlined processing.

Why Get Pre-Qualified?

Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan is an important first step in your journey to home ownership. In fact, many real estate agents will ask you for a pre-qualification letter before they will take you out to look at homes. Being pre-qualified can also improve your chances of having an offer accepted by sellers. 

You can get pre-qualified online or sit down with one of our mortgage lenders at one of our Wisconsin or Illinois locations. We’ll review your financial situation, homebuying goals, and the home loan options available to you. 

Apply Now For A USDA Mortgage! 

Home is where dreams are made. Ready to apply for a Rural Development mortgage? Use our easy mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payment. Start your pre-qualification online now, check our current mortgage rates, or contact us to get started! 

Apply Now