Homeowners with rural development loans may still refinance | RecordCourier.com

Homeowners with rural development loans may still refinance

Staff Reports

Homeowners with an existing rural development loan, can still refinance their mortgages at a lower interest rate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Nevada.

The Rural Refinance Pilot Project started a year ago for borrowers in 19 states hardest hit by the downturn in the housing market-including Nevada. The mortgage refinance program is in effect at least through Feb. 1, 2014.

USDA Rural Development Nevada records showed that 1,835 direct and guaranteed loan mortgages were eligible for the program. Since then, 122 mortgages have been refinanced.

State Director Sarah Adler is surprised more homeowners have not refinanced.

“We encourage rural homeowners with an existing home loan from Rural Development to check with their lender and see if they can take advantage of lower interest rates,” said Adler. “Families that have refinanced are saving between $100 and $200 a month, and that frees up money to help with the rest of the family budget.”

Adler said the loan may be known as simply a “USDA loan” or a “Rural Housing” loan but it should be memorable to the homeowners because it allowed for 100 percent financing of the home, thanks to the borrowers’ good credit score and readiness for homeownership. These loans are also available to new applicants in rural communities throughout the state.

Participants in the Rural Refinance Pilot Program must meet income eligibility requirements, and must have made their mortgage payments on time for 12 consecutive months.

Existing borrowers participating in USDA’s Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loan programs are eligible to participate. They do not have to obtain new credit reports, property inspections or home appraisals. Refinanced loans must be at least one percent below the original interest rate. Terms cannot exceed 30 years. No cash out is permitted to the borrower, and closing costs can be included in the streamline.

The Guaranteed Home Loan program is sustained through both up front and annual program fees.