USDA Home Loans

The USDA loan offers a low rate and flexible qualification for for middle- to low-income buyers in rural areas.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Administration offers 30-year home loans (Section 502 loan) to improve the quality of life and economy in rural areas. This USDA program offers the best terms for new and mid-to-low income buyers.

Much of San Luis Obispo County counts as “rural” and is eligible for USDA financing. Qualifying households may have up to 115 percent of the median income in the area. Call us at 805.543.LOAN or send us an email here to learn if you qualify.


The USDA loan targets rural, middle- to low-income borrowers that don’t have the means to make a down payment and pay large mortgage insurance premiums.  The primary two qualification standards are location (rural) and income (up to 115% of area’s median).

In San Luis Obispo County, families of 1-4 people can make a maximum of $86,700 to qualify and families of 5-8 people can make a maximum of $114,450.

The Basics:

  • Down payment: as low as 0%
  • Credit score: as low as 550
  • Debt-to-income ratio: as high as 31% housing ratio and 43% total debt ratio
  • Gift payments: allowed; gifts, grants, and seller concessions
  • Rate and Term: fixed (30-year)
  • Ceiling: no purchase maximum, but must be “modest in size, design, and cost”
  • Occupancy: owner-occupied, primary residence only
  • Mortgage Insurance: yes; up front and monthly fees apply (NEW LOWER RATES APPLY OCTOBER 1, 2016)

Foreclosure: 3 years from completion date
Short Sale: 3 years from completion date
Bankruptcy (Chapter 7): 3 years from date bankruptcy was completed
Bankruptcy (Chapter 13): 1 year from date of repayment was completed and bankruptcy completed
Deed-in-Lieu: 3 years from transfer of deed date

Click here to read more

The GSFA Platinum down payment assistance program was created to help low to moderate income homebuyers in the state of California purchase a home by providing down payment and/or closing cost assistance in the form of a non-repayable grant.

The Program Income Limit for FHA, VA, and USDA first mortgages

Program Limit - Copy

Click here to read more

  • USDA Upfront and Monthly/Annual Fees Decreased (Read More) NEW
  • USDA mortgage insurance set to increase. (Read More).
  • USDA loan extended and expanded under 2014 Farm Bill. (Read More).
  • How to qualify for a USDA loan after foreclosure or short sale. (Read more).

Further Reading (from the FAQ Page)

  • Low down payment loan programs. (Read more).
  • Gift giving guidelines. (Read more).
  • Mortgage insurance guidelines. (Read more).
  • Credit qualification standards: FICO and Debt-to-Income. (Read more).

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From our Clients:

“Good explanation of process and forms. Always kept up-to-date during the loan processing.”
Anthony and Kathleen Toscano, Morro Bay
“Communication through telephone and emails was excellent with updates…”
R. David and Helen Cantu, Atascadero
“The speed and ease of communication… always flexible to accommodate our schedule.”
Berkeley and Meghan Lindt, San Luis Obispo
“Our transaction was complex due to various family entities. It was difficult but successful. Great job!”
Donald and Elisa Cameron, Cambria
“This was a painless process and you succeeded where conventional banks failed me.”
Susan Manbeian, Cambria

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Central Coast Lending Reach

We offer home loans / mortgages to the Central Coast and the entire state of California, including:

San Luis Obispo County:

Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Avila Beach, Cambria, Cayucos, Creston, Grover Beach, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Oceano, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, San Miguel, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, Shandon, Templeton, and surrounding cities.

Santa Barbara County:

Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Hollister Ranch, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Mission Hills, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Cayuma, Vandenberg Village, Garey, Summerland,  and surrounding cities.

Kern County:

Bakersfield, Delano, Arvin, California City, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Maricopa, Taft, Oildale, Lamont, Rosamond, Rosedale, Greenfield, Shafter Lost Hills, Wasco, Bear Valley Springs, Boron, Frazier Park, Wofford Heights, Weedpatch, and surrounding cities.

Monterey County:

Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad, Bradley, Castroville, Chualar, Las Lomas, Lockwood, Moss Landing, Elkhorn, San Ardo, San Lucas, Prunedale, Pajaro, and surrounding cities.

Real Estate Reports

Our quarterly reports on the Central Coast real estate market feature data on sales, pricing, foreclosures, and more.