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USDA and USDA Refinance Mortgages & Home Loans

Central Coast Lending is a leading broker of USDA mortgage loans, including USDA refinance, on the California Central Coast. Our expert team of loan officers make the process of mortgage finance (or refinance) easy and understandable. 

Mortgage Programs

We guarantee straightforward, honest advice. Contact us for a friendly and confidential discussion about your finances:

You can continue reading below for more information about USDA loans. But first, here are some other links that may interest you:

Online secure pre-application

Current USDA mortgage rates

USDA Loan fact sheet PDF download

USDA Loan Overview

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.

Much of San Luis Obispo county counts as “rural,” defined as open country, places with population of 10,000 or less and—under certain conditions—towns and cities with between 10,000 and 25,000 residents. The program offers financing to households with up to 115 percent of the median income of the area.

[EDIT: the 2014 farm bill, signed into law on February 7, has raised the qualification for "rural" to a population of 35,000. This will likely expand eligibility on the Central Coast. We will follow the guidelines as released by the USDA's Rural Development office. Please see here for the full story.]

For more information go to

To see if your property is eligible view the map HERE. Note, that the map will show Atascadero as ineligible, but the whole city is on a waiver which makes it eligible. Curios if your property qualifies? Give us a call and we will gladly assist you. 805-543-LOAN (5626)

Section 502 Housing Qualifications

The terms of eligibility are determined by location of the property, the price of the house and size of family income.

Property locations in “rural” settings qualify. To determine which properties apply, go to, find the Rural Development department and click on the “eligibility” tab. Follow directions to enter the address of the subject property to see if the targeted house is eligible.

“Housing must be modest in size, design, and cost”, however there is no maximum purchase price limit.

Income and Personal Finance Eligibility

Applicants for this loan may have income of up to 115 percent of the median mark for the area. 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. For more information and more detailed county qualifications, click HERE.

  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): 45 percent
  • Purchase must be owner-occupied property
  • 2 percent funding fee that is financed into the loan

Special Features

  • No down payment
  • Minimal mortgage insurance required (0.4 percent)
  • Greater leniency: greater forgiveness for derogatory credit items
  • Not limited to first-time buyers
  • Assistance options allowed, such as gifs, grants, and seller concessions
  • Improvements and repairs can be included in loan
  • Closing costs can come from any source

Obtaining a Mortgage After a Negative Credit Event

Things don’t always go as planned when buying a home. It’s a common misconception that after going through a negative credit event like foreclosure or bankruptcy, it’s impossible to get a loan. This is far from the truth. Please click here (LINK) for a rundown of the guidelines for obtaining mortgage financing for USDA home loans after going through foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy.

Buying a Home after a Negative Credit Event (FULL BACKGROUND and OVERVIEW):

Our print-friendly chart gives guidelines for buying a home using conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA finance after a bankruptcy, foreclosure, short-sale, deed-in-lieu, or loan modification. Click here to View.


We broker USDA mortgages and home loans for the Central Coast and throughout the entire state of California. Among others, we supply USDA loans for:

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, and surrounding cities.

Kern County:

Bakersfield, Delano, Arvin, California City, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Maricopa, Taft, Oildale, Lamont, Rosamond,Rosedale, Greenfield, Lost Hills, and surrounding cities.

Monterey County:

Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad, and surrounding cities.