USDA Rural Development has announced that the maximum mortgage limits for the Direct Home ownership loan program in Nebraska have increased effective May 4. This is the first increase in the mortgage limits since 2009. The mortgage limits for Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, Washington, Lancaster and Seward counties are now $190,000, an increase from $170,000. Cheyenne County was increased to $185,000, from $165,000. Platte, Madison and Stanton Counties were increased from $155,000 to $180,000. All other counties in Nebraska have a new maximum mortgage limit of $170,000, which is a $25,000 increase from $145,000.

The RD Direct loans are made through USDA Rural Development offices and the current interest rate is 3.00 percent and may be reduced to as low as 1 percent for qualifying households. The program allows for 100 percent financing for home ownership loans. More than $6.5 million in funding is available through the Direct Loan program in Nebraska in Fiscal Year 2016.

The increased mortgage limits may allow more families to purchase or build homes to meet the housing needs in rural communities. The USDA Direct loan program is available to households with incomes at 80 percent or less of the county median income. All communities in Nebraska are eligible for housing programs with the exceptions of Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and South Sioux City/Dakota City. See http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do for eligible areas to determine if you are within the established income limit based on the size of household and county and if the property is located within an eligible area.

Visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/ne and click on the link for “Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans” under Key Feature Programs for more information and a list of contact information.

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