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Funding available for low-income individuals for rural home purchase or repair

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program has funding available for very low- and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.

USDA's Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as 1 percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. Generally, rural areas with a population less than 35,000 are eligible.

The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a 1 percent interest rate, repayable for up to 20 years. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace.

For more information contact USDA Rural Development at 7118 Clearwater Road, Baxter, MN 56425, or by calling 218-829-5965 ext. 4. You can also visit USDA's website at www.rd.usda.gov/mn.

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