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Secretary Announces Refinancing Help for Rural USDA Home Loan Borrowers in Select States

Today, rural homeowners in 19 states across the nation are getting some much-needed and long-awaited help to cope with declining home values and a sluggish housing market.

Secretary Vilsack announced today a pilot program to help rural borrowers with loans made or guaranteed by USDA refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. This initiative is part of the president’s on- going efforts to help middle class families, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. Since the Obama Administration took office three years ago, Secretary Vilsack has worked closely with the White House to ensure that rural Americans continue to enjoy the many benefits of homeownership.

This is part of President Obama’s plan to help responsible homeowners.  In his recent State of the Union address, the President laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, calling for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. While the government cannot fix the housing market on its own, the President believes that responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for the market to hit bottom to get relief when there are measures at hand that can make a meaningful difference, including allowing these homeowners to save thousands of dollars by refinancing at today’s low interest rates.

Streamlined Refinancing for Rural America: USDA, which supports mortgage financing for thousands of rural families a year, is taking steps to further streamline its USDA-to-USDA refinancing program. This program is designed to provide those who currently have loans insured by the Department of Agriculture with a low-cost, streamlined process for refinancing into today’s low rates.

USDA will further streamline this program by eliminating the requirement for a new appraisal, a new credit report and other documentation normally required in a refinancing. To be eligible, a borrower need only demonstrate that he or she has been current on their loan. The streamlined pilot program is being offered in 19 states and has the potential to help an estimated 230,000 rural homeowners refinance their loans and reduce their monthly mortgage costs.

The two-year pilot program is open to homeowners in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.  For more information contact any USDA Rural Development State or Area office.

To find out more about the President’s announcement click here.  To learn more about the new program being offered to USDA borrowers in select states click here.

40 Responses to “Secretary Announces Refinancing Help for Rural USDA Home Loan Borrowers in Select States”

  1. kentucky loan says:

    Is this approved by congress?

  2. Responsible Borrower in ND says:

    Wondering why only certain states are allowed in this program. I live in ND and have never been late or missed a loan payment. Why wouldn’t I qualify?

  3. Greg says:

    I agree with the ND guy. I live in Minnesota and would be grateful to take advantage of this program. It seems that every new program that they come up with does not apply to us. This is ridiculous.

  4. USDA Streamline Lender says:

    We are taking advantage of this program across the Southeast. Really happy USDA decided to open the doors. Should be good for homeowners and good for the economy!

    Between this, FHA Streamline, VA IRRL and HARP 2.0 nearly every homeowner now the potential to take advantage of today’s low rates.

    Should keep more people in their homes and also free up a lot of economic stimulus in the form of new consumer spending.

  5. Alex says:

    What a phone #? Or how I should apply for this program?

  6. Carlos says:

    Has this been made into law yet? Should lenders be offering this refinance already?

  7. Good Luck from the Tarheel State says:

    Ha, good luck getting a lender to even consider refinancing a USDA loan here in NC. I’ve called four banks and two refinance lenders and once I said “USDA” they said “We’re sorry but we’re not interested in your product at this time.” Funny how we as American tax payers were “interested” in their debt during the bailouts….

  8. No Luck says:

    I’m not having any luck in SC either. I’ve called 4 places and they either don’t know what I’m talking about or do not offer the program. I even called the local office number listed on the website and the lady did not know what I was talking about and I was reading straight from the website.

  9. Edna Carr says:

    Why do you need to be current on your payments? If you are current then it seems to me that you are making the payments and not need refinancing. I, due to being in the Hospital got behind and I am trying very hard to get caught up. I NEED to Refinance. I am waiting to find out if I qualify.
    I could not get refinanced thru a bank because USDA never sent the exact amount to be refinanced– the loan officer at the bank tried for 3 months.
    Who do you get in touch with to explain your situation?

  10. T says:

    I cannot find a lender in Georgia who administers this program. I have contacted 42 banks. Still counting…

  11. Rob says:

    I have been trying to refinance my USDA Guaranteed loan which is 5.5% here in Texas however I am not having any luck. I have always paid on time and even have a 767 credit score but I am being told my debt ratio is too high. I dont understand when I have never been late on anything. If my debt ratio is 26/59 wouldnt you think I would qualify so I could lower my payments? Very frustrating.

  12. Cass says:

    Refinancing is not just to lower your payments, it’s to reduce the amount you pay in the long run as well. That’s why I, and many others are trying to reduce the interest rate on the mortgage.

    This program has temporarily run out of money right now… However, you can get a rate lock, until October, when they are expected to start granting new refinance loans again.

    I would suggest, going to this website and contact your local representative. They should be able to put you in contact with a local lender.

  13. Angela says:

    My daughter’s payment has doubled since she got her nursing degree and started wotking full time. She cannot continue to pay this rate and she owes more than her house is worth. The USDA will do nothing to help refinance. She and her 4 kids are going to lose their home. Very sad. She lives in one of the states mentioned in this article, but I they aren’t willing to do anything to help home owners as stated in this article.

  14. Nathan says:

    I don’t understand how something that could be useful for the whole nation is only allowed within 19 states? It kind of doesn’t make sense especially when I think this is the time when everyone needs help to recover. I am always on time with payments except this one time when I had an unexpected medical emergency. It would’ve helped if the mortgage was smaller and I was able to refinance. I got help through a car title loan to make the payment. This is just ridiculous that responsible homeowners are struggling and just barely getting by. Frustrating.

  15. Jeff says:

    I am a lender in Missouri and we do loans all over the country. Give us a call and I will be happy to help.

  16. William Boswell says:

    I am having a difficult time finding a lender that offers the pilot program in Florida. Any suggestions?

  17. Sue says:

    @jeff who do you work for? I live in missouri and cannot refinance unless I go to an FHA and pay pmi which will bring my payment over what I pay now

  18. Andy Kerns says:

    William – I got mine done with USDA Mortgage Source in Florida, they are doing them regardless of current home value.

  19. Freda says:

    This is a good program. However, it’s the people who are NOT current on their loans who really need this help! Does anyone else think this is backwards too?

  20. Deb says:

    I’ve had my USDA loan since 1987 and was locked into 8.5% interest rate – ridiculous gauging based on current rates. Also, I live in MA, so am not in one of the 19 states for the program – very frustrating, as I have been asking USDA for years…any advice out there?

  21. David Zuckerman says:

    Deb what you want is called a USDA Streamline Refinance. No appraisal report required. Rates will be in the 3′s. As the lender if there is a no closing cost refinance option.

  22. Joe says:

    Asked a dozen banks about this program. Every place is clueless when I ask about it.

  23. Arthur says:

    I live in Washington state and it’s really frustrating that this is not available to us. My wife and I have good credit and good payment history, but when I tried asking about USDA refinancing options, there are none. We are still upside down through no fault of our own, yet we aren’t allowed to take advantage of the lower rates. This is just wrong.

  24. Scott says:

    I agree with most of the other posters. It would be nice if the USDA extended this program to all states rather than letting most of us remain stuck with our current mortgage rate that is substantially higher than what it could be at the moment….

  25. Mary Walters says:

    It looks like the refinance program is being expanded to 15 more states – I found this searching today,

  26. Ryan says:

    I started the process with this program and even got as far as closing documents in front of me however with the total costs involved (even though they may be rolled in) and the new pmi insurace that was not existent when I first secured my usda loan it truly was not worth it. Everyone’s situation is different but for mine I would have to live in my house for the next 7 years to recoup the costs involved by a slightly lower monthly payment. Just make sure you do your homework.

  27. Kenna says:

    contact RANLIFE homeloans for help.. they have been great and know the process for these USDA re-fi’s. I was so thankful to find them in the sea of loan shark’s which most of them didn’t know anything about USDA programs.

  28. Donna says:

    I know Maryland is considered a wealthy state but that does not mean everyone in Maryland is wealthy….I sure could benefit from this program…I don’t qualify for the other streamline loans because I either need the apprasial and my house obviously is not worth anything (lol) or my husband’s credit, which is horrible. Being a federal program, why are they singling out by state?

  29. dottie says:

    y isnt this streamline loan program available in Louisiana

  30. jlynn says:

    Is there any help for usda guaranteed loan refinance if you are not current? We are behind and wld like to get refinanced at a lower rate. Contact me if you know where I can get help. Yes I’m with the others that posted if you’re current why the help is those of us that aren’t that need it.

  31. jlynn says:

    Is there any help for usda guaranteed loan refinance if you are not current? We are behind and wld like to get refinanced at a lower rate. Contact me if you know where I can get help. Yes I’m with the others that posted if you’re current why the help is those of us that aren’t that need it.

  32. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    Hello jlynn – thank you for your comment. If you are not current on your mortgage payments, it is important that you contact your loan servicer immediately to inquire about other alternatives that may be available to you in-lieu of a refinance. There are other rate reduction options that may be available to you based upon your financial capacity. USDA’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program makes available to all approved lenders that participate in the program, foreclosure prevention measures that can result in a rate reduction on your existing mortgage loan. These options are but not limited to:

    1. Traditional Loan Modification
    2. Special Loan Servicing Loan Modification

    Both of the options referenced above can result in a rate reduction and any past due payments may be included in the new loan amount if you are not financially in a position to bring your loan current. Your loan servicer will require that you provide financial information that will be used to determine which option is best suited for you. We hope this helps.

  33. Teresa says:

    My home is financed througg USDA and I need to know who do I talk to in SC about the streamline refinance?

  34. Christine Frye says:

    WOW I’m glad USDA is helping someone My home is through a USDA loan and I’ve tried several times to refinance and I was told it cant be done this is a government loan and you cant change it then the next time I call and ask about it I’m told Id have to pay appraisals and new closings ( despite what the articles say) Now here I am a few years later 2015 and still struggling and still no help from them what I get now are 2 phone calls a day harassing me as to when Im gonna pay my mortgage LIKE Im not already stressed
    and to top it all off the house isn’t even worth what I owe on it anymore so walking away and breaking even wont happen
    Beyond Stressed in New Jersey

  35. Chris says:

    I’m interested in refinancing my home in Louisiana, but my understanding is that the select states to support this program doesn’t include me. Why? Do I have any other refi options?

  36. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Chris – thank you for your questions. Unfortunately, you are correct, Louisiana was not chosen as one of the states for this pilot program. However, if you are a current RD borrower and meet the other basic eligibility requirements, there is no better opportunity to take advantage of the current record low interest rates and refinance your mortgage through our regular refinance program. Please visit for contact information in Louisiana. There are four RD Area Offices located throughout the state.

  37. Dallas Garner says:

    I currently have a USDA guaranteed home loan. What are my refinance options in NC?

  38. Trisha says:

    I have had a USDA loan for 10 years in Nebraska. I have been paying 5.75% APR for the last 10 years and would like to refinance to a lower rate. I’m told that the USDA does NOT refinance in Nebraska, as stated by the local USDA office. If I try to refinance through another lender, I will have to pay subsidy recapture of several thousand dollars. My husband says that we have basically been paying rent for the last 10 years, not owning our home…since we have to come up with so much $$ just to refinance. I would like to know what options we have in Nebraska. Is it really as bleak as it seems??? I can’t believe that the United States Department of Agriculture would leave us high and dry in the cornbelt of USA, Nebraska!!!

  39. Josh says:

    I live in NJ. I got a USDA loan in through national city mortgage 9 years ago. I tried to use the streamline program in 2012but my wife and I made to much money. My account was sold to pnc when national city mortgage went under. Now my wife lost her job and I want to use the program but no banks including pnc will help me. They don’t know about the program they say. PNC even said they don’t do USDA loans. How can you buy my loan then not help me because you don’t do those loans?

  40. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    @Josh – you can contact our New Jersey office: They can provide you info and options in your area.

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