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USDA funding available to help low-income individuals, families buy or repair homes

The maximum loan amount is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs.

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

The Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of generally 35,000 people or less, a release said.

The maximum loan amount is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. 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.

Time is limited to receive funds for the current fiscal year. For more information, contact the Bemidji Rural Development Office at 3217 Bemidji Ave., or call (218) 751-1942 , ext. 4.

USDA Rural Development loans and grants provide assistance that supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn .

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