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"Thomas went above and beyond to get our mortgage approved. We had a couple of "hiccups" with our VA financing and Thomas was able to get them resolved ... more "
by lbaze2008
"I was hesitant to utilize someone from the internet to obtain my home loan. I even let my real estate agent talk me into going with someone local ... more "
by rmac333
"Thomas martin was a great help with our mortgage . it was a stressful time in our life , but Thomas remained calm through out the whole process which ... more "
by zuser20140303145114251
















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(Guidelines Based on Updated USDA Handbook Effective 12/01/14) 



Maximum LTV/CLTV*

Max Loan Amount


Max Ratios

Mortgage/Rental History

100% / 100% Excluding USDA Guarantee Fee

Determined by qualifying ratios and county maximum income limits



0 x 30 last 12 Months

LTV/CLTV is calculated on the appraised value. The appraised value can only be exceeded by the guarantee fee.

*Refer to Credit History section below for information regarding 550 - 580 FICO limitations.


Maximum LTV

Max Loan Amount


Max Ratios

Mortgage/Rental History

100% Excluding USDA Guarantee Fee

Determined by qualifying ratios and county maximum income limits



0 x 30 last 12 Months

Streamline Refinance transactions must pay off an existing USDA Guaranteed loan. Section 502 Direct loans are not eligible for streamline. Appraisal is not required on a USDA streamline. All other credit criteria apply including 0x30 mortgage rating for previous 12 months.

*Refer to Credit History section below for information regarding 550 - 580 FICO limitations.

Underwriting Guidelines Requirements


Maximum Loan Amt (Base) for Purchase & Rate/Term Refinance

Maximum loan amount cannot exceed 100% of the appraised value. Maximum loan amount including financed guaranteed fee cannot exceed 102% of the appraised value. On purchase transactions, if the sales price is lower than the appraised value, closing costs may be financed into the loan amount up to a maximum 100% of the appraised value with the guarantee fee not exceeding 102% of the appraised value.

Maximum Loan Amt (Base) for

Streamline Refinance

Maximum loan amount cannot exceed the unpaid principal balance of the existing loan plus the guarantee fee. Accrued interest, closing costs, and fees cannot be financed. The original appraisal may be used to determine the appraised value for the streamline transaction.

Eligibility Website

To determine if a property is located in an eligible USDA area, visit http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov


The USDA guarantee fee is calculated on the loan amount. The fee may be financed. When financing the guarantee fee, the LTV/CLTV may not exceed 102% of the appraised value.

Guarantee Fee

Annual Fee

Purchase transactions



Refinance transactions




Appraisal Requirements

Full appraisal with interior and exterior inspection performed by an FHA Roster approved appraiser. The appraiser must confirm the property meets FHA Minimum Property Standards as stated in HUD Handbooks 4150.2 and 4905.1. The appraisal cannot be greater than 120 days at the time of closing or a new appraisal is required. Appraisal updates are not acceptable. HPML loans may require second appraisal.

Eligible Collateral

All dwellings must provide decent, safe, and sanitary at a modest cost (a dwelling with a purchase price not exceeding the FHA Single Family mortgage limit for its county is considered modest), Owner Occupied Only. 1 Unit, PUD's, Condos, Manufactured Homes permanently affixed to the foundation, built on or after June 15, 1976, and meet all RD requirements, Modular Homes.

Ineligible Collateral

Mobile homes, single-wide manufactured homes, co-ops, Condo Hotels, State approved medical marijuana producing properties, income producing farms, ranches, mixed use, commercial properties, energy efficiency, leaseholds, properties not located in an eligible USDA area, properties serviced by hauled water.


Must meet FHA minimum project standards and be on FHA's approved condominium project list. A current HOA questionnaire and master policy are required to certify the project. The 1008 must reflect the project certification along with the FHA project number.

Manufactured Homes

Newly constructed manufactured homes permanently affixed to the foundation are eligible. Manufactured homes completed within the previous 12 months are considered new. This is measured from the date the unit was manufactured (located on the data plate) to the date of the purchase contract. Existing manufactured homes are only eligible if already RD Guaranteed or is REO formerly serviced by a Housing and Community Facilities Program (HCFP)/USDA.

New Construction

Properties completed within the previous 12 months or properties completed more than 12 months ago but have never been occupied as classified as new construction. The following is required for all new construction loans:

- Certificate of occupancy. If the local building authority does not issue certificates of occupancy, a copy of the eligible building permit along with 1) the inspections prior to footing and foundation poured, 2) inspections of plumbing, electrical and mechanicals before the shell is enclosed and 3) a final inspection will be acceptable

- Minimum 1 year builder warranty. If the builder issues a 10 year insured warranty, this will be acceptable and evidence of the construction inspections may be waived.

- Thermal performance requirements must meet 2006 IECC code and is evidence through the certificate of occupancy, final inspection, or 10 year insured builder's warranty.

Existing Construction

Existing construction is defined as properties completed more than 12 months or properties completed in less than 12 months but have been previously occupied. A certificate of occupancy is not required on existing construction.

Property Condition

Properties in C5 or lower condition are not eligible. Any repairs needed to make the dwelling structurally sound, functionally adequate, prevent health/safety issues, and to make the property functionally adequate must be completed prior to closing. Repair escrows are not permitted.


(Guidelines Based on Updated USDA Handbook Effective 12/01/14)


COLLATERAL (continued)


Existing properties located in a flood zone must have flood insurance coverage. Flood insurance is not required if the subject property is not in a flood zone. New construction properties located in the flood zone are permitted with a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) or Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) issued by FEMA.

Septic Certification

Private septic systems must be free of observable evidence of failure. The septic evaluation may be performed by the appraiser, a government health authority, a licensed septic professional or a licensed home inspector. Evidence of the evaluation and findings are required. A septic certification may be required if noted by the appraiser or at the underwriter's discretion.

Termite Inspections

Termite inspections are required if noted in the purchase contract, by the appraiser, required by state law or at the underwriter's discretion.

Thermal Performance Construction Standards

All dwellings secured by a USDA loan must meet the thermal performance standards as provided in RD Instruction 1924-A. Existing homes that do not meet the thermal performance standards are not eligible for USDA financing.

Well Certification

Private well systems require a water quality analysis by the local health authority or state certified laboratory. A certification confirming the well/water meet state and local standards is required.

Limitations on other R.E. owned

Typically borrowers owning another home are not eligible for USDA financing. Exceptions can be considered if borrower's current home is at least 50 miles away from the subject property or if the current home is not structurally sound or functioning inadequately. Documentation is required to support borrower's need to purchase a new home through USDA. If borrower owns another residence, it cannot be financed with a Section 502 Direct or Guaranteed loan from USDA. Borrower may retain one dwelling along with the new USDA loan.


Purchase Transactions

Permitted up to 100% of the appraised value. If the sales price is lower than the appraised value, closing costs may be included in the maximum loan amount up to 100% of the appraised value. The LTV can exceed 100%, up to 102%, with the guarantee fee.

Rate/Term Refinance

Borrowers may obtain USDA financing to pay off an existing guaranteed loan on the property. The new loan amount can include the payoff of the existing loan plus the 2% guarantee fee.

Cash Out Refinance

Not eligible

Down Payment Assistance

Down Payment Assistance programs are permitted. Please refer to the CMS Down Payment Assistance approved list and webpage for program details and requirements. http://carringtonhome.corp.int/mortgage/lending/Pages/Down-Payment-Assistance-Programs.aspx.


Social Security Numbers

Required for ALL borrowers.

FICO Validation

At least 1 applicant whose income or assets are used for qualification must have at least 3 open and current tradelines for at least 12 months. Applicant must have at least 2 credit scores. Use the lower score of 2 repositories or the middle score of 3 repositories. If applicant has only 1 credit score or no credit score, then non-traditional credit is required. Refer to Non-traditional Credit topic below for additional information.

Non-Traditional Credit

Borrowers with no traditional credit history are permitted. Non-traditional credit may not be used to offset a poor credit history or insufficient credit. Borrowers with non-traditional credit are permitted with max financing per program matrix. 3 trade references are required when at least 1 of the trade references includes verification of rental housing payments or mortgage loan payments. If unavailable, a minimum of 4 non-traditional trades, each rating for at least 12 months are required. Refer to USDA Underwriting Guidelines for list of non-traditional tradeline sources.

CAIVRS and Exclusionary List

CAIVR clearance must be obtained for all borrowers on the transaction. GSA/LDP/SAM clearance is required for all parties of the transaction.

Credit History

Borrowers must have a history demonstrating their ability and willingness to meet their obligations in a timely manner. Borrowers with an unacceptable credit history are not eligible without acceptable resolution. Credit Score of 580 and below or Unacceptable Credit: May only be approved in the following situations:

1. Temporary situation: The circumstances that caused the credit problems were temporary in nature, beyond the applicant’s control, and have been removed and resolved for 12 months prior to application.

2. Reduced housing expenses: The loan will significantly reduce the applicant's housing expenses, which will result in improved debt repayment ability. A significant reduction in housing would be 50% or more. Supporting documentation is required to support the credit decision.

Unacceptable Credit is defined as:

1. Bankruptcy < 3 years

2. Foreclosure < 3 years

3. Short Sale < 3 years

4. Any recent collections


Ch. 7 discharged for 36 months. Discharged Ch. 13 requires 12 months satisfactory pay history and court permission to enter into transaction. Consumer counseling services must be paid in full prior to closing.  < 36 months may be acceptable if it meets credit exception requirements.


This will be determined by the underwriter when evaluating the strengths of the credit profile. Refer to Capacity Analysis Section below.

Capacity Analysis - Collections

Capacity Analysis is completed regardless of underwriting method. The Underwriter must complete a capacity analysis off collection accounts with an aggregate balance >= $2,000. Non-purchasing spouse's collections are included in the combined balances for community property states. Exclude medical collections and charge-off accounts from the total balance. If aggregate balance is >= $2,000: 1) payment in full of collection accounts at or prior to closing. 2) Payment arrangements are made from the creditor and a letter from the creditor or evidence on the credit report is required to validate the payment arrangements. The monthly payments must be included in the DTI. 3) If there is no payment arrangement, 5% of the outstanding balance will be used to calculate payment.


All outstanding judgments and liens must be paid prior to closing, includes non-purchasing spouse. Tax liens with a repayment plan require a minimum 3 month payment history paid as agreed. Copy of the agreement is required prior to credit approval. Borrower(s) may not prepay the scheduled payments in order to meet the 3 month requirement. Payment is included in the DTI.

Foreclosure / Deed-in-lieu

Must be >3 years from date of trustee's deed. Documentation required, credit report is unacceptable. (CAIVRS-if applicable). If foreclosure was on a property guaranteed by USDA, borrower is not eligible for new financing. < 36 months may be acceptable if it meets credit exception requirements.

Short Sale / Short Refi/Modification

A borrower is not eligible if a short sale was pursued to take advantage of declining market conditions and purchase a similar or superior property within reasonable commuting distance of prior residence. A borrower in default at time of short sale/restructure or pre-foreclosure is not eligible for 3 years from date of pre-foreclosure sale. Borrower's current at time of short sale must have 0x30 mortgage and installment debt pay history for the preceding 12 month period. Borrower(s) with prior CMS Short Sale are not permitted.

Late Payments

Borrowers with more than 1x30 day late in the previous 12 months, 2x30 day late in the previous 36 months, collections filed in the previous 12 months, charge offs within the last 36 months, judgments filed in the previous 12 months and open tax liens with no repayment plan are indications of unacceptable credit and may adversely effect loan eligibility.


(Guidelines Based on Updated USDA Handbook Effective 12/01/14)


CREDIT (continued)

Disputed Accounts

Disputed accounts are not considered in the credit score. For manually underwritten loans, all disputed accounts must have a letter of explanation and documentation supporting the dispute. Loans will be downgraded to a manual "refer" unless the following conditions are met on the credit report: 1) the disputed tradeline has a zero dollar balance. 2) the disputed tradeline is marked "paid in full" or "resolved". 3) the disputed tradeline has a balance owed of < $500 and is more than 24 months old.

Credit Waiver

A credit waiver may be recommended by the underwriter and approved by RD provided the borrower supplies satisfactory documentation evidencing the adverse credit was the result of extenuating circumstances or the circumstances were temporary in nature and beyond the borrower's control. Compensating factors are required when requesting a credit waiver. Refer to CMS USDA underwriting guidelines for list of compensating factors.

Monthly Debt Payment

Payments on all installment debts with more than 10 months remaining are to be included in the qualifying ratio. This includes open collection accounts and debts that are in deferment or forbearance. Monthly payments on revolving debt is always included regardless of payments remaining.

Minimum Payment

5% of outstanding balance for revolving accounts if no payment is indicated. For deferred student loans, use 1% of the loan amount if the credit report is not showing a monthly payment.

Debt not report on the credit report

Third party documentation is required for verification of payment history of debt not reported on the credit report. Examples are alimony, child support, and separate maintenance fees. The recorded legal documents showing monthly payment and duration are required along with the most recent 12 months payment history verifying timely payments.

Mortgage/Rental History

Per GUS findings. If the credit report does not provide the housing history rating, a VOM/VOR or cancelled checks is required. If the borrower rents from a relative, the most recent 12 months consecutive cancelled checks is required. Mortgage/Rental Delinquencies: 0x30 in the previous 12 months. >= 680 FICO or GUS accept = No VOR requirement. < 680 = VOR required.

Payment Shock

> 29% PITI and payment shock > 100% or no prior housing history require compensating factors.

Co-signed Debt

Payment may be excluded if primary obligor has made timely payments for 12 months (must provide documentation). Joint debts must be included in the DTI. Individual debts paid by another party must be included in the DTI.

Non Purchasing Spouse

Credit report required in community property states. Debts must be added to DTI Ratio and Credit History may be considered. Non-purchasing spouse may be added to title on a purchase transaction or may remain on title when refinancing. No other party other than the borrower or their spouse may be permitted to have a vested interest to the property.

Community Property States

The following states are known community property states: AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI



The maximum ratios for Rural Development loan are 29%/41%. Ratios may be exceeded with GUS approval. For manually underwritten loans requiring a ratio waiver, the maximum ratio for a Rural Development loan is 32/41 or 29/44.

Debt Ratio Waiver

Requires RD approval or acceptance by GUS. "Accept" by GUS does not require a ratio waiver. Manually underwritten loans must be 680 or greater and at least 1 acceptable compensating factor is identified and supported. Refer to CMS USDA Guidelines for list of compensating factors.

Residual Income

All loans with application date on or after 1/10/14 must have >= $800. Gross income is used to calculate residual income.

Payoff Debt to Qualify

Payoff of revolving debt is permitted if paid in full prior to closing. Payoff & zero balance must be documented directly from credit. Cannot payoff on the HUD-1.

Military Borrowers

Must occupy as primary residence. Proof of discharge must be received within 1 year and the service person's family will continue to occupy the property if they are assigned to combat zone or other hazardous duty prior to discharge.


All qualifying borrowers must have stable and dependable income with a 24 month history. Gaps > 30 days require a letter of explanation from the borrower. Wage earner income to be documented with a written VOE and one month's current paystubs or one month's current paystubs and two years W2's.

Annual Income Limits

Annual income is the basis for determining adjusted income. Annual income includes the total gross income of the borrower, co-borrower, and any other adult (age 18 and up) household members, any amount anticipated to be received from a source outside of the family during the 12-month period, and all amounts derived during the 12-month period from assets to which any member of the family has access. If a cost of living allowance or a proposed increase in income has been estimated to be in effect prior to the first month's mortgage payment due date, this amount must be included as income. For annual income, count only the first $480 of earned income from adult full time students who are not the borrower, co-borrower, or spouse. Rental income is included regardless of duration. Include total rental real estate income reported on most recent IRS form 1040 Schedule E for previous 12 months. If no schedule E, cancelled checks, money order receipts, bank statements, or other documents may be used to support rent amounts received.

Adjusted Income

The adjusted income is used to determine if the household income is within the maximum income limits for the program. The adjusted income allows for deductions associated with varying household expenses such as disability assistance, medical expenses, childcare expenses. Medical expenses are not an allowable deduction with nonelderly households. The income for all household members is considered when calculating the adjusted income. This includes the applicant, co-applicant, spouse, other adult, dependents (children under 18), and full time students over 18. Note - the income of a full-time student 18 yrs or older who is not the applicant, co-applicant, spouse is excluded after it exceeds $480.

Eligible deductions are:

- Each dependent - $480

- Each disabled individual who is not the applicant or co-applicant - $480

- Each adult full time student $480

- Elderly (head of household or spouse is 62 years of age and older and a borrower on the loan) - $400 (one time deduction; not per person)

- Disability expenses (Unreimbursed expenses in excess of 3% of annual income)

- Medical expenses exceeding 3% of gross annual for elderly households only

- Child care expenses for children 12 years old and under (actual cost of care and must be documented), and

- Attendant care expenses for disabled members.

Income limits are published for each county in the Exhibits of RD Instruction 3555-D and online at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

Repayment Income

Repayment income is determined by the stable and dependable income of the borrowers only. The repayment income is used to calculate the DTI. Borrower must have a history of receiving the income and there must be a reasonable expectation the income will continue for the next 3 years. In addition to wages, income from employed minors, reimbursements for medical expenses, education scholarships paid directly to the student or the educational institution. Tuition paid by the government directly to the veteran may also be included in the repayment income. Foster care for children or adults and supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments are ineligible for repayment consideration. Refer to RD Instruction 3555-D for additional requirements and allowable repayment income sources.

(Guidelines Based on Updated USDA Handbook Effective 12/01/14)

INCOME/ASSETS (continued)

Non-Taxable Income

Nontaxable income such as Social Security, Pension, Workers Comp and Disability Retirement may be grossed up 25%.

Rental Income

Rental income must be received for 24 months or greater. 2 years tax returns and copy of the signed current lease. Positive rental income may be considered for repayment purposes (always considered for annual income). Negative rental income is considered a liability.

Tax Transcripts

Each adult (18 or older) member of the household must complete and execute an IRS Form 4506-T for the previous 2 years at the time of application. Note: The information gathered from the IRS on household members not included on the loan is not intended to document income, but to validate the income documentation and disclosures provided by the applicant(s) on all adult members of the household in order to verify eligibility for the loan program only. All IRS Form 4506-T(s) are processed by CMS prior to issuance of Conditional Commitment.

Documentation/4506T or 2907 Puerto Rico Tax Returns

Full income and asset documentation loans only. IRS Form 4506T must be processed and income validated for most recent 2 years. Borrowers with income from Puerto Rico must: Sign form 2903 to obtain tax transcripts, returned Modelo SC 2907 transcripts for 2 years, and transcripts must be translated to English and notarized by 3rd party. The 4506T must be in the file with confirmation that states "no records found" when using Puerto Rico tax returns. The confirmation must be from the IRS website and contain the borrowers name and SSN.


All assets for all household members must be disclosed. Must have sufficient assets to close. Acceptable assets are checking, savings, gift funds, stocks/bonds, 401K/retirement (use 60% of account value less all loans), proceeds from sale of other real estate owned. The recent 2 month average monthly balance of liquid accounts is required. Funds borrowed against retirement accounts may be used for loan closing. Unacceptable sources are cash on hand, unsecured borrowed funds, retirement accounts that restrict withdrawal to retirement/employee separation and cannot be used towards reserves.

Minimum Reserves

None. Reserves can be used as a compensating factor but must be the borrower's own funds; cannot be a gift if used as a compensating factor.


Acceptable. Donor must be an immediate family member. Standard FNMA gift documentation applies.

Buyer Contribution

No minimum investment required. Borrower cannot receive cash back in excess of monies brought to closing by borrower.

Seller Contribution

Seller can pay up to 6% of borrower's closing costs.



Underwritten by a CMS USDA Certified underwriter. GUS approval may follow documentation requirements except as noted in the matrix/guides.

Manual Underwrite

Loans receiving a GUS Refer may be eligible for a manual underwrite. All manual underwrites require an AUS to be run and “refer eligible” findings uploaded into the LOS. The AUS findings must be uploaded even when the Underwriter knows the loan will be manually underwritten upfront or the loan will be downgraded to a manual underwrite.

RD Approval

All USDA loan require a Conditional Commitment (RD 3555-18) issued by Rural Development prior to CMS drawing documents. Any increases in PITI, loan amount, interest rate and/or decreases in available funds require approval from RD before drawing loan documents.

Borrower Eligibility

US Citizens, qualified Permanent Resident Aliens, and qualified Non-Permanent Resident Aliens are eligible with supporting documentation. Foreign Nationals, borrowers with temporary residency status and borrowers with diplomatic immunity are not eligible.


Permitted. All borrowers must occupy the subject property; non-occupant borrowers and co-signers are not permitted.

Adding/Deleting Borrowers

Borrowers may be added or deleted on refinance transactions provided at least one original borrower remains on the loan

Loan Terms Available

30 Year Fixed

Maximum Interest Rate

The maximum interest rate is based on the 90 day Fannie Mae 30 year A/A Remittance rate + 100 basis points and rounded up to the next 1/4%. The rates are found on the Fannie Mae

website: http://www.efanniemae.com/sf/refmaterials/hrny/index.jsp

Age of Documents

Credit documents may not be more than 120 days old at the time of closing. Paystub(s) must be dated within 60 days of closing.

Qualifying Fixed Products

Qualify at Note Rate


Not permitted

Escrow waivers

Not permitted

Prepayment Penalty

Not permitted


Not permitted

Apply Now



"Thomas went above and beyond to get our mortgage approved. We had a couple of "hiccups" with our VA financing and Thomas was able to get them resolved ... more "
by lbaze2008
"I was hesitant to utilize someone from the internet to obtain my home loan. I even let my real estate agent talk me into going with someone local ... more "
by rmac333
"Thomas martin was a great help with our mortgage . it was a stressful time in our life , but Thomas remained calm through out the whole process which ... more "
by zuser20140303145114251












Apply Now!

All Information Subject To Change Without Notice and should not be relied on for decision making.