Home Loans

For the first time in a decade the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Office in Mississippi has extra money to help low-income families buy or build a house.

"We have $10,000,000 that we need to spend before the beginning of our fiscal year, which means we need to have it spent and obligated within the next 30 to 45 days before the end of September," says Nick Walters who is the state director for the department.

Usually, Walters says there's not enough money, but this year because of a 30 percent increase in funding from the government, there's extra money available. However, as the old saying goes, “if you don't use it, you'll lose it,” in this case it will be lost back to the government.

The loans are only available for houses that are or will be located in areas with a population of less than 20,000 people. With more than 50,000 residents, the only place in our viewing area where the loans will not qualify is if you live or want to live within the city of Meridian.

Something else that you need to know is that in most counties qualifying applicants cannot make any more than $23,500 a year for a family of two or $29,500 a year for a family of four. With this in mind, here's some information that interested applicants need to apply.

"We need to know how much money they make, so a pay stub or even just the knowledge of how much their income is, if they owe debts, if they have a car loan or bank loan of some type, we need to know how much their payment is; how much they still owe on those loans, how many people are going to be living in the house," says Davis Miller, who manages the USDA Rural Development office in Meridian.

Because it takes about two weeks to find out if you qualify, USDA officials are advising interested applicants to apply and quickly. After all, the money must be allotted before October 1.

For more information, call the USDA's Rural Development Office in your county. The phone number in Lauderdale County is (601) 483-4100.