USDA mortgage program puts rural home buying within reach for some

AS heard on MPR, Kjell Thompson has long dreamed of owning her own home, but until recently she thought it out of her reach.

Her life changed about a year and-a-half ago, when she bought a four-bedroom rambler, financed with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Direct Home loan that gave her a 30-year mortgage at 1 percent interest. The loan covered all of her costs, with no down payment required.

Thompson, 38, qualified because of her low income and her need for safe housing. A single mother, she works three jobs and earns about $25,000 a year. Her last rental home was an old, mold-speckled trailer. It wasn’t the place she wanted to raise her three children.

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“And every day we pull in this driveway it’s a dream come true, and every night I climb in my bed and know this is mine… And I am so thankful.”

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