100% mortgages have not gone completely by the wayside. While layering risk by lending to borrowers with low credit scores + no down payment + no income documentation will no longer fly (good!), there are programs out there for those who don't face all of those challenges. The USDA Rural Development home loan is one such option. What is rural? The USDA has defined rural as anything not "places of 50,000 or more people and their adjacent and contiguous urbanized areas."

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USDA Rural Development administers a couple of programs: Guarantee and Direct. Their Direct program is funded directly (hence the name "direct," duh) through the rural development office. To be eligible, your income can be only 80% of the median income for the area.

The Guarantee program is funded thorugh USDA-approved lenders and brokers. It is a guarantee program (duh, again!)with no subsidies, and the income guidelines allow up to 115% of the median income after certain adjustments. A good loan officer who specializes in these products should be able to help you determine how your income would be considered.

The 100% LTV mortgage amount is determined by the appraised value instead of the purchase price. Credit underwriting is flexible and the guidelines have no minimum buyer out-of-pocket expense and no maximum for seller concessions. Note: some lender policies may be more restrictive, so if it's the lender guidelines shooting down your application and not the USDA's, another lender may be able to approve you.