Credit Score Requirements for USDA Mortgages in Pennsylvania

Mortgage and Lending with Keystone Home Finance - NMLS#834342 - Conventional - FHA - VA -USDA - Jumbo Programs - Direct Phone 412-726-1654 NMLS# 137243

 Pennsylvania USDA Mortgage

Credit guidelines for USDA Mortgages in Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation are more flexible compared to other types of mortgage financing.  USDA Mortgages, also known as USDA Rural Development Loans, are easier to credit qualify for than Conventional financing and even easier to credit qualify for than other government programs like VA and FHA.

The USDA as an agency does not have a minimum credit score but individual USDA lenders do set their own minimum credit scores. 

620 seems to be the universal minimum USDA credit score at this time. 

With a 620 credit score a borrower can qualify for a USDA home loan provided they can document current housing history.  If they currently own a home this means having a clean 12 month mortgage payment history on the credit report.  If they are currently renting, this means documenting 12 months of timely rent payments with evidence of cancelled checks.  Borrowers with credit scores between 620 - 639 will also have to make sure they fit within debt ratios of 29/41, meaning that their new housing payment can not exceed 29% of the verified gross income and their total debts can not exceed 41% of the verified gross income.

Credit guidelines for USDA Mortgages with scores at or above 640 loosen up a bit more.  For credit scores of at least 640, verifying housing history not listed on the credit report (like rent) can be waived.  Credit scores at 640 or above can also allow a borrower to have minor collections overlooked and there is no need to verify any assets, if the borrower is not bringing money to the closing table.  Debt ratios may be allowable up to 50% with a 640 score as long as the rest of the file is solid.


At this time, USDA Rural Development Loans are more flexible than most mortgage programs but there are some credit deficiencies that the USDA will not overlook no matter what the credit score.  These include...

  • Late mortgage payments with the last year
  • Delinquencies on federal debt (IRS liens, student loans, Government mortgages such as VA, FHA, USDA)
  • Short sale within 3 years
  • Foreclosure within 3 years
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy within 3 years
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy completed and finished within the last year 


The combination of more flexible credit guidelines and 100% financing has made USDA Mortgages in Pennsylvania worth a look for anyone looking to purchase a property in a USDA eligible area. 


More information about USDA Eligible areas of Pennsylvania and the USDA Mortgage Highlights can be found here....


USDA Eligibity Map 


No Money Down USDA Mortgage


To see if you qualify for a USDA Mortgage in Pennsylvania, feel free to contact me below...




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Christopher Pataki
Keller Williams Realty - Christiana, DE
Hockessin Delaware Real Estate

We don't have much USDA approved housing where I work but I am now involved with my first in 5 years...............chris

Oct 27, 2011 01:00 AM #2
Stacey McCauley

First of all the information is great. I have a credit score of 720 but my partner has a no credit score. Our bank denied the USDA guarantee loan because of his no credit history but I send all the tradelines to the bank and they told me that they didn't need any for the loan? Is it possible they didn't know how to manually underwrite it with his no credit score?

Apr 11, 2016 07:57 PM #3
Keith Landis
Keystone Home Finance - NMLS#834342 - Conventional - FHA - VA -USDA - Jumbo Programs - Direct Phone 412-726-1654 - Pittsburgh, PA
Pennsylvania - "Your Pennsylvania Mortgage Source"


Under the USDA Guarantee program, the USDA does not lend money directly.  The bank is the one lending the money.  The USDA does back up the loan with their Guarantee, however, this guarantee still leaves the lender on the hook for a portion of the loan if the loan goes into foreclosure.  Because the lender has some exposure, you will generally find that all lenders have some minimum credit score for the the program. 


Credit scores below 640 will always need to be manually underwritten.  Many lenders do not offer manually underwritten loans for USDA, most likely that is what you ran into.  Your best bet for immediate mortgage approval would be to get qualified with your income only.  If you need your partner's income in order to qualify, then you will need to get a credit score established for your partner.  This is not something that can be done immediately but there are ways to get this accomplished.  Feel free to call me at 412-567-6560 to discuss.

Apr 11, 2016 11:45 PM #4
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Keith Landis

Pennsylvania - "Your Pennsylvania Mortgage Source"
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