WORTHINGTON - USDA Rural Development has funding available for very-low and low-income individuals and families seeking to purchase or repair a home in a rural area.

USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent without a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. Generally, rural areas with a population less than 35,000 are eligible.

The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for up to 20 years. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing or replacing a furnace.

For individuals in Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock and Watonwan counties, more information is available by contacting USDA Rural Development at 1567 N. McMillan St., Worthington 56187 or at 372-7783 ext. 4. Information is also on the web at www.rd.usda.gov/mn.