This home loan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is for low-to-moderate income homebuyers in rural areas of the country. If you are buying a home that is in a USDA eligible location and make an average income or less you could qualify for a USDA loan. While it may sound like only very small towns and rural areas will be eligible. However, almost 97% of the country is in an eligible USDA location. USDA mortgage are perfect for first-time home buyers because there is NO down payment required. They are also less expensive than FHA loans because mortgage insurance (MIP) is a half a percent cheaper for USDA mortgages.