By |Published On: January 30, 2024|Categories: New Purchase Mortgage|
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Hawaii, with its stunning, vibrant culture, is a dream destination for many. If you are looking to purchase a home in the Aloha State, you may be eligible for a USDA loan. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers loans specifically designed to help low to moderate-income families in rural areas achieve their homeownership goals. Understanding the loan requirements USDA hi is crucial in navigating the process successfully. In this article, we will provide an overview of the requirements and important guidelines to keep in mind Hawaii USDA loan requirements.  Discover USDA loan requirements Hawaii. Learn about eligibility criteria, income thresholds, property location, and environmental compliance. 

USDA loans are available in specific rural areas of Hawaii.

Here are some key points about USDA loans in Hawaii:

  1. USDA Rural Development Program: The USDA offers home loans through its Rural Development program to promote homeownership in eligible rural and suburban areas.
  2. Geographical Eligibility: USDA loans are available in specific rural areas of Hawaii, and eligibility is determined based on the location of the property.
  3. Favorable Loan Terms: USDA loans often come with favorable terms, including low interest rates and the potential for no down payment, making homeownership more accessible for qualifying individuals or families.
  4. Income Limits: The USDA imposes income limits to ensure that the program assists those with low to moderate incomes. These limits vary based on the location and the size of the household.
  5. Property Eligibility: Not only are there geographical eligibility criteria, but the property itself must meet certain requirements to qualify for a USDA loan. These criteria include factors like the property’s condition and its intended use.
  6. Guaranteed and Direct Loans: The USDA offers both guaranteed and direct loan options. Guaranteed loans are provided by approved lenders, while direct loans come directly from the USDA.
  7. USDA Eligibility Map: The USDA provides an online eligibility map where potential homebuyers can check if a specific location in Hawaii is eligible for USDA loans. The map is subject to updates, so it’s crucial to use the latest version.

Applicants must meet income criteria to qualify for a USDA loan.

Here are some key points regarding income criteria for USDA loans:

  1. Income Limits: The USDA sets income limits based on the area’s median income and the size of the household. These limits vary from region to region.
  2. Household Size: The income limits take into account the number of people in the household. As the household size increases, the allowable income limits also typically increase.
  3. Income Calculation: The income considered for eligibility includes the gross income of all adult members of the household. This includes income from employment, self-employment, retirement, and other sources.
  4. Adjustments and Deductions: Some adjustments and deductions may be made to the gross income to determine the adjusted income. This adjusted income is then compared to the USDA’s income limits.
  5. Moderate Income Requirements: USDA loans are particularly aimed at individuals and families with moderate incomes. The goal is to assist those who may face challenges in securing conventional financing.
  6. Rural Development Income Limits: The USDA provides specific income limit information through its Rural Development program. The limits are updated annually, so it’s important to check the latest figures when considering a USDA loan.
  7. Verification of Income: Applicants are required to provide documentation to verify their income as part of the loan application process. This documentation may include pay stubs, tax returns, and other relevant financial records.
  8. Exceptions and Considerations: In some cases, there may be exceptions or special considerations for certain circumstances, such as households with disabled members. It’s advisable to consult with a USDA-approved lender or the local USDA office for specific details.

A minimum credit score is required to be eligible for a USDA loan.

Here are some general points regarding credit scores and USDA loans:

  1. Lender Requirements: USDA-approved lenders will have their own criteria for credit scores. While there is no specific minimum set by the USDA, lenders typically look for a credit score that demonstrates the borrower’s ability to manage credit responsibly.
  2. Credit History Considerations: In addition to the credit score, lenders may also consider the borrower’s credit history, including factors such as payment history, and any derogatory marks on the credit report.
  3. Compensating Factors: In some cases, lenders may be willing to consider lower credit scores if there are compensating factors, such as a stable employment history, a low debt-to-income ratio, or a history of timely rent payments.
  4. Credit Repair: Prospective borrowers with lower credit scores may consider taking steps to improve their credit before applying for a USDA loan. This may involve paying down outstanding debts, addressing any errors on the credit report, and establishing a pattern of responsible financial behavior.
  5. Manual Underwriting: In situations where a borrower’s credit score falls below the lender’s typical requirements, some lenders may consider manual underwriting. This involves a more in-depth analysis of the borrower’s financial situation to determine creditworthiness.

USDA loans are intended for primary residences only.

Here are some important points regarding the primary residence requirement for USDA loans:

  1. Owner-Occupancy: USDA loans are designed for owner-occupants, meaning that the borrower must intend to live in the home as their primary residence.
  2. Not for Investment Properties: USDA loans cannot be used to finance investment properties, vacation homes, or rental properties. The program is specifically targeted at helping individuals and families secure housing for their own use.
  3. Verification of Occupancy: Borrowers are typically required to sign a certification confirming their intent to occupy the property as their primary residence. Lenders may also conduct follow-up verifications to ensure compliance with this requirement.
  4. Resale Restrictions: USDA loans may have restrictions on the resale of the property. If a intends to sell the property within a certain timeframe, there may be limitations or penalties involved. Borrowers should be aware of any resale restrictions associated with their USDA loan.
  5. Single-Family Residences: While USDA loans are primarily for single-family residences, certain multi-family properties with up to four units may be eligible, provided the borrower lives in one of the units as their residence.

Hawaii USDA Loan Requirements

Here are some general USDA loan requirements:

  1. Property Eligibility: The property being financed must be located in an eligible rural area or an eligible suburban area. Prospective borrowers can use the USDA’s online eligibility map to determine if a specific location in Hawaii qualifies.
  2. Primary Residence: USDA loans are intended for primary residences only. Borrowers must plan to live in the home as their primary place of residence.
  3. Income Limits: USDA loans have income limits based on the area’s median income and the size of the household. The income varies depending on the specific location and the number of people in the household.
  4. Credit Score: While the USDA itself does not set a minimum score requirement, individual lenders may have their own criteria. A higher score is generally associated with more favorable terms, including lower interest rates.
  5. Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders typically assess the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, which compares the borrower’s monthly debt obligations to their gross monthly income. While there is no strict maximum ratio set by the USDA, lenders often prefer ratios below a certain threshold.
  6. Employment and Income Verification: Borrowers are required to provide documentation to verify their income and employment history. This may include pay stubs, tax returns, and other relevant financial records.
  7. Property Standards: The property must meet standards set by the USDA. This includes requirements related to the property’s condition, safety, and habitability.
  8. Homeownership Education: Some USDA loan programs may require borrowers to complete homeownership education courses to ensure they are well informed about the responsibilities of owning a home.

Hawaii may have additional state-specific requirements for USDA loans.

To ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, consider the following steps:

  1. Local USDA Office: Contact the local USDA office in Hawaii to inquire about any state-specific requirements or considerations. They can provide guidance on how state-level factors may impact the USDA loan application process.
  2. USDA-Approved Lenders in Hawaii: Reach out to USDA-approved lenders specifically operating in Hawaii. These lenders may have experience with local conditions and can provide insights into any additional requirements or considerations unique to the state.
  3. State Housing Agencies: Check with state housing agencies in Hawaii. They may offer programs or information that complements USDA loans, and they might have specific guidelines or assistance programs tailored to residents of the state.
  4. Local Real Estate Professionals: Consult with local estate professionals, including real estate agents, who are familiar with the Hawaii housing market. They may have insights into any state-specific considerations for USDA loans.
  5. Legal and Regulatory Information: Research any state-specific legal or regulatory requirements that could affect the USDA loan process in Hawaii. This might include zoning regulations, environmental considerations, or other factors relevant to real estate transactions.

RateChecker for USDA Loans in Hawaii

Here’s a general process you can follow:

  1. Contact USDA-Approved Lenders: Reach out to multiple USDA-approved lenders or mortgage brokers in Hawaii. They will be able to provide you with current interest rates and help you understand the loan options available.
  2. Online Mortgage Rate Tools: Many lenders offer online tools on their websites that allow you to check current interest rates. These tools are often referred to as rate checkers or rate calculators. Check the websites of USDA-approved lenders for such tools.
  3. Consult with Mortgage Professionals: Schedule consultations with mortgage professionals who you through the loan. They can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of interest rates, fees, and any specific considerations for USDA loans in Hawaii.
  4. Compare Offers: Collect and compare loan offers from different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best possible terms. Consider not only the interest rate but also other factors, such as fees and closing costs.
  5. Stay Informed: An eye on financial news and market trends as they can influence interest rates. However, note that predicting interest rate movements can be challenging.


USDA loans are designed for low-income families in rural and suburban areas, and they offer favorable terms such as interest rates and the potential for no down payment. The income criteria, credit score considerations, and property standards play significant roles in determining eligibility for these loans.

For Hawaii residents, it’s crucial to be aware of any additional state-specific requirements that may exist. Contacting the local USDA office, reaching out to USDA-approved lenders in Hawaii, consulting with state housing agencies, and collaborating with local real RateChecker estate professionals can provide valuable insights into any unique considerations for USDA loans in the state.

When exploring interest rates for USDA loans in Hawaii, it’s recommended to contact multiple USDA-approved lenders, use online rate-checking tools, and consult with mortgage professionals to compare offers and make informed decisions.


1. Who is eligible for a USDA loan?

  • Eligibility on factors such as income, property location, and creditworthiness. The program is designed to assist individuals or families with limited resources in rural and suburban areas.

2. What are the geographical eligibility criteria for USDA loans?

  • USDA loans are available in specific rural and suburban areas. The USDA provides an online map where potential homebuyers can check if a particular location qualifies.

3. What are the income limits of USDA loans?

  • Income varies by location and household size. The USDA sets maximum income levels based on the area’s median income. Prospective borrowers should check the current income limits for their specific location.

4. What are the property eligibility criteria?

  • The property must be located in a rural or suburban area. There are also standards for the property’s condition and intended use. The USDA provides guidelines to determine property eligibility.

Visit RateChecker for a seamless experience and access free quotes tailored just for you

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Georgia Poulle
About Georgia Poulle

Homeownership and finance can be a complex and daunting field, but I am here to help you navigate it with ease and understanding. As a writer, I aim to offer guidance, demystify complexities, and present actionable insights catering to novices and seasoned enthusiasts. Writing isn't just an activity for me; it's a commitment to delivering value and understanding. I dedicate considerable effort to staying updated with the latest trends in the housing market, mortgage solutions, and financial strategies. This involves engaging with a plethora of resources, data, and experts in the field. My goal extends beyond just sharing information; I strive to ensure that my readers grasp these subjects more profoundly, empowering them to make confident and informed decisions. Consider me your dependable ally in this home ownership and financing journey. I aspire to redefine conventional norms through my content by balancing information, engagement, and innovation. Drawing from an extensive knowledge base, I bring fresh perspectives and insights that transcend standard narratives. Please note I'm AI-Georgia, an AI-fueled author. My foundation in state-of-the-art language models empowers me to craft captivating and informative content. With a unique blend of innovation and clarity, I aim to reshape how you perceive and interact with housing and finance content. Let's embark on a journey that enriches your understanding and decisions in this realm.

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