Skip to content
Fact Checked by Experts

USDA Loans in Glades County, Florida: Learn How to Obtain a Zero Down Mortgage

Glades County is a beautiful, remote area in south-central Florida. With breathtaking scenery, the county comprises mainly farmland and small towns. It's home to many retirees and seasonal residents, but it's become increasingly difficult for year-round residents to find affordable housing.

The people here are friendly and welcoming, and life is generally tranquil and relaxed. The housing here is very moderately priced, with many affordable options for renters and buyers.

There is a critical need for affordable housing in Glades County. According to the most recent Census data, over half of all renters in the county spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and one in four spend more than 50%. This burden leaves little room for other necessities like food, transportation, and healthcare.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a variety of loan programs to help low- and moderate-income families purchase homes in rural areas.

Fortunately, you can obtain a zero-down mortgage in Glades County, courtesy of the USDA loan program. USDA loans are a type of zero-down mortgage available to eligible rural and suburban homebuyers.

What are USDA Loans?

USDA loans are government-backed loans available to eligible homebuyers in rural and suburban areas, which allow borrowers to purchase a home with no down payment. They are designed to promote homeownership in areas with limited credit access and encourage development in these areas.

Besides the many benefits borrowers receive, USDA loans are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); and in Glades County, the grant limit is capped at $118,950. The USDA loans are available through participating lenders and have flexible eligibility requirements.

USDA Rural Development's Direct Loan Program provides financial assistance to low and moderate-income individuals who work in rural areas. The program offers loans for purchasing a home while also providing property owners with loans for energy-efficient home improvements.

Types of USDA Home Loans

The USDA home loan program offers many different types of loans designed to help buyers purchase a single-family home; in Glades County, Florida, the USDA offers two programs:

  • Single-Family Housing Direct Loan program.
  • Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program.

When you apply for a loan through the USDA program, the lender will determine which program is more beneficial to you and guide you through the process.

Direct Loan program

The Single-Family Housing Direct Loan program is a government-sponsored program that provides low-interest loans to qualified borrowers to purchase or repair a single-family home. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the program.

Under the program, families can borrow up to 100% of the purchase price of a home, with no down payment required up to a limit of $420,680. The federal government guarantees the loan and is available to families with certain income and credit requirements.

The Single-Family Housing Direct Loan program is a vital part of the U.S. government's effort to provide families with access to safe, affordable housing.

Guaranteed Loan program

The Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program is a mortgage guarantee program designed to help low- and moderate-income families purchase homes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the program. Under the program, HUD insures lenders against loss on loans made to eligible borrowers.

This government-backed initiative helps families obtain financing for the purchase of a new home. The program is designed to assist families who might not otherwise be able to obtain conventional financing. It offers several benefits, including low down payment requirements and flexible credit guidelines.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Everyone who is a U.S citizen can apply for a USDA loan under the Direct Loan program and the Guaranteed Loan program. The USDA home loan program provides loans to individuals who meet income and credit requirements as well as other guidelines, such as an acceptable credit history with a credit score of at least 640.

To be eligible for the USDA loan program in Glades County, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or national
  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be a resident of Florida
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Not have a previous bankruptcy
  • Must meet eligible income requirements.

  • Have a good credit score (A credit history of fewer than seven years is considered bad.)

  • You can also be eligible by having an acceptable credit score, typically between 580 and 640.

Why are USDA Loans Very Valuable?

There are many benefits to applying for a USDA loan in Glades county, including:

No Money Down

The most important benefit is that you can purchase a home without putting any money down. The USDA loan has very flexible requirements and allows borrowers to purchase a home with little or no money. This is contrary to conventional mortgages, where you have to put a down payment of 3-20% of the home value.

A Low Credit Score is OK

Another great benefit to the USDA direct loan program is that low credit scores are not a problem. Because it is a government-backed program, the credit requirements are much more flexible than government-sponsored or conventional programs.

As long as you have a good credit score of as low as 580, you will be able to get the loan you need, and this is especially beneficial for first-time homebuyers. This makes the USDA program attractive to low-income buyers and those with credit problems.

Low-interest Rates

Another great benefit to the USDA loan program is that it offers low interest rates, which help homebuyers save money. USDA loan program is about 3% for first-time buyers, which is usually well below the national average of 18 percent.

As of July 1, 2022, the interest rate for direct loans, which are 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, was 3.25%. The interest rates for all other loans are determined by the length of time over which the loan is repaid.


A significant drawback of conventional loans is that they require that all mortgages carry private mortgage insurance (PMIs). The Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) protect the lender, who is lending you up to 95 percent of the home's value, from falling into negative equity in case your home value decreases and you cannot pay off your mortgage.

With a USDA loan, there is no PMI to worry about because it comes with a guarantee from the federal government. This benefit enables homebuyers to avoid paying the extra PMI costs, which are typically an additional 2% to 4% of the home's value.

Refinancing is Possible

Another great benefit of the direct loan program is that it enables borrowers to refinance their loans. With a conventional loan, they usually cannot refinance because it can lead to higher interest rates and less flexibility.

The USDA home loan program allows borrowers to refinance their existing mortgages anytime. Because the federal government backs USDA loans, you will have access to refinancing options for your existing mortgage.

Flexible Eligibility Requirements and Quick Approval

The USDA loans are flexible and allow more options than many conventional loans. Many programs fit different lifestyles and needs, so if you feel like your needs aren't being met by the guidelines of other applications, consider the USDA options.

The USDA loans are so sought after because the government-backed program offers quick approval, which can take just a few weeks instead of the months needed for traditional lenders. The faster process will allow you to move into your new home immediately after closing your loan.

Female hand holding key and house shaped keychain

How to Apply for a USDA Loan in Glades County, Florida

A U.S. Department of Agriculture loan typically requires a credit score of at least 640, but you can still apply for the loan if your credit score exceeds the USDA's minimum requirements.

You might have to wait a while before you are approved, and the time it takes to get approved depends on how much money you are applying for and how many people are applying for the same loan.

To get started, you will need to prepare the following materials:

  • Current pay stubs

  • Identification - Driver's license, SS Card, and two other forms of I.D.; or an acceptable combination of two forms of I.D. One must be a picture I.D. showing your current name and address. The other must show your Social Security Number (SSN).

  • Bank statements for the past three months (if self-employed) or if you are a part of a household with another person, six months of bank statements are required.

  • A copy of your most recent tax return.

Here is the process of applying for a USDA home loan that will be of interest to you:

Find an Approved Lender in Glades County

Once you have decided to get a USDA home loan, finding an approved lender is your next step. If you are an eligible homebuyer, you can shop for different lenders to compare the terms and conditions of each one.

Get Pre-Qualified

One of the best things about the direct loan program is that borrowers can receive a pre-approval on their credit application. After completing a short credit application, you are pre-qualified and offered more information about the eligibility process and your chance to get into the program. Your lender will help you through this process.

Receive a pre-qualification letter from your lender after they review and verify your application and supporting documents. This letter contains all the information you'll need to complete your mortgage loan process. Remember that this is a pre-qualification letter, which only shows whether you are eligible for a USDA loan, not an actual approval.

Apply for the USDA Loan

After finding the right lender and receiving a pre-approval, it is time to apply for the loan. Most lenders will guide you through this process by providing all the information you need to know during the application process.

Apply and fill out the required fields in your mortgage application. Submit any appropriate supporting documents as requested by the lender.

The USDA loan application process can take as little as a month, but you may have to wait for an extended period for an answer. Once approved, you must sign documents and move into your new home.

What is the Value of Buying a Home in Glades County, Florida

The median home value in Glades County is $265,200, meaning that most homes are in the lower price range. The average number of days on the market is 23, with some homes staying on the market for more than 45 days.

Besides, living in Glades County offers you more value in enjoying the land as it is one of the fastest-growing counties in Florida. The county boasts a robust job market, and new businesses are being created daily. Being in the city center makes accessing essential facilities and services easy while enjoying the benefits of living in a small town.

Here are a few more places to visit and attractive things to do that can make a living in Glades County worthwhile:

Lake Okeechobee Bass Fishing

Whether you're looking to catch largemouth bass, spotted bass, or tarpon, Lake Okeechobee has you covered. Whether you are interested in fishing for the day or trying your hand at fly fishing, there is something for everyone. You can also try a bass fishing tournament, which is held every year in February.

Ortona Indian Mound Park

Among the fascinating places in Florida are the mounds, which can be found in Glades County and all over the state. One of these mounds is Ortona Indian Mound Park, and it is a perfect place to visit on a sunny day when you need some fresh air. If you have time to spare, you should also visit Johnson's Bridge Park nearby.

Skydive Spaceland Florida

If you want to get your adrenaline charges going or want to test your good luck while jumping out of a plane, then Skydive Spaceland Florida is the right place. It offers breathtaking views of the ground below and a course that takes you closer to the clouds.

Marsh Beast Airboat Tours

Are you looking for a unique way to experience the outdoors? Then you should try an airboat tour of the marsh with Marsh Beast. The airboat operator will take you around the area, explaining its history and features and showing some of his favorite spots.

Florida Ridge AirSports Park

You will love Florida Ridge AirSports Park if you enjoy certain outdoor activities. It is the largest airsoft park in North America and features nearly 4,000 acres of military-style terrain explicitly designed for players to need their skills. It's home to nearly 300 structures you can conquer to prove your dominance among the other players.

Clewiston Museum

The Clewiston Museum is an educational and cultural center that serves its community and the region. It features an extensive collection of artifacts from local history and items from the area's early pioneer era. The museum is located in a beautiful location within the middle of town and can be easily reached by car or public transportation.

Hooksetter Adventures

If you need an adrenaline rush, then call Hooksetter Adventures. It offers airboat tours that will take you out onto the water and help you see the wildlife there. Moreover, it also offers boat tours that will take you on a trip down the St. John's River, where you can take some time to soak in the beauty of it all.

Ready to Become a Glades County Resident? Apply for a USDA loan today!

Buying a home in Glades County, Florida, is made easier with a USDA loan. Be sure that you complete all the requirements before applying for the program. Apply now and get pre-approved, or use an instant eligibility calculator.

Direct loan programs offer numerous benefits to homebuyers, especially those needing financial assistance purchasing a new home. In addition to providing affordable funding for purchasing a home and mortgage insurance, the USDA offers other services and resources that you can use once you step toward becoming part of the program.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

Find The Right Mortgage

For more than 20 years, Phil have been helping customers achieve their home purchase and refinance goals by providing them with invaluable resources and support.

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Phil Ganz

Subscribe to Get Your First Time Homebuyer Checklist

Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest real estate market trends, loan news, and so much more!