Pilot Grove Savings Bank honored by USDA
Pilot Grove Savings Bank in Mt. Pleasant recently was recognized by the USDA Rural Development Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities Programs, Tammye Trevino.
The bank became a USDA-approved lender in 2001, and has since used USDA’s guaranteed home loan program 70 times, totaling $4.4 million.
According to Brenda Gonzalez, real-estate loan officer for Pilot Grove Savings Bank, the bank handles about five of these loans a year.
It is a United States Department of agriculture-sponsored program which provides guaranteed home loans for moderate income purchasers. The loans are 30-year fixed loans “with a very competitive interest rate,” she said.
Currently, most rates are around 4 to 4.25 percent.
According to Gonzalez, some of the criteria needed to qualify are good credit and a good income to debt ration. Potentially, the loans do not require a down payment, which Gonzalez said “helps young couples starting out with home ownership.”
“Homeownership should be an achievable dream and in many cases, USDA housing programs provide the only way for rural residents to buy a home,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a news release about the program. “Working with our partners in the lending community and with state and local housing authorities, we are continuing to make safe, affordable housing available to credit-worthy applicants across the nation.”
“It is a nice program and a niche for us,” Gonzalez noted. “It is just another tool we can offer.”