All About USDA Streamlined Assist Refinance

Feb 15, 2024 By Susan Kelly


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a streamlined refinancing alternative for current USDA mortgage holders (USDA). Simplified USDA Streamlined Assist Refinance is available to homeowners who originally acquired their house with a USDA loan and now wish to refinance to more favorable conditions. To qualify for a USDA streamlined refinance, your current mortgage must be a USDA loan. The term "streamline" indicates that the refinancing procedure is more expedited than other options. No appraisal is required in most circumstances; neither is proof of income or creditworthiness in others.

Understanding USDA Streamlined Refinancing

Some potential homeowners in rural areas and the suburbs can qualify for a USDA loan, a type of mortgage. The USDA guarantees home loans supplied by eligible lenders. The requirements to qualify for one of these mortgages are much less stringent than conventional loans. Loans from the USDA are available to those with lower or middle incomes to buy a property in a rural location. One such loan is the Section 502 loan, designed to help low-income borrowers in rural areas.

Refinancing direct and guaranteed loans from the USDA is possible through either the streamlined assist or conventional streamlined programs. The USDA Streamline Refinance Program is very similar to the simplified refinancing programs offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

Advantages of the USDA's New, Simplified Refinancing Program

No Appraisal is Required

One of the main advantages of this simplified scheme is that the borrower does not have to pay for a property appraisal to refinance their mortgage.

Lower Rate

Locking at a lower rate than what you originally paid on your mortgage is possible only through a streamlined refinance, which the USDA requires. You might save hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of dollars throughout the loan by shopping around for a better interest rate.

No Appraisal

With any streamlined choice, an appraisal is unnecessary in most circumstances. In addition to financial benefits, this will also help you save time.

Eliminate Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Farmers and ranchers in rural areas can benefit from the USDA Streamlined-Assist Refinance Loan by reducing their monthly mortgage payments and absorbing the associated closing fees. USDA loans for rural development carry the standard one percent origination cost and zero point three five percent yearly servicing fee.

Save Money

It would help if you got a refinancing with the streamlined help of the USDA. The "tangible advantage" required of you is a $50 monthly payment reduction.

No Credit Examination

This refinancing product does not require a credit check, unlike many others. However, before applying for a refinance, the present mortgage must have been paid on time for the previous 12 months.

USDA Streamline Refinance Guidelines

Those with a USDA mortgage can participate in a new streamlining pilot program accessible directly from the USDA. No homeowners with a VA, FHA, or conventional loan are qualified for this program.

  • Only one loan program qualifies for the USDA streamline refinance: the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
  • There is no need to provide proof of income to participate in the USDA's simplified aid program.
  • Property owners must lower their monthly payments (principal, interest, and guarantee fee) by $50.
  • Occupancy: USDA loans are intended for primary residences, not for investment or vacation houses.
  • Borrowers: The loan's refinancing allows for the addition of new borrowers. The borrower of debt, however, is not replaceable.
  • No matter where the property is located, if it was once considered in a USDA-eligible area, it can still qualify for a USDA refinance loan.
  • The existing USDA loan for the pilot program must have a 12-month history of on-time payments. A transient and resolved unfavorable credit event may be considered for typical streamline and non-streamline programs (i.e., it was laid off but is now back to work).
  • No Home Equity Loan Refinancing is Permitted through the USDA Streamline Refinance Program.


Low- and moderate-income borrowers in rural areas can take advantage of the USDA's direct loans and loan guarantees from private lenders. Both the streamlined-assist and the conventional streamlined refinancing schemes fall under its purview. Low- and middle-income borrowers may qualify for a lower monthly payment under the USDA's Streamlined Assist program. However, borrowers looking to use their home's equity should go elsewhere. Only customers with a USDA Home Loan are eligible for the USDA: Streamlined-Assist Refinance option. FHA, VA, and Conventional loan borrowers are ineligible for this program.

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