USDA loans are designed to help individuals in rural areas purchase homes. The USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan is intended to serve low to middle income families purchasing homes outside of metropolitan cities. These loans are insured by the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA loans are available to purchase or build a primary residence . This program cannot be used for income-producing properties. Credit requirements for USDA loans are typically a little more lenient than for Conventional loans. Buyers are not required to be first-time buyers, but these factors make USDA loans very popular with first-time home buyers if the property is within an eligible area.