Tunkhannock - Housing loan applications are being accepted by USDA Rural Development under its 502 Direct housing loan program. The program allows qualified applicants to purchase new or existing housing in rural areas. No down payment is required, and closing costs may, if possible, be included in the loan. USDA Rural Development does not charge any points or require mortgage insurance. To qualify, applicants must have a household income less than 80 percent of the county median income, have acceptable credit history and have sufficient income available to make the mortgage payment including real estate taxes and hazard insurance escrow. They cannot have liquid assets in excess of $7,500 or the ability to obtain the loan from a conventional lender. The home to be purchased must be modest, in good repair and located in an eligible rural area. The loan limit for most counties in northeastern Pennsylvania is $162,000 to $193,000. Applications are also being taken for the 504 Repair program. To qualify, applicants must have a household income less than 50 percent of the county median income and own and occupy the property they want to repair. Applicants must have acceptable credit history and have sufficient income to pay back the loan at a 1 percent interest rate. To request an application, please call 570-836-4157 ext. 4. USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal agency for rural development needs by offering financial and technical assistance to individuals, businesses and communities. USDA Rural Development programs include funding for day care centers, fire trucks and other community facility projects; the purchase, construction or repair of homes; and loans and guarantees to rural businesses to save or create jobs. For more information on the programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Wyoming County Local Office at (570) 836-4157, ext. 4, or visit the website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa.