A Dodge City mother of three, working as a clerk at Right Co-op, has been chosen as the first of a series of "Faces of the Farm Bill," a visual series that describes how programs within the Farm Bill have had a direct impact on the lives of ordinary people in communities across the country.
Megan Estrada had been renting a small apartment for herself and her three children for nine years. She dreamed of owning a home where her kids could play safely.
Last year thanks to the Guaranteed Rural Housing Program, a Farm Bill authorized program, she was able to make that dream come true.
Estrada attempted to buy a home about four years ago, but her credit history was not solid enough for her to qualify for a conventional loan. She has been working since that time to build up her credit and try again.
In May of 2014, she learned that Dodge City would become eligible for USDA Housing Programs. In June, she was the first Dodge City resident to buy a home through the program.
Landmark National Bank provided the loan Estrada's three-bedroom home, which is guaranteed by USDA Rural Development.
The objective of the program is to help people like Estrada purchase homes with no down payment and no requirement for mortgage insurance.
To qualify for the program, applicants must be without adequate housing in the local commuting area; be unable to make a 20% down payment; be a U.S. citizen or have qualified alien status and have the legal capacity to incur the loan; be personally living in the home being purchased; be buying in a town located in a town of less than 20,000 population or in a rural area; have an acceptable credit history; have stable employment and dependable income to repay the loan; have an adjusted income within rural development limit; have total ratios that meet repayment requirements.