Skip to main content

New USDA Guarantee Underwriting System and Handbook 1-3555 Update

As previously announced, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA) will be implementing a new Guaranteed Underwriting System (new GUS) on March 1, 2021.  Ahead of this change, the USDA published a preview of updates that will be made to several chapters of Handbook 1-3555 on the USDA LINC Training and Resource Library. Rural Development Form 3555-21, Request for Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee, is also being updated.

Notable proposed changes in Handbook 1-3555, Chapters 2, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, and Appendix 7 include:

  • Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 add a requirement for lenders to submit annual and repayment income calculations when the new GUS recommendation is GUS Accept with Full Documentation, Refer, Refer with Caution or with a manual transaction. This requirement is not applicable to loans with a GUS recommendation of Accept. 


  • Chapters 2 and 5 remove references to the Income Calculation Worksheet Attachment to Rural Development Form 3555-21. The form is being revised to remove the Income Calculation Worksheet Attachment and additional fields such as Social Security Number and Veteran Status from Applicant Information.  The USDA will provide a 60-day transition period from the date of the Procedure Notice during which time both the expired and new version of the form will be accepted.


  • Chapter 5, Origination and Underwriting Overview, adds that Attachment 9-B, Transmittal Summary (Fannie Mae Form 1008 / Freddie Mac Form 1077) or equivalent, may be used for documenting the annual and repayment income calculations.


  • Chapter 8, Applicant Characteristics, clarifies that trusts, corporations and partnerships are not eligible applicants.


  • Chapter 10, Credit Analysis, adds new bankruptcy guidance for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.


  • Chapter 12, Property and Appraisal Requirements, clarifies that one appraisal update will extend the validity period up to 240 days from original appraisal date.


  • Chapter 15, Submitting the Application Package, adds a requirement for a verbal VOE income verification for all applicants within 10 business days of the loan closing.


  • Appendix 7, Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS), has updates to links and contact information along with revisions to instructions for FHA and Non-FHA lenders, and GUS and non-GUS applications.


DocMagic will be providing the revised Rural Development Form 3555-21 (DocMagic form id: RD355521.RH). The updated form is set to coincide with the use of the new GUS and new URLA on March 1, 2021, however the USDA has advised this may not be the exact date of the release. DocMagic will provide notice when the final copy of the form is published.  


The USDA has published final updated versions of the USDA-RD forms 3555-21 Request for Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee; 3555-18 Conditional Commitment for Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee; and 3555-17 Loan Guarantee Note. 

DocMagic will provide the revised USDA-RD forms beginning on March 11, 2021.

For questions regarding this article, please contact DocMagic’s Compliance Department.