Cup Loan Requirements: What You Need to Qualify

Cup Loan Requirements Are you looking for a way to pay for the public facility you want to build in a rural area? Do you require information on how to apply for the USDA’s Cup lending program, a low-interest lending program? If the answer to these questions is yes, you’re in the correct place. In this blog post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the Cup Loan Requirements, including their nature, eligibility requirements, benefits, and application process. Let’s move forward!

Cup Loan Requirements What You Need to Qualify
Cup Loan Requirements What You Need to Qualify

What is the Cup Loan Program?

A loan program called the Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF) Loan Program, often referred to as the Cup Loan Program, provides funds to public facilities in rural areas to satisfy their building, renovation, or maintenance needs. The program’s overall objective is to raise the standard of living and promote economic growth in rural areas.

The agency in charge of managing the Cup Loan Program application is USDA Rural Development, which offers a variety of services and initiatives to support rural development. The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act’s Section 306 authorizes the program.

Through the Cup Loan Program, low-interest loans are offered for terms of up to 40 years. The average household income in the region where the project is located has an impact on the interest rate. Interest rates also decrease when income levels do. Additionally, the funding rate might be reduced by 1% if the project complies with specific energy efficiency requirements.

The Cup Loan Program is available for a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Public institutions like schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, fire stations, police departments, community centers, etc. are built or renovated.
  • Improving the accessibility, safety, security, or energy efficiency of public infrastructures

Cup Loan Requirements

Let’s look more closely at each of these specifications to see what they mean for your project.

Rural Area

The location of your project must be in a rural area with 20,000 or fewer people, which is the first prerequisite. The area your project will serve must not be a part of an urbanized area or an urban cluster, according to this implication. Urbanization is defined as the presence of at least 50,000 people in a densely populated area. An urban cluster is considered moderately inhabited if it has at least 2,500 people but fewer than 50,000.

Using this tool, you can determine whether the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development considers the project site to be rural. Simply click “Property Eligibility” and enter the address or GPS coordinates of the property.

Median Household Income

Your project must also benefit a rural area where the median household earnings are 80% or less of the state’s nonmetropolitan median household income, whichever is lower. As a result, your effort must benefit a region that has a lower or middle income level than the state as a whole.

The poverty line is set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and it differs by state and family size. You may find the most current poverty guidelines here.

The state nonmetropolitan median income for households is determined by the USDA Rural Development Program and varies by state and county. Here is a list of the highest and least recent income limits.

Also Read: Is Cup Loan Program Legit? What You Need to Know

Financial Feasibility and Sustainability

The third criterion is that your initiative must demonstrate that it is economically viable and long-lasting. It follows that you must show that you have the earnings and cash flow required to repay the loan, in addition to having to operate and maintain the infrastructure for the entirety of its useful life.

The following details must be included in a financial feasibility study that you submit:

  • A comprehensive budget that details all project costs and funding sources.
  • A minimum five-year predicted income statement for your institution’s operations
  • A projected cash flow statement for the operations of your facility and debt repayment over the following five years
  • Sensitivity analysis shows how your financial position might change if specific conditions, like changes in income, expenditures, interest rates, or rates of occupancy, were to occur.
  • A study of break-even points out the minimum sales or occupancy needed to pay off debt and cover operational costs.
  • Your debt service compared to net operating income is measured using a debt service coverage ratio, or DSCR. The DSCR should be at least 1.25, which means that 25% of your income should go toward debt repayment.

Additionally, you will have to offer proof of your accounting and financial management procedures, such as:

  • A copy of the most recent annual statement or set of financial statements that have undergone audit
  • A duplicate of your bylaws or your financial policies and procedures manual.
  • A replica of your organizational chart as well as your workers’ qualifications or resumes.
  • A duplicate of your business or strategy plan.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

The fourth requirement is that your project must adhere to all applicable federal, state, and municipal rules and ordinances. This suggests that you must obtain the necessary permits, licenses, certificates, and approvals for your project. In addition, you must plan, construct, run, and maintain the project in compliance with all applicable regulations and standards.

You must abide by a number of laws and rules, including:

  • In order to ascertain any potential effects on both the environment and public health, your project must undergo an environmental assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • A historic preservation evaluation is required by the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in order to assess your project’s potential impact on historic sites and cultural resources.
  • The Uniform Relocation Assistance & Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA), which is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), stipulates that your facility must be handicap accessible, and states that you must treat everyone who suffers displacement by your project equally and fairly.
  • You must pay any employees employed for your project the appropriate salaries under the Davis-Bacon Act.

Environmental and Historic Preservation

The sixth criterion is that your project must not have a negative impact on the environment or historic objects. This means that any negative effects on the area’s environmental or cultural resources must be avoided or kept to a minimum.

You must submit an environmental report with the following information:

  • An explanation of the local ecology, including the soil, air, water, noise, vegetation, and wildlife, at the project site
  • A description of any potential environmental harm that your project might cause, such as loss of habitat, pollution, erosion, etc.
  • A breakdown of any mitigation measures you’ll take, such as erosion control, stormwater management, landscaping, etc., to reduce or eliminate the effects your project will have on the environment.
  • A description of any public involvement in, consultation with, or feedback on the project’s environmental components that you have had or plan to have

A report on historic preservation that includes the following details must also be submitted:

  • A description of all historic structures or cultural assets found on or near the project site, including any and all districts, buildings, sites, objects, etc.
  • A description of any potential harm your proposal might cause to historic preservation, such as changes, deconstruction, relocation, etc.
  • An explanation of any mitigation measures you’ll take, such as preservation in place, documentation, rehabilitative efforts, etc., in order to reduce or eliminate the project’s impact on historic preservation.
  • Information about any public involvement or input you have had regarding the project’s historic preservation component, or that you plan to have in the future.

Frequently asked questions about Cup Loan Requirements

Q: What kind of public facilities can be funded by the Cup Loan Program?

A: Various public buildings, including schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, fire stations, police stations, neighborhood centers, museums, playgrounds, and more, may be funded through the Cup Loan Program.

Q: How much money can I borrow from the Cup Loan Program?

A: How much you can borrow through the Cup Loan Program will depend on the cost of your project and your ability to repay the loan. There is no maximum lending restriction; nevertheless, the lowest loan amount is $10,000.

Q: What are the interest rates and terms of the Cup Loan Program?

A: The interest rates and terms of the Cup Loan Program are influenced by the area’s average household income, the project’s energy efficiency, and other factors. The terms range from 10 to 40 years, with interest rates between 4.25% and 6.5%. You can compute your monthly payment and interest rate with this calculator.


We trust that after reading this blog post, you have a good knowledge of what the Cup Loan Requirements are and how they can help you with funding your project to construct a public facility in a remote location. There are only a few monies available for this program, and they are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you’re interested in applying, move soon.

To qualify for a Cup loan, you must satisfy the rules below:

  • You must be a governmental or nonprofit organization, such as a county, municipality, state, or tribal authority.
  • A town in the countryside with 20,000 or fewer residents must receive your services.
  • You must demonstrate that you have the resources and power to repay the debt.
  • Your proposal needs to be realistic, suit the program’s objectives, and satisfy the eligibility conditions.

To submit your application, get in touch with the USDA Rural Development office in your area and follow their guidelines. You can find the closest office here.

If you have any questions about the Cup Loan Program or need assistance with your application, please get in contact with us. We’re here to help you make your rural town’s quality of life & employment better.

Share Friends and Family

Leave a Comment