When you apply for a USDA home loan the lender is required to include income from all members of an applicant's household to determine if the applicant exceeds the maximum borrower income limit for the program. Even if a household member, such as a spouse, is not a co-borrower on the mortgage, the lender is required to include the spouse's income in calculating the borrower's adjusted gross income figure for the USDA loan application. According to USDA Home Loan Program guidelines, in your case the lender is permitted and required to request your financial documents such as bank statements and tax returns to verify your income. We provide a thorough overview of the USDA Home Loan Program including borrower income limits on FREEandCLEAR that we recommend you review.
So to answer your specific question, your income can be a deciding factor in determining if your wife qualifies for the USDA program, even though she is applying for the loan as a sole borrower. If you an your wife's combined household adjusted gross income is lower than the USDA borrower income limit for your county then your wife should be approved for the loan, assuming she meets the other borrower qualification guidelines. If your household adjusted gross income is greater than the USDA borrower income limit then your wife will not qualify for the USDA program. The adjusted gross income limit for the USDA Guaranteed Loan Program is typically 115% of the median household income for the area.
Additionally, when applying for a USDA home loan lenders are also required to verify the assets held by all household members which may be another reason the lender is requesting your financial documents. In some cases, cash withdrawals from a personal business by a household member are also included in the borrower's household income calculation.
Please note that there are several other low / no down payment mortgage programs available to borrowers and many of them do not have income limits. We provide a comprehensive comparison of low / no down payment mortgage programs that outlines key program features such as income and loan limits. You can use this chart to find the mortgage program that best matches your financial profile and objectives.
Finally, even though you are already working with a lender we recommend that you contact multiple lenders to understand how they would handle your unique situation. You can review lenders in your area by clicking INTEREST RATES We advise you to contact three-to-four lenders as underwriting policies can vary.