What type of home are you looking for?
The credit requirement you mention is what we in the mortgage industry call an "overlay" meaning that requirement is specific to the Lender, not to the program. Lenders do this to meet internal company guidelines and the "overlay" is on top of the basic loan program requirements.
Further, since you are married, your Lender should run a joint credit report, not separate reports. Not every Loan Officer knows to do this.
I closed a loan last year for a young couple by running their credit report jointly. The previous Loan Officer they were working with told them they weren't qualified because the husband didn't have sufficient credit. With a joint credit report the "trade" requirement should be easily fulfilled in your case.
I'd recommend you locate an experience (minimum 20 years) Local Mortgage Banker. Stay away from regular banks; a Mortgage Banker is a specialist and is also licensed, a big difference from Loan Officers at regular banks.
Seems to me you should be easily qualified for a USDA loan once you begin working with the right mortgage professional.
All the best!
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