Loans available to struggling farmers

Loans available to struggling farmers
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 4:52pm

The ongoing drought has been tough on farmers, and many are taking out loans to try and make ends meet. But some farmers don't have sufficient financial resources to qualify for conventional loans.

The Farm Service Agency is now stepping up to help those farmers and is accepting loan applications. Current fixed interest rates for direct operating loans are 1.25% and farm ownership loans are 3.375%. Loan limits are $300,000.

Under the guaranteed loan program, the Agency guarantees loans made by conventional agricultural lenders for up to 95 percent of principal. The lender is always responsible for servicing the producer's account for the life of the loan.  All loans must meet certain qualifying criteria to be eligible for guarantees, and FSA has the right and responsibility to monitor the lender's servicing activities.  Producers interested in guaranteed loans must apply to a conventional lender, who then arranges for the FSA guarantee.  Guaranteed loan limits are a combined $1,302,000.

Producer's unable to qualify for a guaranteed loan may be eligible for a direct loan from FSA. Direct loans are made and serviced by FSA officials, who also provide producers with supervision and credit counseling.  Funding authorities for direct loans are limited, and interested producers are encouraged to apply early and complete their applications as soon as possible. To qualify for a direct farm ownership or operating loan, the applicant must be able to show sufficient repayment ability and pledge enough collateral to fully secure the loan.

FSA is a credit agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. It is authorized to provide loans to recognized producers who work at and rely on agriculture for a substantial part of their living. Eligibility is extended to individual producers who are U. S. citizens and to agricultural partnerships, corporations, or cooperatives in which U. S. citizens hold a majority interest.

For detailed information and applicant eligibility criteria, contact your local FSA office.  The Farm Loan Office serving Brewster, Crane, Culberson, Ector, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Ward and Winkler Counties is located at 2306 W. Dickinson, Suite 1, Ft. Stockton, Texas 79735, telephone (432) 336-5206, extension 2, fax (432) 336-9620, e-mail All producers interested in applying for FSA assistance should contact the office in Fort Stockton or their local office.  FSA County Office information and other information about FSA may be obtained from the World Wide Web at

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