FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loans (OL) to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed, and supplies. Our loans can also be used to construct buildings or make farm improvements. See our loan information chart which describes maximum loan amounts, rates, term, and use of proceeds.
FSA loans are often provided to beginning farmers who cannot qualify for conventional loans because they have insufficient financial resources. FSA also helps established farmers who have suffered financial setbacks from natural disasters, or whose resources are too limited to maintain profitable farming operations.
FSA guaranteed loans provide conventional agricultural lenders with up to a 95 percent guarantee of the principal loan amount. The lender is responsible for servicing a borrower'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. Farmers interested in these loans must apply to a conventional lender, which then arranges for the FSA guarantee.
FSA makes and services direct FO and OL loans. We provide our direct loan customers credit counseling and loan supervision so they have a better chance of success in their farming operation. FSA receives limited funding for direct loans, and applicants sometimes have to wait for funds to become available. To qualify for a direct loan, the applicant must be able to show sufficient repayment ability and pledge enough collateral to fully secure the loan.