Are You Eligible for USDA Farm Loans?

April 20, 2021

Farm Service Agency loans through the USDA have some of the lowest interest rates out there, and farmers are paying attention. These loans can cover operational needs (inputs, machinery), land ownership (buying farmland), and conservation (promoting soil health or clean water). But how do you know if you can qualify for these credit opportunities? Here are some of the main boxes that every farmer should check:

  1. You’re a U.S. citizen
  2. You have no criminal record related to growing, trafficking, or possessing controlled substances
  3. You’ve got an acceptable credit history. While the FSA doesn’t check credit scores, they will want to know if you have a decent repayment track record with other creditors (including the U.S. government). If you have no credit history, don’t worry, this won’t necessarily disqualify you. That said, you may be disqualified if you have a history of debt forgiveness with the Farm Service Agency or if you are delinquent on federal debt (other than IRS tax debt) at the time of the loan closing
  4. You haven’t violated Federal Crop Insurance policies
  5. You’ve got at least 3 years of farm managerial experience within 10 years of your application date. That said, you can substitute 1 year for one of those 3 if you have post-secondary education in an ag-related field, a lot of business experience, or leadership/management experience while serving in the military
  6. You can’t get farm credit elsewhere
  7. You’re the owner-operator of a family farm after the loan closes

Do you check the boxes? Ready to apply? Reach out to your local USDA service center to get started, or apply through FarmRaise!

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