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USDA Launches Online Application For Direct Loan Customers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched an online application for Direct Loan customers. More than 26,000 customers who submit a Direct Loan application each year can now use an online, interactive, guided application that is paperless and provides helpful features including an electronic signature option, the ability to attach supporting documents such as tax returns, complete a balance sheet and build a farm operating plan.

This tool is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Farm Service Agency to streamline its processes, improve customer service and expand credit access.

The online farm loan application replicates the support an applicant would receive when completing a loan application in person with an FSA farm loan officer, while continuing to provide customers with one-on-one assistance as needed. This tool and other process improvements allow farmers and ranchers to submit complete loan applications and reduce the number of incomplete and withdrawn applications.

Through a personalized dashboard, borrowers can borrowers track the progress of their loan application. It can be accessed on farmers. gov or by completing FSA’s Loan Assistance Tool at farmers. gov/loan-assistance-tool. To use the online loan application tool, producers must establish a USDA customer account and a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication (“eAuth”) account or a account. For the initial stage, the online application tool is only available for producers who will be, or are currently, operating their farm as an individual. FSA is expanding the tools availability to married couples applying jointly and other legal entities in 2024.

FSA has a significant initiative underway to streamline and automate Farm Loan Program customer-facing business processes. For the over 26,000 producers who submit a Direct Loan application to FSA annually and its 85,000 Direct Loan borrowers, FSA has made improvements this year, including:

•A simplified direct loan paper application.

•The Loan Assistance Tool on that provides customers with an interactive online, step-by-step guide to identifying the Direct Loan products that may be a fit for their business needs and to understanding the application process.

FSA continues to accept and review individual requests for assistance from qualifying borrowers who took certain extraordinary measures to avoid delinquency on their direct FSA loans or those who were unable to make a recent installment or are unable to make their next scheduled installment for installments through Jan. 15. All requests for assistance must be received by Dec. 31.

For more information, or to submit a request for assistance, producers can contact their local USDA Service Center or visit inflation-reduction-investments/ assistance.

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