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 now have an online option that provides an electronic signature option, the ability to attach supporting documents such as tax returns, complete a balance sheet and build a farm operating plan.
“Online services are commonplace in commercial lending, and with USDA Farm Service Agency’s new online loan application feature, it is now easier for producers to get the financing they need to start, expand or maintain their farming and ranching operations,” said Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small.
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, according to USDA. 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improvements allow farmers and ranchers to submit complete loan applications and reduce the number of incomplete and withdrawn applications.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. To use the online loan application tool, producers must establish a USDA customer account and a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication account or a Login.gov 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.