By financen | September 9, 2019 - 7:32 pm - Posted in Business, Business Loans

Are you a business person from rural America and worried about fund crunch arising out of the working capital gap to run your business smoothly? You are at the right place that can help you deal with the matter. Here you will know how the Department of Agriculture of the US Government ensures commercial loans to individuals, profit and non-profit organizations, and companies whose registered office is located in the rural areas.

Purposes for Which USDA Caters Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guarantees the lender a part of the loan disbursed to encourage the rural youth and alongside provides a sustainable backup to the lenders to promote rural employment. The goal is to promote job creation amongst the rural unemployed communities. Here are the purposes for which the loans are processed and disbursed:

  • Purchasing, developing and improving commercial real estate
  • Integrated agricultural processing facilities
  • Business development, modernization, gross repair of machinery or equipment
  • ?       Purchase of new machinery or equipment
  • Purchase of inventories
  • Working capital requirement
  • Debt refinancing to improve cash flow which capacitates creation or saving jobs
  • Acquisition of business if fresh borrowing promotes fresh job opportunities or saves existing jobs

The eligible candidates can avail a wide range of commercial loans with interest rate competitive to the market and flexibility in endues of the fund.

Eligibility Criteria for Getting USDA Business Loan

USDA B&I (Business and Industry) loan is applicable to both fresh and existing business persons. USDA has set a minimum requirement for eligibility criteria though the lending bank or firm may impose additional criteria for their own. However, USDA designed minimum requirements are stated below:

  • Business registered office should be located in a rural area that has a population of less than 50,000.
  • Applicant must be a permanent US citizen, and the permanent citizen must have at least a 51% share of the business.
  • The applicant of loan must be an eligible person by the guidelines prescribed by the USDA. It means that the borrower should be a profit or non-profit organization, company, public body, listed tribe, and an individual within the scope and definition of USDA guidelines for eligibility criteria.

Loan Amount, Interest Rates, and Terms

You can negotiate about the loan amount and other terms and conditions of loan with the lending authority. However, USDA has set the following specification on loan amount and other terms and conditions:

Loan Amount

There is no minimum bar for the loan, but USDA B&I loan has set a maximum general limit not exceeding $10 million with an exception to go up to $25 million or more in some special cases. However, most of the business loans disbursed in general remain between $200,000 and $5 million. Loan amount to be disbursed is assessed based on loan-to-value ratio, and the down payment that needs to be paid. The loan-to-value ratio and down payment are different for different category of loan as prescribed in USDA norm.

Other Terms and Conditions

The maximum permissible loan repayment term for real estate may extend up to 30 years. The maximum period of repayment for purchase of machinery and equipment may be allowed up to the life of the machinery and equipment, or 15 years, whichever is less. The maximum period allowed for a working capital loan may be up to 7 years. The loan amount is amortized over the entire period allowed. It means monthly loan payment is fixed throughout the whole period of repayment, and no lump sum payment is allowed in between. The lender fixes interest rates for commercial loans and generally stays between 6% and 9%.

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