USDA says it has developed a simplified application for direct loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has reduced the Farm Service Agency direct loan application from 29 pages to 13 pages.

Piles of paper and files
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it is reducing the length of its direct loan application.
Courtesy / Pixabay

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has reduced the Farm Service Agency direct loan application from 29 pages to 13 pages.

Producers will also have the option to complete an electronic fillable form or prepare a traditional, paper application for submission to their local FSA farm loan office. The paper and electronic versions of the form will be available starting March 1, 2023.

“USDA is committed to improving our farm loan processes to better serve all of our borrowers,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We’re consistently looking for ways to make the application process easier to navigate, so more producers are able to complete it. Our new direct loan application is a critical step forward in our efforts to improve customer service and build equity into not just our programs but also our services.”

Approximately 26,000 producers submit a direct loan application to the FSA annually, but there is a high rate of incomplete or withdrawn applications, due in part to a challenging and lengthy paper-based application process. Coupled with the Loan Assistance Tool released in October 2022, the simplified application will provide all loan applicants access to information regarding the application process and assist them with gathering the correct documents before they begin the process. This new application will help farmers and ranchers submit complete loan applications and reduce the number of incomplete, rejected, or withdrawn applications.

USDA says it also is working on the following improvements:


  • An interactive online direct loan application with a paperless and electronic signature option, along with the ability to attach supporting documents.
  • An online direct loan repayment feature to relieve borrowers from having to call, mail or visit a local Service Center to pay a loan installment.

USDA provides credit to about 115,000 producers who cannot obtain sufficient commercial credit through direct and guaranteed farm loans.

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