OXFORD – The Oxford County Farm Service Agency announced that farmers in need of financial assistance would benefit greatly from recent improvements to FSA’s Lo-Doc loan programs. Lo-Doc programs were designed to reduce the amount of underwriting required for small loans.

The program allows for loan guarantees of up to 90 percent on loans and lines of credits as large as $125,000. Lenders use FSA loan guarantees to assist applicants whose loan requests do not meet their credit standards. Farmers and lenders jointly apply for Lo-Doc loan assistance.

Guaranteed Lo-Doc loan funds may be used for farm operating expenses, cattle and equipment purchases and improvements to real estate. Flexible loan repayment terms are available depending on the projected useful life of the security for the loan. Lines of credit are usually repaid annually.

Farmers unable to qualify for guaranteed loan assistance may apply for FSA direct loan assistance. Direct Lo-Doc loans are generally limited to $50,000. Loan proceeds may be used to pay farm operating expenses or purchase cattle and equipment.

Eligibility for FSA’s loan programs is limited to applicants who can not obtain credit from traditional financial institutions.

Funding preferences exist for beginning farmers and members of socially disadvantaged groups. Farmers interested in acquiring more information about FSA’s loan programs should visit FSA’s Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov or contact Androscoggin County FSA at 753-9400.

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