USDA Makes Farm Loan Payment Practical With Online Tools
Starting this February, farm loan borrowers in the Pacific Northwest and across the United States will be able to make payments online.
USDA introduces "Pay My Loan" portal
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will introduce the "Pay My Loan" feature to farmers.gov in early February 2024. The online portal will allow the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to streamline and simplify its payment processes, and hopefully better serve those who have limited time to visit a local FSA office. The goals are also stated to "modernize and improve customer service; provide additional customer self-service tools; and expand credit access to assist more producers."
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small stated:
Farmers and ranchers have responded to some difficult challenges over the last few years and their time is a precious commodity. Having the option to conduct business online is essential, and the Pay My Loan feature allows customers to take care of business seamlessly. The online payment feature is just one of many ways the Farm Service Agency is modernizing its Farm Loan Programs and enhancing the customer experience for this incredibly hardworking group.
Requirements to use Pay My Loan
Producers who wish to use the online program must create a USDA customer account and a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication (“eAuth”) account or a Login.gov account.
Only individuals with loans will be able to make online payments at this time. Borrowers with jointly payable checks will still need to pay at their local FSA office until the program expands.
FSA has made more improvements to its loan programs:
The Farm Loan Program process has also undergone recent changes and improvements. Per the USDA, these include:
- The Online Loan Application, an 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.
- The Loan Assistance Tool 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.
- A simplified direct loan paper application, which reduced loan applications by more than half, from 29 pages to 13 pages.
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