There’s a new online tool to help you find information on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. It’s called the “Farm Loan Discovery Tool” and comes to us from Farmers.gov, and it makes it easier to figure out what kind of loan to consider, and tells you where your the nearest service center is to get started. All you have to do is click a few buttons in answer to some simple questions.
First, head over to the website, scroll down the page midway, and click on “Start” to get started. (Be sure you’re using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser on your computer or mobile device. It does not work in Internet Explorer.)
Here are the questions you’ll be asked. (I filled it out so that you could see all of the boxes.)
Once you click on the “View Loan Options” button, you’ll see something like this:
It’s followed by the answers to questions we’d all like to know before we start filling out paperwork, like: Who is eligible? How much money can I ask for? What can the money be used for? They also tell you what the loan process is, and how to prep for your visit to the Service Center by doing things like getting your financial records together, drafting a business plan and being prepared to talk about your operation and your experience. And if you scroll to the bottom of the page it will even give you the name, location and phone number for your local Service Center.
It’s easy to use and makes the whole process much more transparent. So check it out!
(And if you saw that part about a draft business plan, Farmers.gov also provides a link to the Small Business Administration’s website on writing a business plan. I’ll be reviewing that in the future to let you know if it will make your life easier too.)
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