The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched an online application for Direct Loan customers. More than 26,000 customers who submit a Direct Loan application each year can now use an online, 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. 

Online services are commonplace in commercial lending, and with this online loan application feature it is easier for producers to access the financing they need to start, expand, or maintain their farming and ranching operations. The online farm loan application replicates the support an applicant would receive when completing a loan application in person with a Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Officer, while continuing to provide customers with one-on-one assistance as needed. 

This tool is part of a broader effort by FSA to streamline its processes, improve customers service, and expand credit access. It allows farmers and ranchers to submit complete loan applications and reduce the number of incomplete and withdrawn applications.

To use the online loan application tool, producers must establish a USDA customer account and a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication (“eAuth”) account or a account. For this initial stage, the online application tool is only available for producers who will be, or are currently, operating their farm as an individual. FSA is expanding the tools availability to married couples applying jointly and other legal entities in 2024.

Producers can access the tool on or by completing FSA’s Loan Assistance Tool on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The online application tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.