WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that most farm loan borrowers will be able to make payments to their direct loans online through the Pay My Loan feature on farmers.gov in early February. Pay My Loan is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to streamline its processes, especially for producers who may have limited time during the planting or harvest seasons to visit a local FSA office; modernize and improve customer service; provide additional customer self-service tools; and expand credit access to assist more producers.
“Farmers and ranchers have responded to some difficult challenges over the last few years and their time is a precious commodity,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. "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.”
On average, local USDA Service Centers process more than 225,000 farm loan payments each year. Pay My Loan gives most borrowers an online repayment option and relieves them from needing to call, mail, or visit a Service Center to pay their loan installment. Farm loan payments can now be made at the borrower’s convenience, on their schedule and outside of FSA office hours.
Pay My Loan also provides time savings for FSA’s farm loan employees by minimizing manual payment processing activities. This new service for producers means that farm loan employees will have more time to focus on reviewing and processing new loans or servicing requests.
The Pay My Loan feature can be accessed at farmers.gov/loans. To use the payment feature, producers must establish a USDA customer account and a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication (“eAuth”) account or a Login.gov account. This initial release only allows individuals with loans to make online payments. For now, borrowers with jointly payable checks will need to continue to make loan payments through their local office.
FSA has a significant initiative underway to streamline and automate the Farm Loan Program customer-facing business process. For the over 26,000 producers who submit a direct loan application annually, FSA has made various improvements including:
- 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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.