The Beginning Farmer Loan Program, administered by the North Carolina Agricultural Finance Authority (NCAFA), provides low cost, long term financing to assist North Carolinians in starting farming careers. Loans are provided by NCAFA in conjunction with the Farm Service Agency's Down Payment Loan Program. Beginning Farmer Loans carry competitive interest rates for farmers who might otherwise not be eligible for loans.

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Beginning Farmer Loans may be used for purchasing farmland (including existing improvements.)

Qualified applicants may finance projects up to $333,500.00 for purchasing land.

To be eligible for a Beginning Farmer Loan, an applicant must:

  • Have operated a farm for at least (3) years but not more than (10) years.
  • Never have held a direct or indirect ownership interest in substantial farmland (NCAFA should be contacted for specific farm size figures for each county.)
  • Have access to adequate working capital.
  • Be educated or experienced in the type of faming operation for which the loan is sought.
  • Meet the basic eligibility requirements for a "Series I" loan from NCAFA.
  • The applicant must make a cash down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price.

A $75 application fee is required when the application is submitted and a closing fee equal to 1% (1% of NCAFA's loan) may be applicable and payable at loan closing.

Follow these steps:

  • Obtain an application from the North Carolina Agricultural Finance Authority. This loan request will be for no more than 50% of the applicants need.
  • Simultaneously submit an application to the local Farm Service Agency office for their Down Payment Loan Program. This loan request will be for no more than 45% of the applicants need.
  • NCAFA accepts the application as completed by FSA and evaluates making a long for 50% of the applicant's need.

NCAFA loan rate for Beginning Farmer Loan Program is a variable rate of Prime plus .75%, which can change quarterly. Loans are amortized over 30 years with a balloon payment no earlier than 20 years after loan origination.

Applicant must make a cash down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price.