What Is the Farmers Home Administration?

Author Lee Cosi

Posted Apr 4, 2023

Reads 9.3K

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The Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) is a government agency that has been helping rural communities in the United States for decades. The FmHA was established to provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and other rural residents who were struggling to make ends meet. Today, the agency still works to help those living in rural areas through various programs and services.

One of the main ways that the FmHA works today is by providing loans through the USDA loan program. These loans are designed specifically for people who live in rural areas and need assistance with things like buying a home or starting a business. In addition to the USDA loan program, the FmHA also offers financing for businesses and housing projects in rural areas. This can be especially helpful for those who may not have access to traditional financing options.

Definition and History of the Farmers Home Administration

The Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) was a federal agency established in 1946, following Congress reorganizing the Farm Security Administration. The Congress stated mission for FmHA was to support the family farm system by providing agricultural loans, improving real estate and equipment, and assisting with annual operating purposes.

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Initially, the agency provided loans to farmers and rural residents who lacked access to credit from traditional lenders. However, problems began to arise as delinquency rates among FMHA borrowers increased, and equipment values dropped.

In April 1992, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on FMHA's loan servicing standards. The GAO found that FMHA's portfolio was at risk due to delinquent borrowers, including 3,100 farms with delinquent borrowers in September 1991. Ultimately, the GAO concluded that ineffective implementation of FMHA's loan servicing standards contributed significantly to these issues.


Note: On December 8, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law HR 4783, also known as the Claims Resolution Act. This included funding for agreements reached in the Pigford II lawsuit, a class action lawsuit where black farmers alleged that the USDA discriminated against them in regards to farm loans and benefits between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1996. To learn more about how this impacted the farming community and what it means for farmers today, keep reading.

Discover the Advantages and Disadvantages of a USDA Loan

Advantages of a USDA loan include flexible terms and a guarantee fee included in the loan. The USDA loan program, also known as the Farmers Home Administration, offers loans to rural borrowers who meet income limits and location restrictions. The guarantee fee is a one-time cost that protects lenders in case of default.

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However, there are some disadvantages to consider before applying for a USDA loan. Location restrictions mean that borrowers must purchase property in designated rural areas, which may limit options for those looking to buy in more populated regions. Additionally, income limits may disqualify some borrowers from eligibility.

Overall, a USDA loan can be a great option for those looking to purchase property in rural areas with flexible terms and a guarantee fee included. However, it's important to weigh the potential disadvantages such as location restrictions and income limits before making a decision.

1. Pros Explained

The USDA's Single Family Housing Direct Loan, also known as the Farmers Home Administration, provides low-interest loans to eligible applicants who are finding it difficult to secure financing from traditional lenders. These loans come with no down payment required and flexible terms offered by mutually acceptable fixed interest rate terms for up to 30 years. The USDA loan program is an excellent option for those looking to buy or build a home in rural areas.

2. Cons Explained

The Farmers Home Administration is a government program that offers home loans to eligible borrowers in rural areas. While there are location restrictions for approved lenders, the USDA doesn't technically require mortgage insurance and income limits are based on the median income of the area they're in. However, there is an annual guarantee fee included and rural development single-family direct loans have credit requirements. To learn more about this program, check out resources like Govinfo Chapter 5 War & Peace or Agriculture Rural Development Home Loans.

How the Farmers Home Administration Works Today

The Farmers Home Administration is now known as the USDA Rural Development, a program that aims to help rural communities and farmers by offering program loans and loan guarantees. One of their most popular offerings is the USDA Rural Development home loans, which are designed to assist low to middle-income families achieve homeownership in eligible areas determined by the USDA office.

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To qualify for a USDA loan, borrowers must meet stricter criteria compared to other loan options like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. The minimum credit score required is 640, and borrowers' debt-to-income (DTI) ratio should be around 41% or less. Still, having a reliable score can lead to automatic approval.

The program prioritizes helping families with lower median incomes in rural areas who may have difficulty securing traditional loans due to various reasons such as not having enough savings for down payments or not meeting other lenders' requirements. The USDA Rural Development home loans can offer up to 100% financing without requiring borrowers to spend versus what they can afford. By working with approved USDA lender rural development loans, middle-income families can realize their dream of homeownership without breaking the bank.


Note: If you're a farmer looking for financial assistance, the Farmers Home Administration can help. With low-interest loans available to interested borrowers, this government program is designed to support farmers in need. To see if your property is eligible, check out the USDA's property eligibility map and then reach out to your local FSA office for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need to know about mortgages and FmHA?

FmHA, or Farmers Home Administration, offers low-interest loans to those in need of rural housing. Mortgages can be obtained through FmHA for the purchase or renovation of a home in a rural area. It is important to research and understand the eligibility requirements before applying for an FmHA mortgage.

What is Farmers Home Administration (FmHA)?

Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) is a government agency that provides loans and assistance to farmers and rural residents for various purposes, including buying or improving farmland, constructing or repairing homes, and developing rural businesses.

When was the Farmers Home Administration abolished?

The Farmers Home Administration was abolished on October 13, 1994, when it was merged into the newly created USDA Rural Development agency.

What happened to 40% of agricultural FmHA mortgages?

40% of agricultural FmHA mortgages were foreclosed due to the economic downturn in the 1980s, leading to a significant loss of land and farms.

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Lee Cosi

Writer at CGAA

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Lee Cosi is an experienced article author and content writer. He has been writing for various outlets for over 5 years, with a focus on lifestyle topics such as health, fitness, travel, and finance. His work has been featured in publications such as Men's Health Magazine, Forbes Magazine, and The Huffington Post.

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