FOSTORIA, Ohio — Historically low interest rates are causing a frenzy of loan modifications for Ohio farmers and rural homeowners.
Borrowers with Ag Credit, a rural and agricultural lending cooperative in Ohio, are getting surprise phone calls from their loan officers offering to reduce rates on current fixed rate loans.
Initially some borrowers are doubtful. But in about an hour their loans are favorably modified.
Due to historically low interest rates, loan modifications at Ag Credit are at an all time high.
“We’ve probably done more of these this year than in the past several years combined,” said Aaron Stoller at Ag Credit’s Van Wert branch. “We can only do this while rates are dropping.”
Ag Credit has a policy of alerting borrowers to fixed-rate reduction opportunities. The process is much simpler than refinancing. In as much time as it takes to sign the paperwork, the existing loan is re-priced.
The co-op pulls reports daily to see which outstanding loans would benefit most from a re-pricing. Loan officers then call the borrower directly offering to adjust the rate.
Ag Credit, which is part of the national Farm Credit system, has been modifying nearly 60 loans per day, CFO Dan Ebert said.
Saving borrowers money. Since April 2009 this has saved borrowers approximately $3.8 million in interest for the first 12 months following the re-pricing alone, Ebert said.
Ag Credit has completed over 5,500 modifications to $1.2 billion in loans, in that time period, he said. The interest rate reductions have been applied to loans with anywhere from a few years to 30 years remaining until maturity.
About Ag Credit
Ag Credit is a farmer-owned cooperative that provides farmers with loans for land purchases, equipment and production. The co-op also provides rural home mortgages, credit life insurance, crop insurance, appraisal services and leasing programs. For more information, visit www.agcredit.net.
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