RIC Loans assist drought affected farmers
21 December 2018
Government-backed, low-interest loans from the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) have been doubled from up to $1 million per eligible farm business, to a new ceiling of $2 million.
The federal government launched the Orange-based RIC on 1 July 2018 to replace state agencies’ loan schemes. Its purpose is to deliver farm investment loans and drought loans to help farm businesses prepare for, manage or recover from the effects of drought.
How do the loans work?
The RIC’s two loan products offer a 10-year term with interest-only repayments for the first five, a variable interest rate of 3.58 percent and no fees. The frequency of repayments, and how much principal must be repaid in the second half of the loan before it is refinanced with a commercial lender, is tailored to each business.
The Drought Loan can be used for farm-related activities including refinancing debt, funding drought related activities, enhancing productivity, or paying for operating expenses and capital improvements.
Who is eligible?
Drought Loans are available to owners of Australian farm businesses who need financial help and who are located in an eligible area. Farmers can check their eligibility on the RIC’s eligible map area.
Farm Investment Loans are available to owners of Australian farm businesses who need financial help and who sell, or want to sell, into supply chains outside their state or territory.
Other eligibility criteria for both loans include:
- You are contributing at least 75% of your labour to the farm business and earning at least 50% of your income from the farm business (under normal circumstances)
- You have existing commercial debt
- You are financially viable in the long term
- In the agriculture, horticulture, pastoral, apiculture, or aquaculture industry
- You have a drought management plan (drought loans only)
- Able to provide security for the loan and have the capacity to repay the loan
For more information about the loans and eligibility requirements, or to apply for a loan, contact the RIC on 1800 875 675 or visit the RIC website.