Interest-free drought loan applications end soon

16 September 2020
  • Applications for the two-year interest free period Drought Loans and AgBiz Drought Loans will not be accepted after 30 September 2020.
  • To qualify for the two-year interest free period, applicants need to ensure they submit a completed loan application to the Regional Investment Corporation on or before Wednesday 30 September 2020.
  • Loans of up to $2 million are available for farm businesses and up to $500,000 for agriculture dependent small businesses.

Farmers and farm-related small businesses have two more weeks (up to Wednesday 30 September 2020) to take advantage of two-year interest free loans from the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) before the drought-related loan terms change.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said now is the time for farmers and farm-related small business to submit their loan applications in order to qualify for the interest free period.

“There are just two weeks left to submit a completed loan application and supporting documentation to qualify for the interest free period,” Minister Littleproud said.

“These loans have been critical in helping farmers and small businesses facing hardship due to the drought.

“Drought Loans assist farmers in preparing for, managing and recovering from drought. The loans can refinance existing debt, fund activities such as replanting and restocking and operating expenses.”

“AgBiz Drought Loans assist small agriculture dependent businesses manage through drought. The loans can refinance existing debt or pay for operating expenses.”

For Drought and AgBiz Drought loan applications made from the 1st October 2020 onwards, the terms will revert to five years’ interest only and five years’ principal and interest.

“The Government announced the two-year interest free terms for these loans in November last year in response to the severe drought conditions that were being experienced in many parts of the country,” Minister Littleproud said.

“I understand that parts of Australia are still experiencing drought and it will also take a number of years to recover.

“The variable interest rate for Drought and AgBiz Drought Loans has dropped to 1.92 per cent effective 1 August 2020 – the variable interest rate for farming loans is at a record low for the RIC and provides valuable savings with interest repayments. 

“I encourage farmers and small businesses to get their application in by 30 September 2020 if they want to receive the benefit of the two-year interest free period,” Minister Littleproud said.

Fast Facts:

  • Drought Loans assist farmers in preparing for, managing and recovering from drought.
  • The loans can refinance existing debt, fund activities such as replanting and restocking or operating expenses. 
  • AgBiz Drought Loans assist small agriculture dependent businesses manage through drought.
  • The loans can refinance existing debt or pay for operating expenses.
  • The two-year interest free terms for Drought Loans and AgBiz Drought Loans will not be available for applications made from 1 October 2020 onwards.
  • For applications made from 1 October 2020 onwards, the loan terms that will apply are a five-year interest only period, followed by principal and interest for the remainder of the 10-year term.