When is a Lender More Than a Lender?

By: Gordon Hanson, Chief Risk Officer | Farm Credit Mid-America


Using your lender as a valuable resource

Any lender can give you money; your lender should also be able to deliver valuable expertise. But a strong value-added relationship needs substantive two-way communications. You can do your part by asking your lender meaningful, probing questions. For example:

• Have I provided complete and sufficient quality financial information?

• How does my financial position and performance compare to my peers?

• How can I determine if I need to focus on reducing costs and weathering this downturn or if I am well positioned to expand my operation through marketplace opportunities?

These types of questions demonstrate openness, interest and a healthy drive for improvement and business success. And, perhaps more importantly, you can obtain valuable information, perspective and business insights, all while building two-way trust and confidence between you and your lender.

What should you expect of your lender?

Your lender will have various expectations of you, but you should also have things that you expect of your lender; things that deliver meaningful value to you. For example, your lender should:

• Be able to assist you, if and as needed, in developing your financial statements.

• Have deep expertise and substantial history in your industry.

• Be able to answer a wide variety of questions, including the questions noted above.

• Be able to consistently provide you with credible and insightful information and perspective.

• Be able to deliver a long-term fixed rate on real estate mortgages, truly locked in for 10 to 30 years, to provide you and your operation with long-term financial stability and security.

A competitive interest rate is important, but you should also expect substantial value-added expertise and products that help secure your long-term financial future.

Find a value-added lender

In our four-state lending territory, we are having deep and meaningful conversations with our customers every day, and it’s clear they are actively seeking to understand both the risks and the opportunities in today’s ag economy. While many are experiencing financial challenges, others are finding strategic opportunities. The stakes are high. Expanding at the wrong time or in the wrong way can unnecessarily jeopardize your farm operation. On the other hand, not seizing opportunities at the right time can cause you to miss out on rare and profitable possibilities. Make sure you have a lender that can deliver what you need to make the right decisions for your farm, family and future

For additional financial tips, insights and perspectives, visit the Farm Credit Mid-America website.