agristarter image

AgriStarter Loan

Loans to assist first time farmers and loans to support farm succession arrangements

Who can apply

Eligible first time farmers wanting to buy, establish or develop their first farm

or

Eligible farmers and farm businesses who are planning for and implementing succession arrangements

Amount

Up to $2 million

When

Apply anytime

​​​Eligibility

There are two kinds of AgriStarter loans – first farmer loans and succession loans.

You can apply for a first farmer loan if you are seeking to purchase, establish or develop a farm business in which you hold or will hold the sole interest or a controlling interest.

You can apply for a succession loan if your farm business is undertaking or has undertaken succession planning.

Refer to the AgriStarter Loan Guidelines for further eligibility requirements.

Example loan scenarios

An applicant must meet all eligibility criteria outlined in the AgriStarter Loan Guidelines before they can obtain an AgriStarter Loan.

You

• are an Australian citizen or permanent resident

• contribute or plan to contribute at least 50% of your labour to the farm business

• earn or plan to earn at least 50% of your income from the farm business (under normal circumstances)

Your business

• is in financial need of a loan

• is financially viable or has sound prospects of becoming financially viable within the term of the loan

• undertakes all primary production aspects of the business wholly within Australia

• operates as a sole trader, partnership, a trust or a corporation

• is registered for tax purposes in Australia with an ABN and is registered for GST

• has the capacity to repay the loan

• has existing commercial debt or can obtain commercial debt.

• is not under external administration or bankruptcy

• has at least one member who is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident

• has a connection to ‘constitutional trade and commerce’

You must

• provide security for the loan

• secure the support of your commercial lender for the proposed loan

• repay the loan

Purpose

To encourage and support people in obtaining their first farming business. To assist with farm business succession planning and giving effect to succession plans.

Use this loan to​

• fund the purchase of an existing farm business, including land, infrastructure and other farm business assets

• fund the purchase of land, infrastructure and other farm business assets as part of establishing or developing a farm business

• buy out relatives during farm business succession

• pay costs associated with the succession planning process

• pay for legal costs or stamp duty

If you recently purchased a farm business, or received it as part of succession arrangements and are seeking capital to get it up and running, you can use this loan to:

• invest in new infrastructure, machinery or productivity enhancements

• cover operating expenses

• refinance certain existing debt at our low interest rate to improve cash flow

You cannot use this loan for

• purchase of private and domestic assets

• payment of private and domestic expenses

• purchase of and/or investment in non-farm assets and payment of non-farm expenses

• paying out dividends

• reimbursement for depreciation of assets

• tax or other statutory payments

• your own labour costs

• anything that you have already received government funding for (except to refinance debt from previous concessional loans)

• any other non-eligible use listed in the loan guidelines

Loan terms

Quick facts

Amount Up to $2 million Term 10 years
Early settlement No fee Interest rate ​1.77% variable rate
Apply Anytime Application fee No fee
Extra repayments No fee Redraw Not available​

Additional terms

Percentage of total debt — at least 50% of your total debt must stay with a commercial lender.

Frequency of repayments — tailored to the cash flow of the farm business.

Repayment structure — Five years interest only at the current variable rate of 1.77% then five years’ principal and interest over a 10-year loan term. After 10 years, you can refinance any remaining balance with a commercial lender.

Full terms and conditions are available in the loan guidelines.

Before you apply

You need to check

You must provide

• Australian Business Number (ABN)

• financial history

• identity documents

• proof of your eligibility

Ask us a question

We are here to help

Apply

There are 2 ways to apply for an AgriStarter Loan:

  1. Using our online application form
  2. Using our PDF application form

 

Using our online form

  • Check the information you will need to provide. Please note financial information for FY2019 will be considered in scope until 31/12/2021. 
  • Talk to your commercial lender. Let them know you plan to apply for a RIC loan.
  • Follow the AgriStarter Document Checklist to ensure you submit a complete application. We can’t start assessing your application until we get all the information we ask for, including attachments.
  • If you have any questions we encourage you to talk to our loan assessment team. You can call them on 1800 875 675.

Click here to apply for an AgriStarter Loan online

 

We encourage you to submit your loan application online.

 

Using our PDF application form

  • Check the information you will need to provide. Please note financial information for FY2019 will be considered in scope until 31/12/2021. 
  • Talk to your commercial lender. Let them know you plan to apply for a RIC loan.
  • Follow the AgriStarter Document Checklist on page 1 of the PDF application form. We can’t start assessing your application until we get all the information we ask for, including attachments.
  • If you have any questions we encourage you to talk to our loan assessment team. You can call them on 1800 875 675.

 

If using the PDF application form, submit your application to us at applications@ric.gov.au or send to:
Regional Investment Corporation, PO Box 653, Orange, NSW, 2800.

You can complete this form on a computer (Fillable PDF) or you can print it and fill it in by hand. You are not able to save the form when opened in a browser.

To use the Fillable PDF application form you must download it to your desktop first. Right click on the link above and select 'save target as' or 'save link as' and download the form to your desktop. 

Open the form on your desktop using Acrobat Reader. Make sure you save the application form regularly as you are filling it in. The fillable PDF form will not function correctly when it is opened in a web browser or other software, for example Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Preview.

You can download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.

Help and support

After you apply

We will assess your application against the criteria in the loan guidelines​.

We may contact you by phone or email to discuss your application, if needed. We will write to you to confirm the outcome of your application.

Help

If you have questions about your loan contact our call centre on 1800 875 675. 

Learn more about the RIC loan process.

For a list of support services visit our help page.

Contact us

We are here to help.

Resources

Guidelines

Read the detail on who can apply for a loan and what happens after you apply.

Download:

AgriStarter Loan Guidelines

Application form

Complete the application form and send it with supporting documents to applications@ric.gov.au.

Download: Right click on the form and save on your local device as an Adobe Acrobat Document before you begin filling out the form.

​Cash flow budget

You must include your business cash flow budget with your application.

We will use this to help assess your financial position, and your ability to repay the loan.

If you do not have your own budget spreadsheet, you can use our template.

Download:

This template may not meet government accessibility requirements. Contact us for help.

Statutory Declaration

You may need to make a statutory declaration to support your application.

Download:

 

Guarantor asset and liability statement

You may be required to provide a guarantor's asset and liability statement with your application.

Download:

Loan Types

Learn more about our loans.

Loan Scenarios

First farmers

Tom and Alice have always wanted to own their own farm after Alice spent a lot of time in regional Victoria on farms with her father who was a shearer. Tom caught the farming bug showing steers with his school. They have both worked hard to establish a small residential property portfolio and a small beef cattle breeding herd currently being agisted on the property that Tom is managing. The portfolio and cattle provide them with equity and security to access a loan to buy their first farm.

They have spoken to their bank about applying for a loan to purchase a farm and will apply for an AgriStarter Loan. They plan to finance up to half of the purchase and pay interest only on the RIC portion of the loan for the first five years, allowing to build equity with their bank loan. With Tom’s relevant management experience and ongoing employment, they have provided a comprehensive business plan on how they plan to repay the RIC loan during the term. The business plan includes how they will develop the property, build up breeder numbers and expand their operation so the farm will be their principal business and be able to supply interstate markets.

Succession

Melissa is a fifth-generation South Australian grazier who joined the trading partnership with her parents at the first stage of farm succession five years ago. As the enterprise recovers from drought, Melissa has plans to improve the productivity of the farm and her parents are keen to stick to the succession plan to allow them to retire as planned.

Melissa plans to apply for an AgriStarter Loan to progress towards owning a majority share of the farm business including land. Her parents will help guarantee the loan as per their succession plan. Melissa will be borrowing an equal amount from her bank to fund some of the property purchase and to invest in new infrastructure to increase the farm business’s efficiency and reduce operating costs.

Succession

Candice and Alex are currently working through farm succession with their parents and are looking to return home to start working with their parents. Fortunately, the current enterprise will be big enough to accommodate Candice and Alex with a viable property each, once their parents have retired. Their parents want to be sure that both children are committed and will be able to take over their own enterprise even though they have grown up on the farm.

Both Candice and Alex will take over a percentage of their parent’s bank debt and borrow the equivalent amount from the RIC to each buy 25 per cent of the trading entity and a portion of the property identified in the family succession plan. As Candice and Alex build their equity through reducing their current debts, they will be able to purchase more land and a share in the business.