Drought Loan

​​​​​​Who can apply

Eligible farm business owners


Up to $2 million


Apply anytime


The Drought Loan eligibility criteria has been updated to remove the requirement for applicants to demonstrate that they’re located in an ‘eligible area’. 
All other Drought Loan eligibility criteria remains the same, including the requirement for farmers to demonstrate that their income has been affected as a result of drought.  


  • are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • contribute at least 75% of your labour to the farm business (under normal circumstances)
  • earn at least 50% of your income from the farm business (under normal circumstances)
  • own or lease land and use it for farming purposes (includes agistment)

Your business

  • is in financial need of a loan
  • has the capacity to repay the loan
  • has existing commercial debt
  • is financially viable in the long term
  • is in the agriculture, horticulture, pastoral, beekeeping (apiculture), or aquaculture industry
  • undertakes all primary production aspects of the business wholly within Australia
  • is registered for tax purposes in Australia with an ABN and is registered for GST
  • operates as a sole trader, trust, partnership or private company
  • is not under external administration or bankruptcy

You must

  • have a drought management plan
  • provide security for the loan
  • secure the support of your commercial lender for the proposed loan
  • repay the loan

The eligible primary production activities undertaken by a farm business to access RIC’s Farm Business loans, are those listed as part of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) codes for agriculture and aquaculture, with some exceptions.

View the details of primary production activities identified in DIVISION A – AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING of the industry classifications. 

Read more about the eligible industries.




Prepare for drought. Manage or recover from the effects of drought.

Use this loan to​

  • refinance your debt
  • pay for operating expenses or capital 
  • access new debt for operating expenses and capital

You cannot use this loan for

  • non-farm assets and expenses
  • paying out dividends or equity to owners
  • 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 a previous concessional loan)
  • 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 3.04% 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, 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 may need to contact your trusted financial advisor or a Rural Financial Counsellor to help you fill out your application.
Find a Rural Financial Counsellor near you

You need to check

You must provide

Ask us a question

We are here to help


There are 2 ways to apply for a Drought Loan:

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

Please note:

Before you start, talk to your commercial lender. Let them know you plan to apply for a RIC loan.

An application must be supported by the most recent finalised financial statements that are to be no more than 18 months old at the time of the RIC loan assessment.

An application received between July and December in any year can use financial statements to 30 June of the prior calendar year (if the most recent financial year statements are unavailable).

An application received between January and June must include finalised financial statements to 30 June of the prior calendar year.

Submit your application online

  • Follow the Drought Loan Document Checklist to ensure you submit a complete application. 
  • The online form has mandatory fields and documents. You must supply this information to progress to the next stage of the form.
  • You must submit all required information so we can start assessment of your application and provide an outcome as quickly as possible.
  • Once you begin your online loan application you will have 30 days to submit it. You will receive a reminder at 10, 20 and 30 days.
  • If you have any questions we encourage you to talk to our loan assessment team. You can call them on 1800 875 675.

We encourage you to submit your loan application online.

Click here to apply for a Drought Loan online


Submit your PDF application by email or post

  • Follow the Drought Loan 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


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

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

Learn more about the RIC loan process.


The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) can help with your application.
Find a Rural Financial Counsellor near you

Visit our help page for a list of support services.

Contact us

We are here to help.

Variation Request

Request a variation to your loan agreement by submitting updated information.

A Variation Request is needed where circumstances trigger a change in the underlying security for your loan e.g. sale or purchase of land, change of loan amounts with your primary lender.

Click here to submit a Variation Request

Decision Review Request

If you disagree with our decision on your loan application, you can request a review of that decision.

You must submit the Decision Review Request in writing to us within 30 business days of receipt of the decision notification.

Click here to submit a Decision Review Request



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


Drought 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.

Drought management plan

You must include a drought management plan with your application.

Your plan must outline how you will use the loan to prepare for, manage through or recover from drought.

You can:

  • attach your own plan to your application
  • use the template included in the application form
  • use the standalone template


​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.


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

Guarantor asset and liability statement

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


Loan Types

You may also be eligible for a Farm Investment Loan


Statutory Declaration

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