Loan eligibility criteria

Understand key eligibility criteria for our farm business loans.

Check the detail in the loan guidelines:

Commercial debt

Any debt established on commercial interest rates, terms and conditions. This includes debts with private investors, if established under commercial terms.

Not commercial debt:

  • equipment finance facilities
  • funding of normal or additional working capital
  • non-balance sheet loans
  • overdrafts (hard core debt within an overdraft, is considered commercial debt)
  • private debt or family debt (not provided at commercial rates, terms and conditions)
  • debt established through government schemes (includes concessional loans and Rural Assistance Authority).

These are examples, not a complete list of exclusions.

If you are applying for commercial finance, you can lodge an application with us as soon as you get pre-approval from your commercial lender. It’s best if you let your bank know that you are applying for a RIC loan.

Financial need

You must demonstrate that your farm business has experienced a significant financial impact. This must have:

  • been caused by events outside your control (such as drought, fire, flood, frost, market closure)
  • occurred over a 2-year period (can be all past or part past and part future projection).

We will also consider whether you have experienced cumulative impacts from multiple causes.

Illness or disability cannot be the only event causing significant financial impact. You will need to show other events, like drought or disease outbreak, have taken place.

Income from the farm business

A member of the farm business must earn at least 50% of their income from the business.

You are eligible to apply as long as one member of the business meets this criteria.

Remember you only have to earn 50% of your income from the farm business under normal circumstances. We understand that sometimes you may earn more income off-farm, and that’s ok.


Loans are for genuine farmers, who own land or lease land and use it for farming.

This means that income earned from contracting arrangements is usually not eligible.

New entrant

We provide an option for new farm owners (or part owners).

You must meet both of these criteria:

  • you have at least 3 years of relevant farm experience
  • at least 1 member of the farm business must be a farmer whose principal pursuit is the farm.

Evidence of your experience could include:

By ‘principal pursuit’ we mean:

  • they contribute at least 50% of their labour to the farm
  • at least 50% of their income comes from the farm
  • they are seeking to move to a 75% labour threshold in the short to medium term.

Viable in the long term

We will look at whether the farm business can:

  • fund ongoing maintenance of the farm’s productive assets
  • invest in increasing long term productivity
  • provide an adequate standard of living for relevant members of the farm business
  • service loans at commercial interest rates.