Get Easy Access to Affordable Credit with The FCI Operating Loan Advantage


Liquidity can be crucial for farm businesses – especially when you want to capitalize on an opportunity at a moment’s notice. For beginning farmers, having cash-on-hand may be easier said than done. That’s where an operating line of credit from Farm Credit Illinois can prove vital. When you get an operating loan from Farm Credit Illinois, you’re getting more than liquidity – you also get the advantages from doing business with a farmer-owned cooperative.

Cash in on Patronage

Farm Credit Illinois pays cash patronage annually to its cooperative member-borrowers. Payment amounts are calculated on the net interest margin contribution of each loan. FCI operating lines of credit have the highest net interest margin of all FCI loans.

In fact, the June 2021 cash patronage payment lowered the effective interest rate of 90% of the 2020 FCI operating loans by 1.25% or more. (The calculation is based on loans with at least $100 average daily balance and excludes discounted loans for FreshRoots and young & beginning farmers.)

Write Checks without Checking In

Your money is available anytime with a Farm Credit Illinois operating line of credit. You don’t need to contact a loan officer for approval to get money transferred. FCI cooperative members access their credit when and how they need it.

Using FCI’s complimentary checks, write drafts up to your borrowing limit without checking in. You also have access to your money anytime by enrolling in myFCI and downloading the mobile app.

“It’s just a lot more convenient when you don’t have to get ahold of your lender every time you need a little more money,” says Kevin Lash, Farm Credit Illinois member from Effingham County. “It’s one less step in the process and you’re not borrowing a dime over what you need.”

Lending Assistance for Beginning Farmers

FreshRoots young and beginning farmers are eligible for five-year discounted interest rates on up to $500,000 operating loans. To help them get a healthy start in their farming career, beginning farmers up to age 40 or in their first 10 years of farming are analyzed with relaxed lending standards. Even with the discounted rate, the June 2021 cash patronage payment lowered the effective interest rate of 90% of the 2020 FreshRoots operating loans by 0.73% or more. (The calculation is based on loans with at least $100 average daily balance exclusively for FreshRoots member participants.)

Let Your Funds Flow Seamlessly

A Farm Credit Illinois operating line of credit is tied to Farm Cash Management (FCM). FCM allows farmers to place excess cash-on-hand into an interest bearing account with immediate and restriction-free liquidity. Thanks to FCI’s unique funding model, your money is placed in investment bonds until you need it. FCM returns are superior to most investment options in a traditional checking account.

Since you write checks directly out of FCM, you don’t have to track funds coming in and out of various bank accounts. As an added bonus, you can take the guess work out of tax season when a year-end detailed transaction history is delivered specifically for your operating line of credit and FCM transactions.

“Farm Credit Illinois is helping me build my operation. That’s going to give me the opportunity to offer my kids a role on the farm in the future,” says Lash. “There’s a lot of added value at Farm Credit Illinois that you’re just not going to get anywhere else.”

Because cash is king in farming, it pays to work with Farm Credit Illinois. As you write check drafts freely from your operating line of credit, cash your patronage check each June, or earn FCM interest when you have cash-on-hand, you experience the FCI operating loan advantage.



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