(a) To be eligible to participate in the program, a guaranteed lender must be:
(1) A bank or other lending institution organized as a private, not-for-profit cooperative association, or otherwise organized on a non-profit basis; and
(2) Able to demonstrate to the Secretary that it possesses the appropriate expertise, experience, and qualifications to make loans for electrification or telephone purposes.
(b) To be eligible to receive a guarantee, a guaranteed lender's bond must meet the following criteria:
(1) The guaranteed lender must furnish the Secretary with a certified list of the principal balances of eligible loans then outstanding and certify that such aggregate balance is at least equal to the sum of the proposed principal amount of guaranteed bonds to be issued, and any previously issued guaranteed bonds outstanding; and
(2) The guaranteed bonds to be issued by the guaranteed lender must receive an underlying investment grade rating from a Rating Agency, without regard to the guarantee;
(c) A lending institution's status as an eligible applicant does not assure that the Secretary will issue the guarantee sought in the amount or under the terms requested, or otherwise preclude the Secretary from declining to issue a guarantee.