7 CFR 762.124 - Interest rates, terms, charges, and fees.
(a) Interest rates.
(1) The interest rate on a guaranteed loan or line of credit may be fixed or variable as agreed upon between the borrower and the lender. The lender may charge different rates on the guaranteed and the non-guaranteed portions of the note. The guaranteed portion may be fixed while the unguaranteed portion may be variable, or vice versa. If both portions are variable, different bases may be used.
(2) If a variable rate is used, it must be tied to an index or rate specifically agreed to between the lender and borrower in the loan instruments and the rate adjustments must be in accordance with normal practices of the lender for unguaranteed loans. Upon request, the lender must provide the Agency with copies of its written rate adjustment practices.
(3) At the time of loan closing or loan restructuring, the interest rate on both the guaranteed portion and the unguaranteed portion of a fixed or variable rate OL or FO loan may not exceed the following, as applicable:
(i) For lenders using risk-based pricing practices, the risk tier at least one tier lower (representing lower risk) than that borrower would receive without a guarantee. The lender must provide the Agency with copies of its written pricing practices, upon request.
(ii) For lenders not using risk-based pricing practices, for variable rate loans or fixed rate loans with rates fixed for less than five years, 650 basis points (6.5 percentage points) above the 3-month LIBOR.
(iii) For lenders not using risk-based pricing practices, for loans with rates fixed for five or more years, 550 basis points (5.5 percentage points) above the 5-year Treasury note rate.
(4) In the event the 3-month LIBOR is below 2 percent, the maximum rates specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section do not apply. In that case, at the time of loan closing or loan restructuring, the interest rate on both the guaranteed portion and the unguaranteed portion of an OL or FO loan may not exceed 750 basis points above the 3-month LIBOR for variable rate loans and 650 basis points above the 5-year Treasury rate for fixed rate loans.
(5) Interest must be charged only on the actual amount of funds advanced and for the actual time the funds are outstanding. Interest on protective advances made by the lender to protect the security will be charged at the note rate but limited to paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(6) The lender and borrower may collectively obtain a temporary reduction in the interest rate through the interest assistance program in accordance with § 762.150.
(b) OL terms.
(1) Loan funds or advances on a line of credit used to pay annual operating expenses will be repaid when the income from the year's operation is received, except when the borrower is establishing a new enterprise, developing a farm, purchasing feed while feed crops are being established, or recovering from disaster or economic reverses.
(2) The final maturity date for each loan cannot exceed 7 years from the date of the promissory note or line of credit agreement. Advances for purposes other than for annual operating expenses will be scheduled for repayment over the minimum period necessary considering the applicant's ability to repay and the useful life of the security, but not in excess of 7 years.
(3) All advances on a line of credit must be made within 5 years from the date of the Loan Guarantee.
(c) FO terms. Each loan must be scheduled for repayment over a period not to exceed 40 years from the date of the note or such shorter period as may be necessary to assure that the loan will be adequately secured, taking into account the probable depreciation of the security.
(d) CL terms. Each loan must be scheduled for repayment over a period not to exceed 30 years from the date of the note or such shorter period as may be necessary to assure that the loan will be adequately secured, taking into account the probable depreciation of the security.
(e) Balloon installments under loan note guarantee. Balloon payment terms are permitted on FO, OL, or CL subject to the following:
(1) Extended repayment schedules may include equal, unequal, or balloon installments if needed on any guaranteed loan to establish a new enterprise, develop a farm, or recover from a disaster or an economical reversal.
(2) Loans with balloon installments must have adequate collateral at the time the balloon installment comes due. Crops, livestock other than breeding livestock, or livestock products produced are not sufficient collateral for securing such a loan.
(3) The borrower must be projected to be able to refinance the remaining debt at the time the balloon payment comes due based on the expected financial condition of the operation, the depreciated value of the collateral, and the principal balance on the loan.
(f) Charges and fees.
(1) The lender may charge the applicant and borrower fees for the loan provided they are no greater than those charged to unguaranteed customers for similar transactions. Similar transactions are those involving the same type of loan requested (for example, operating loans or farm real estate loans).
(2) Late payment charges (including default interest charges) are not covered by the guarantee. These charges may not be added to the principal and interest due under any guaranteed note or line of credit. However, late payment charges may be made outside of the guarantee if they are routinely made by the lender in similar types of loan transactions.
(3) Lenders may not charge a loan origination and servicing fee greater than 1 percent of the loan amount for the life of the loan when a guaranteed loan is made in conjunction with a down payment FO under part 764 of this chapter.