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Lending Tips for Home, Business and Agricultural Loans

Kyle Campbell - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Buying your first home, financing a business or need a line of credit to finance farm operations? Here are some lending tips to increase your chances of success and reduce your stress. 

First time home owners – Important information to get you started

What sort of a down payment is required when buying a home?

  • Owning a home is the primary way most people build wealth. You can purchase a home with as little as 3 to 5% of the purchase price as a down payment as long as you have mortgage insurance. These ‘low down payment loans’ can be used with a variety of mortgages. Ask your lender for available options. 

What are some of the other costs associated with owning a home?

  • Knowing all the costs involved in owning a home helps decide whether you’re ready or not. In addition to the down payment, budget for mortgage fees and interest (plus mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20%), the home inspection, closing fees, property tax, home insurance, utilities and home maintenance. Your real estate agent should be able to give you a fair idea of what’s involved. 

How can I repair credit?

  • Bad credit makes things more difficult (and more expensive). Read through your credit report carefully to identify the negative factors (as well as identify any mistakes e.g. including accounts that are not yours) affecting your scores. Pay accounts that are charged-off (over 180 days due) and with collections to reduce negative impact. Also bring maxed out credit cards below the limit (less than 30%)—they have a big impact on your credit rating. Prioritize your spending. By the way, did you know that you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three bureaus every 12 months? Stop over to and get yours today and see what’s on your report.

Business Customers: The Vital Question—Is There Money To Lend?

Can small businesses still borrow money?

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans can help you manage setup and operations expenses. There are many government grants for this purpose including:

  • 7(a) guaranty program for export and rural businesses as well as those with special requirements (employee stock ownership) and a particular group of borrowers like veterans, military personnel and persons from a distressed community. 
  • 504 expansion loan with long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization and made available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and participating lenders like Astra Bank.
  • Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage is structured to encourage larger, existing SBA lenders to make lower-dollar loans (maximum loan size: $250,000) which benefit businesses in under-served markets.

Agricultural Customers – Variety of Loans to Meet Diverse Needs

What can you take a loan for?

Our friends on the farm are an important part of the American way of life. Whether it is a small operation or a large one, agricultural businesses can find financing options to meet a variety of needs. It’s important to work with a lender that understands the industry and has experience with just some of the following needs:

  • Livestock purchase
  • Crop production
  • Equipment
  • Real Estate

Astra Bank can help set you up with home, business and agricultural loans and will be happy to put our experience to work for you. Visit your closest Astra Bank branch in Kansas or Nebraska today!

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