First Dakota is first preferred lender

First Dakota is first preferred lender First Dakota National Bank has become the first bank in the nation to gain preferred lender status for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's guaranteed loan repayment program.

The Preferred Lender Program (PLP), a cooperative effort of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the American Bankers Association, makes loan procedures faster and more efficient for farmers and ranchers across America.

Being a preferred lender means that FSA approves of First Dakota's system of credit management and their expertise in loan making and loan servicing. The PLP rewards banks that have a good record � or low historical losses � when writing USDA guaranteed loans for farmers by eliminating much of the agency's oversight.

As a PLP lender, these banks will often have their USDA guaranteed loans approved automatically, which means much less paperwork and less administrative costs in writing them. USDA also benefits from the streamlined process because it has less involvement, freeing up staff to concentrate on other farm customers.

"Never in the last 15 years has the need for these enhancements been more critical," said Denny Everson, senior vice president, First Dakota National Bank, and chairman of the American Bankers Association Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee. "Being a preferred lender allows First Dakota National Bank to provide guaranteed loans to our customers on a more timely basis. We intend to service these loans with the same strong loan administration on which we have built our reputation."

First Dakota has branches in Yankton, Vermillion, Salem, Parkston and Wagner. It is a $300 million asset community bank, with $100 million loaned out to farmers and ranchers.

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