7 USC 1941 - Persons eligible for loans

(a) In general 
The Secretary may make and insure loans under this subchapter to farmers and ranchers in the United States, and to farm cooperatives and private domestic corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, and limited liability companies that are controlled by farmers and ranchers and engaged primarily and directly in farming or ranching in the United States, subject to the conditions specified in this section. To be eligible for such loans, applicants who are individuals, or, in the case of cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, and limited liability companies, individuals holding a majority interest in such entity, must
(1)  be citizens of the United States,
(2)  for direct loans only, have either training or farming experience that the Secretary determines is sufficient to assure reasonable prospects of success in the proposed farming operations, taking into consideration all farming experience of the applicant, without regard to any lapse between farming experiences,
(3)  be or will become operators of not larger than family farms (or in the case of cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, and limited liability companies in which a majority interest is held by individuals who are related by blood or marriage, as defined by the Secretary, such individuals must be or will become either owners or operators of not larger than a family farm and at least one such individual must be or will become an operator of not larger than a family farm or, in the case of holders of the entire interest who are related by blood or marriage and all of whom are or will become farm operators, the ownership interest of each such holder separately constitutes not larger than a family farm, even if their interests collectively constitute larger than a family farm, as defined by the Secretary), and

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(4)  be unable to obtain sufficient credit elsewhere to finance their actual needs at reasonable rates and terms, taking into consideration prevailing private and cooperative rates and terms in the community in or near which the applicant resides for loans for similar purposes and periods of time. In addition to the foregoing requirements of this subsection, in the case of corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, and limited liability companies, the family farm requirement of clause (3) of the preceding sentence shall apply as well to the farm or farms in which the entity has an operator interest and the requirement of clause (4) of the preceding sentence shall apply as well to the entity in the case of cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, and limited liability companies.
(b) Rural youths in 4–H Clubs, Future Farmers of America, etc. 

(1) Loans may also be made under this subchapter without regard to the requirements of clauses (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section to youths who are rural residents to enable them to operate enterprises in connection with their participation in 4H Clubs, Future Farmers of America, and similar organizations.
(2) A person receiving a loan under this subsection who executes a promissory note therefor shall thereby incur full personal liability for the indebtedness evidenced by such note in accordance with its terms free of any disability of minority.
(3) For loans under this subsection the Secretary may accept the personal liability of a cosigner of the promissory note in addition to the borrowers personal liability.
(4) Youth enterprises not farming or ranching.— 
The operation of an enterprise by a youth under this subsection shall not be considered the operation of a farm or ranch under this chapter.
(c) Direct loans 

(1) In general 
Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the Secretary may make a direct loan under this subchapter only to a farmer or rancher who
(A) is a qualified beginning farmer or rancher;
(B) has not received a previous direct operating loan made under this subchapter; or

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(C) has received a previous direct operating loan made under this subchapter during 6 or fewer years.
(2) Youth loans 
In this subsection, the term direct operating loan shall not include a loan made to a youth under subsection (b) of this section.
(3) Transition rule 
If, as of April 4, 1996, a farmer or rancher has received a direct operating loan under this subchapter during each of 4 or more previous years, the borrower shall be eligible to receive a direct operating loan under this subchapter during 3 additional years after April 4, 1996.
(4) Waivers 

(A) Farm and ranch operations on tribal lands 
The Secretary shall waive the limitation under paragraph (1)(C) or (3) for a direct loan made under this subchapter to a farmer or rancher whose farm or ranch land is subject to the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe and whose loan is secured by 1 or more security instruments that are subject to the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe if the Secretary determines that commercial credit is not generally available for such farm or ranch operations.
(B) Other farm and ranch operations 
On a case-by-case determination not subject to administrative appeal, the Secretary may grant a borrower a waiver, 1 time only for a period of 2 years, of the limitation under paragraph (1)(C) or (3) for a direct operating loan if the borrower demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that
(i) the borrower has a viable farm or ranch operation;
(ii) the borrower applied for commercial credit from at least 2 commercial lenders;
(iii) the borrower was unable to obtain a commercial loan (including a loan guaranteed by the Secretary); and
(iv) the borrower successfully has completed, or will complete within 1 year, borrower training under section 2006a of this title (from which requirement the Secretary shall not grant a waiver under section 2006a (f) of this title).