Farm or business debt needs caution in uncertain seasons

Farm or business debt needs caution in uncertain seasons

ABARE executive director Jared Greenville completed a recent article for farmers on volatile seasons with these words:

“Rather than growing the size of the enterprise or productivity by much, they’re setting the business up to manage the downside risks by simply not being as eager to borrow.”

These are wise words because the future looks quite risky when it comes to  refinancing. But it is not only farmers who need to think carefully. Family businesses are under threat from climate change, the economy and big business. It pays to reduce risk in times like this to avoid a major disaster if things go wrong. Recession is looming in many places. The best way to  minimise risk is to look for ways to relieve cost pressures. Debt relief would be one of the first.  A perfectly happy  loan can morph into a dangerous  debt in just one or two years. That can also happen when banks appoint receivers to manage the business or farm.

Banks have been very lenient to borrowers since Covid. There are signs that they are starting to lose patience with  loan defaults and look to recovery action like receivership. The current boom in prices of real estate has been partly caused by a decade-long boom. Banks seeking to recover debt, may seek to sell mortgaged properties before the boom busts. Many small business loans are secured by a mortgage over the business owner’s home

“Borrowing in good times; Refinancing in the bad”.

The annual Profit and Loss statement often shows banks earning more out of the enterprise than the business owner or farmer. A business loan consultant would know that dangerous debt can be reduced by a variety of means. The sale of an unproductive block may be one way. A write-off by a bank that has treated the borrower badly might be another.

Debt refinance can allow a farm or business loan to be cleared much faster or managed more easily. Borrowers coming to GBAC find, that negotiations with the bank can sometimes yield them more profit than they have earned for years in the business or farm. That particularly applies to those who have been tricked by the bank into unaffordable debt.

In running my own equipment and art hire businesses in Sydney I paid very close attention to my loans and creditors. Developing techniques and strategies with Profit in mind was the main goal. That is because profit is the main way of clearing any business debt.

Business or Farm Debt Refinancing

To make sure business owners, including farmers, get the right loan at the right price with the right loan terms we invented the “Farm Loan Seeker” (FLS) service four decades ago. Today it is an electronic means of borrowing without using an expensive bank-paid mortgage broker that just adds big costs to the loan. When a bank pays a broker up to $10,000 in brokerage to deliver customers on a plate, it expects to make a lot of money out of them. My view is to keep the total borrowing costs as low as possible.  Business and farm borrowers can do their own loan hunting very successfully online with an FLS. The inexpensive FLS comes with a guide on dealing with the bank to get the  best deal. GBAC will provide inexpensive optional support  for various parts of the process if needed.

Borrowers should not assume that the people offering them a loan will look to their interest before their own, any more than the person buying from them will. People look after their own interests first. The Farm Loan Seeker we originally invented in 1987 when banks were first de-regulated. As well as helping other business owners get a fair go from the banks, I was running my two hire companies and a sheep property at the same time. A borrower should never trust the lender to do all the work. Lenders can be ruthlessly efficient at looking after their own interest. That often means agreements that put the borrower at a disadvantage.

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