It Pays to Partner with Farm Credit, Literally
When you become a member of Farm Credit of the Virginias (FCV), our success becomes your success. To prove it, we share in our profits through our annual patronage refund program. We've returned more than $318 million in cash refunds since 2001. In 2020, FCV paid out $35 million in cash refunds to our customer-owners, which equates to having an interest free loan for four months and represents approximately 34% of the interest accrued on loans.
The more profitable and healthy our business remains, the more it pays to be a customer-owner - A real perk of our unique, cooperative structure!
We know that the concept of profit sharing is unusual, so it's natural for you to have questions. Not many lenders share their profits with their customer-owners, and there are some things our customers always want to know. Read our answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- What are the benefits of being a Farm Credit member?
One of the most important financial benefits of being a Farm Credit member-borrower is having the opportunity to share in the association's profits.
Most businesses return their profits to their owners, not their customers. When you borrow from Farm Credit, you become an owner of the business and are therefore entitled to share in the profits of the association.
At the end of each fiscal year, Farm Credit determines its total income and expenses. Income remaining after all expenses are deducted (the net income) can then be distributed in accordance with the association's bylaws.
The Board of Directors can elect to retain all of the net income to strengthen the association's capital position, or distribute a portion of, or all, of the net income to members by declaring a patronage refund.
- What is a patronage refund?
A patronage refund is a way of distributing the association's net income to its member-stockholders. A member's refund is based on the proportion of interest earned on his or her loan to the total interest earned by the association. A patronage refund is a way to refund a portion of the interest you paid on your loan.
- How do patronage refunds benefit Farm Credit borrowers?
Patronage refunds benefit borrowers by reducing their cost of borrowing. Farm Credit charges competitive rates on its loans/rates comparable to those charged by other lenders for similar loans.
However, a major difference between Farm Credit and other lenders is that Farm Credit returns its profits to its borrowers. When you receive a patronage refund from Farm Credit, your effective cost of borrowing is reduced.
Since Farm Credit distributes refunds based on the amount of interest earned on each member's loan, the more business you do with Farm Credit, the larger your potential patronage refund.
- How is my patronage refund issued?
The cash portion of your patronage refund may be issued to you by check or recorded on the association's books in a special account.
When any portion of a patronage refund is paid in cash, your Board of Directors may elect to set a minimum check amount as a means of controlling expenses. Cash distributions below the minimum check amount are recorded in a special account called patronage payable. On notification of patronage refund, refunds placed in patronage payable appear under "Not Distributed."
Members may request a check for monies in their patronage payable accounts, request that these amounts be applied to their loans, or leave these distributions "on account" with the association.
- Will I receive a tax notification regarding my patronage refund?
Yes. In January, Farm Credit will send you an IRS Form 1099. This form will show the total of all taxable patronage refunds issued to you during the previous year. The portion of the patronage refund paid in qualified allocated surplus will also be reported as taxable income. This statement is also available on AccountAccess.
- What is the bottom line on patronage refund?
The use of patronage refunds makes a significant reduction in your effective interest cost and saves you money. The next time you sit down and write a check to another lending institution, ask yourself a question: "How much of this interest payment will the bank be returning to me?" If your answer is "none," then maybe you should consider doing more of your business where you are a stockholder—Farm Credit. Remember, you own the bank, and you share in the profits.
"The patronage refunds have been quite substantial the last couple of years. Getting those refunds back is money that we can use to pay down other loans, expand the operation, or purchase sheep and cattle."
How does it work?
This short video explains how the patronage program works and how it allows us to give money back to our members.
Calculate Your Patronage Distribution
Here is your estimated Patronage Distribution: ESTIMATED PATRONAGE
After receipt of your distribution, patronage effectively lowers your total interest cost for the first year of your loan from $XXXXX to: EFFECTIVE INTEREST EXPENSE
This effectively lowers your interest rate from XXXX to: EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE
*Results based on 10-year average refund totals. Past performance not a guarantee of future payouts. Calculations do not account for time value of money or distinguish between returns made in cash and in allocated surplus. Talk to a loan officer for details.