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Episode 3: Cultivating a Strong Relationship with Your Lender

Communication is key in any relationship. But it’s one of the most important pieces you can bring to the table as a new borrower when you’re beginning to build a strong relationship with your lender.

“When you’re a new borrower, it can be really intimidating to communicate with your financial lender or even approach one in the first place,” explains Brenna Finnegan, account officer and host of AgCredit Said It. “But it’s just as important to talk with [your lender] just as much as it is to talk with your agronomist or your seed dealer or your equipment rep.”

In Episode 3 of AgCredit Said It, our team of hosts shares their advice on how beginning farmers can find and choose the right lender for their needs, how they can be best prepared for starting their lending relationship off on the right foot, and tips for communicating with their lender.

Finding a lender

For a new borrower, finding a lender can be difficult. There are so many different choices and various types of lenders, but Phil explains that one of his biggest tips for finding the right lender is to “start with a familiar face”.

Ask your fellow farmers and neighbors with whom they’ve had great experiences. Referrals can be a great way to start your lender search.

When choosing a lender, Libby says finding the right fit is pivotal. Traditionally, most farm operations are multi-generational, leading to multi-generational lending. But for a new borrower, be sure that the lender your grandpa or dad may have had, for example, is still well-suited to your operations.

Prepping for success

If you want to get started off on the right foot with your lender, come prepared with some important information:

  • A balance sheet
  • Last three years tax returns
  • A business plan
  • Questions

These documents can be intimidating and you may not know what to include, but just know that your lender is going to be your resource throughout the entire process.

Communicating with your lender

Whether you’re a new borrower or a seasoned member, communication with your lender leads to the long-term, continued success of your operation.

However, farming is an unpredictable business.

“It always seems like we have great communication in good times in agriculture,” says Matt. “But we want to continue that great communication in the distress times of agriculture.”

Being able to have an open and honest conversation with your lender, in good times and in bad, about your operation’s finances will make your lending relationship stronger.  

The lending process doesn’t have to be intimidating. Lean on your lender as a trusted resource and business partner. If you want to learn more about how to build a strong lender relationship, be sure to listen to Episode 3 of AgCredit Said It <link>.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [00:26] It can be intimidating to approach and communicate with your financial lender, but it’s just as important to have a relationship with them as it is with your agronomist or seed dealer.
  • [1:26] If you’re a new borrower, find and choose a lender by asking around. Ask other farmers with whom they’ve had great experiences.
  • [2:48] Multi-generational lending. As a young beginning farmer, be sure that the lender your grandpa or dad may have used still fits your needs. Because your operations look different today, find a lender that shares the same insight and experiences as you.
  • [7:22] AgCredit prides itself on being a relationship-driven lender. Conversations are key in times of both success and distress.
  • [9:19] One of the best ways you can start off on the right foot with your lender is through open and honest communication about your operation’s finances. 
  • [12:05] Farming is an unpredictable business. The hosts share some of the toughest conversations they’ve had to have with their customers and how they worked together to get through difficult situations.
  • [14:41] For a new beginning farmer, our hosts discuss what things you can come prepared with to get the most out of your first conversation with your lender.
  • [16:50] Answering “I don’t know that number exactly” to your lender is an acceptable answer. It’s better to circle back with that number later than winging it.
  • [17:33] Our hosts discuss what the process looks like. Whether it’s one or three meetings, or in the privacy of your home, or at the branch office, your lender has your best interests in mind. 
  • [24:37] Take the time to understand your loan agreement. All parties involved in signing should know the terms. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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Share questions and topic ideas with us:
Email podcast@agcredit.net

Host Bios:

Phil Young

Phil is an account officer for AgCredit serving Van Wert County. He’s been in ag lending for over three years but his agricultural background goes back much farther. He grew up on his family’s farm where his father raised a large herd of sheep. Currently, he helps with the family farm raising corn, soybeans and wheat. Phil likes working at AgCredit because he can help people achieve their dreams. Whether that is purchasing a new piece of farm ground, updating a piece of equipment, or helping a borrower understand their financials, helping his clients succeed is always his goal.

Libby Wixtead

Libby has been an account officer for seven years serving AgCredit members in Marion County. She grew up on a 200-acre grain farm and was very active in 4-H and FFA. Today, Libby and her husband operate a 2,400-head swine finishing barn. Her favorite thing about working at AgCredit is working with local farmers from the same area where she grew up and seeing their operations thrive. She loves working in agriculture and helping her customers be successful year after year.

Matt Adams

Matt serves Paulding County as an account officer at AgCredit. He has worked in ag lending for over three years and previously worked in farm equipment sales for 11 years. He and his wife farm in northwest Ohio with their two daughters and son. His favorite part about AgCredit is the people. From the member-borrowers to the internal team at AgCredit, every day keeps getting better. Matt hopes to bring insights to ag lending and some laughs to the AgCredit Said It podcast.

Brenna Finnegan

Brenna has been an account officer serving Lorain County for three years. She’s worked in the agricultural industry for over 16 years with experience in livestock production, specialty crop production, seed production and processing/distribution. She grew up on a small family farm raising row crops and cattle. She currently has her own herd of beef cattle that she breeds and sells as show stock calves for 4-H and FFA members. At AgCredit, Brenna enjoys being able to work directly with the local farmers and especially helping young farmers achieve something that they didn’t think they could.

 

Transcription

Speaker 1 (00:02):Welcome to AgCredit Said It, the podcast for farm newbies and seasoned professionals alike. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from across the agriculture industry to bring you insights, advice, and must have information on all things rural living, from farming to finances and everything in between. So let's get to it.

Brenna Finnegan (00:26):Welcome back to AgCredit Said It. Today, we'll be talking about building relationships with your lender and why it is so important to the overall success of your operation. I'm Brenna Finnegan, and I'm here with Phil, Matt, and Libby, and we're going to share our best tips. So let's go ahead and jump right in guys. So, pretty much when you're a new borrower, it can be really intimidating to communicate with your financial lender or even approach one in the first place. But it's just as important to talk with us just as much as it is to talk with your agronomist or your seed dealer or your equipment rep. or whichever aspect you want to talk about. It's just as critical to build a strong relationship with us. And we have experienced account officers here to discuss what you need to do. Any one of you guys could go ahead and jump in, and for someone just getting started, how should a new borrower find and choose a lender?

Phil Young (01:26):I'd say, my biggest tip is just ask around. I'd say a lot of the, your fellow farmers, your neighbors. I get a lot of referrals from my current customers, and I guess that's a huge compliment to me, but at the same time, they've done business with me. They know how I operate, they know how AgCredit is structured. And so I get a lot of new borrowers that say, "Hey, I talked to Joe Smith down the road, he had a great experience with you. He kind of shared how the process went.” They're comfortable talking with their neighbor because they know him. They're not starting with me. They're starting with a familiar face. So just ask around, seeing who other farmers have experience with. And, I know AgCredit comes up a lot when that happens.

Matt Adams (02:08):You know, I think it's one of those you look at too, do your homework. There are so many different choices out there today in lending, that if you truly want an agricultural lender from start to finish, I think that's when you look at AgCredit in the Farm Credit system. If you're looking for more, just a commercial type lender for other stuff, there's other options out there. But you know, same way you said Phil, do your homework, really look to what's going to fit you the best and your operation and what you want to look to grow into. Maybe not the snapshot of right now, but where are you looking to have your operation at, in the next couple years and what you really want to turn into.

Brenna Finnegan (02:48):Libby, do you find it to be more like, almost like a family tradition in some cases?

Libby Wixtead (02:55):Yeah, I do. We work, we've worked within our office, we've worked with like four generations. My previous boss did. And it seems like there's a lot of people that come down from grandpa, father, son, we'll work with the same person. But with that being said too, you want to make sure that for you being, if you're young and beginning farmer, that the lender that dad and grandpa used still fits you as well. And it could be a personality difference. It could be a company different. The Farm Credit system - we have options. But you know, you can work with a bank or the Farm Credit system, but what again, what works best for you as a young and beginning farmer, because operations are going to be different.

Libby Wixtead (03:39):You know, you're not farming like grandpa did. I'm assuming you're not farming like when your dad or mother, whatever first started farming as well, as a young beginning farmer too, you're going to want. There's a lot of changes that have come down the pipe. And, but we, I mean the farm credit system has been out there for years and generations and we're here to stay too.

Matt Adams (04:01):And I think that's one of the things like you said Libby too, with multi-generational lending basically, I've had many instances where I've had members that have come in, really haven't done anything with us since the eighties. So it's just, it's really neat to see that the relationships that we built back then even before any of us or even account officers, that's carrying on to today. And I think that says a lot for our association on how we build that relationship with that member for the long term.

Brenna Finnegan (04:35):The one thing that I kind of think of is I do think of that family tradition because I, for myself, am a borrower of AgCredit. So, and it was just something that, that's where we went to and we knew who we needed to talk to when we needed to talk to them. And that door was kind of slightly already open. For a new borrower, that's diving into agriculture from the get go, it is a little bit more difficult and probably really intimidating. But I think having these kind of conversations kind of help to open up those doors and allow people to come on in and see who we really are as a lender and what we can offer them and how the advice that we can give along the way.

Libby Wixtead (05:21):Well that's what the neat thing is, Brenna, is a lot of us that are account officers, we are also farmers as well. And so, and our families have been farmers. So that's another piece to the puzzle of when you're looking for a lender. Can they share the same insight and have the same feelings and emotions that you do? You know, when the grain market is down or when things, like 2019, when nobody barely got any crop in, your lender sitting there and is in the same position as you, we can share experiences as well.

Brenna Finnegan (05:51):We all have those late nights out there, just like me last night, putting hay away. So.

Matt Adams (05:56):I think it's one of those, you know, you look at our tag lines where "We are Ag." And that it is a tagline, but it is truly, we are ag from every aspect of most of our lives from, I mean, we are farmers, we are members, we are employees. So I mean, we know what our borrowers are going through and like you guys, I think that just really opened is up to, we're not a commercial lender that's sitting across the desk in a suit and tie, just looking at a financial statement. We're looking at projections, we're looking to grow with you, really look towards the future.

Brenna Finnegan (06:32):I mean, being the big supporter. We want to see people will succeed. We have a passion for this industry, the insight that we can all provide. I mean, we learn from our borrowers just as much as they learn from us. And I mean, there's aspects that, I didn't deal with, say, the dairy industry. It got me, I had no clue what really all went into that. I mean, I have obviously an idea of what goes into it, but I think learning from them, what their needs are and stuff, and having that open door to have those discussions and like, "Hey, tell me about this, because I have no idea." And I think having those conversations helps break down that wall big time.

Phil Young (07:22):Yeah. I think there's different types of borrowers. There's kind of a, somebody that just wants a transactional lender, someone who's just going to basically pass the paper across the table and just wants the money and wants to be done with it. I don't think I have too many of those. And I would not probably recommend finding a lender that's like that, that doesn't really dig deep into your operation or doesn't ask questions and kind of understand who you are. I mean, we're very much a relationship lender. So when I see you and talk to you, odds are I'm going to know exactly what's going on with your operation, know how things are going and kind of pick things up where we last were talking, but yeah, it's more than just throwing papers across the table and handing out money.

Libby Wixtead (08:03):Finding the fit for you.

Brenna Finnegan (08:05):Yep. So, like I said before, your lender is going to be your biggest supporter in times of success. Obviously we want to see everybody succeed, but you know, like Libby mentioned, 2019, not many people got into the fields, at least here in Ohio anyways, but those are times of need and the conversations should really happen about what's going on, what you need to do. I mean, a lot of people were worried about what kind of income there was going to be. And they know that payments are coming up and you know, that conversation I'll admit I had a couple people that just kind of tried to dodge me because, they weren't sure what they were going to do, but if they had come to me in the first place we could have, I mean, and we still did.

Brenna Finnegan (08:56):We clearly fixed the situation or whatever it was, maybe it was shifting, the loan structure around or whatever, but during those times of need, I mean, we're in a very unpredictable business. So during those times I think it's really important to have that relationship and be like, "Hey, I got a problem. Can you help me fix this?"

Matt Adams (09:19):Yeah. And I think that, part of that starts right off communication. I mean from day one, whether you're a new borrower or you're a seasoned member, communication, and it always seems like it goes, we always have great communication in very good times in agriculture. We want to continue that great communication in the distress times of agriculture. Because that's truly, when we talk about relationship lending, that's the time that we really need to have the great communication. And like Brenna said, finding those ways to, do we need to restructure something, look at extending something out, change a payment date. And I think that's one thing that really sets us apart from our competition is we have so many tools to our advantage that we can really help that member to fit. You know, we can change something to make it fit to that operation the best. And there again, it's for that at long-term continued success.

Brenna Finnegan (10:17):Well, I think a lot of people when they sign those loan documents, not knowing what we do fully, I think they think everything's set in stone. I mean, this is what it is. You're stuck to this payment. There's no changes that could happen. But I think knowing and having that communication and having that open door, I'll say policy, but yeah, that we have that opportunity to change things if we needed to and the flexibility and that allows for all of that to happen I think.

Libby Wixtead (10:56):And I think it's also going along with like what can the borrower do in those times is just have an open and honest conversations with us. Just be open and honest. That's one of the things that you can start off right away. And then when we talk about the communication piece of it, is just being very open. If we need certain financials and things like that, especially in good times and bad times, be willing to give that information. And you know, if you bought a $70,000 truck and you probably shouldn't have bought it, well, we'll figure it out. And we need to know that piece of information in the beginning. And I think if you're looking for a loan officer and we're talking about new people coming in, that's a piece that you need to find with that fit is. Can I have an open and honest conversation with this person? Can they guide me through the issues that I'm having?

Brenna Finnegan (11:50):Talking to you guys sitting here as account officers? I know I've had surprises pop up. What about you guys? I know it's like, "Let me get back to you" kind of moment. So what about you guys?

Libby Wixtead (12:05):Yeah, the story that I'll share is actually it was my first year I was at AgCredit and the branch manager that I had replaced as an account officer. He officially retired. I had two customers come in and sat down at my desk and looked at me and said, Libby, "We can't make our payments this year." And as a new loan officer, I'm thinking, okay, how are we going to do this? What are we going to do? And I will tell you to this day, seven years later, those are some of the strongest and best customers that I have. And the relationship that we built through that tough time, because we had the open conversation and just worked side by side together, not across the desk, but side by side was one of the best things that we could do. But talk about a surprise, being a young account officer, that one scared me, but it was one of the best experiences that I could have. And I think for the customers as well.

Phil Young (13:03):Yeah, we kind of talked about 2019 and weather events happening and stuff like that. And there's lots of things that could happen to a person. Whether its events or personal stuff happen, divorce happens. So that's usually a tumultuous time for any farmer. And so a lot of stuff happens and, you're scared for your family, but you're also scared for your operation. And so, I've had that before, too, where I had an individual who's getting divorced.

Phil Young (13:26):And so, just had to come down and sit with me and kind of explain the process and just kind of walk them through it. And just that understanding, this is going to be a process it's not going to get fixed overnight, whether that's emotionally you and your family, or just your operation, and just trying to figure things out on the back end. And so, yeah, that kind of stuff. And I probably have one of the best relationships with that person just because we've had some really good, deep, honest conversations about them and their future and how they want to see things and just their nervousness, and so that's probably one of the better relationships I have is with that person.

Matt Adams (13:58):All right, I think you look at that too, where in our industry, yes, it's all business, but what we're doing, everything we're doing, it's for a livelihood and it's for, you know, to continue into that next generation. I think that's where, the steps we can make early on and the guidance we can give. It's like you guys talk, we work the problems and continue that relationship. And ideas set in place that down the long run, it makes it a very strong operation. And they remember that the next generation is going to remember that. And then there's your next generation a borrower too. And we continue that relationship.

Brenna Finnegan (14:41):Okay. So we've talked a lot about really current members and the relationships that we have built with them, but what about new borrowers? What should they have ready and waiting, I guess, for us to, to get started on something for them. I know a lot of people come in and they're, I mean, I've had a new member sit there and they're super nervous. They don't know what to say. They don't, like, "I don't know how to answer that question." They kind of get like that a little bit, but what do you guys think are some things that people need to come prepared with? I mean, obviously questions is one.

Matt Adams (15:19):So, I guess when I look at it, let's just use an example. We have a brand new beginning farmer coming into the office. You talk to them on the phone. First initial, probably communication. Say, you know, if you come in, kind of give us some financial information, write down a balance sheet and half of them, if they've never done any lending type before in beginning farm, they'll say, "Well, what do I put on a balance sheet?" So, at that point, I'll tell them say, just mark down some of your general financial information, bring in your last three years tax returns and let's sit down. And when they come in, we will fill out the loan application and get their personal information. Then we'll go down through and sit and fill out that balance sheet. And as an account officer, the balance sheet is pretty cut and dry.

Matt Adams (16:07):You know, we can read it in our sleep basically. For the borrower's side, it's confusing. It's foreign material to them. And we'll sit down a lot of times just do the balance sheet right there at the branch and the last three years tax returns, a lot of time we require for that is just so we can get that financial history. It helps us start our analysis. And then through that conversation, we'll talk about what we're looking to do, and then what we're going to be doing, helps us do some different projections. And we work with that member and really kind of put together a plan to, you know, what we're looking to do with this loan request going forward.

Phil Young (16:50):And one of the things I don't mind hearing when I'm doing a balance sheet is when somebody use the phrase "I don't know." I'd rather you tell me that you don't know that number exactly off the top of your head versus just kind of winging it and making it up. We can always circle back and get that number later, whether it's I don't have a full listing of my equipment or, I don't know the exact value of X, Y, or Z. Say, "I don't know that answer." And, you don't have to at that time. We can come back to it and meet again about it versus, yeah, coming up with a number that's not even near close what you actually have. So I'd say, just coming in and, knowing that it may take one or two meetings to, to kind of solidify exactly what you need, what your goals are, and to kind of have a plan in place.

Libby Wixtead (17:33):I think, and it goes off it's we're an open door. It's not a one and done meeting, and you have to have everything all at once. You know, we're going to have questions as we go along the way for you. But again, I mean, Matt had the basics upfront. Again, I just think you need to be willing to give us that information. And if there's some questions that we, in that initial meeting, that we asked you and you don't know, again, it's okay. Just get back with us and we'll work through it. A lot of guys don't know how to put a projection together. Well, again, we are all relationship lenders. We will work with you. We will work through the process with you, just have an idea in your head, have the goals in your mind.

Libby Wixtead (18:13):You know, there's some guys that come in that are brand new beginning farmers. You know, when we say business plan, it's not a big, big, huge thing. Business plan can be simply wrote on a napkin and just saying these are my goals, this is what I want to do. And that'll evolve over time as we, like you guys had said after we have those conversations. So I guess when a lender says, bring a business plan or create it, seriously -

Brenna Finnegan (18:36):It's more like bringing your idea to us.

Libby Wixtead (18:38):Yes.

Brenna Finnegan (18:40):What do you want to ultimately do?

Libby Wixtead (18:41):And just have it. Have it thought through what you're wanting to do. I mean, I guess that's my struggle sometimes when I have beginning farmers come to me, or if they're doing a new business venture, it's like they haven't thought through the process completely, which is fine. But when I start asking questions and you really don't have a grasp on what you're trying to do, that just makes it more difficult for us. So just have an idea of what you're wanting to do, and sometimes if you're looking to buy a tractor, well, we understand why you need to buy a tractor. But if you're doing a hog barn or if you're putting up a cattle barn or something like that. Okay, given that this is a new venture for your family, we need a little bit more background of what you guys are looking at.

Phil Young (19:23):I know I get a lot of hesitation in maybe initial meeting or just privacy. They're just worried about giving that information to us. I don't know if you guys feel the same way, but you ask a question that's kind of deer in a headlights, because they really don't want to tell me that number or tell me that information. And so just understand that like, everything we talk about is completely private. We don't go talk about it with anybody else. You know, everything stays in-house. And just knowing that upfront that you can share information, we're not going to go spread it to everybody. You know, that's not what we do. You know, and so everything is super private and odds are, we work with so many people. We're not going to remember it anyways.

Brenna Finnegan (20:03):That is so true.

Libby Wixtead (20:04):Yeah. And it's one of those things too, that if you don't want to share that information in our office, most lenders are willing to go to the farm. Most lenders are willing to have that conversation at your farm in private where it's just us there. So-

Brenna Finnegan (20:20):Oh, I was going to say that there's some comfort level being at your own place and like a commercial lender of some sort, like Matt said, they're sitting there with a suit and tie on and it's intimidating, but I mean, we'll come out to the farm. I dress in my boots and jeans and I'll be out there if we have to stand -

Phil Young (20:40):Help them unload hay when you're done.

Brenna Finnegan (20:41):Oh gosh, really?

Matt Adams (20:44):I mean, there's been a lot of times, I mean, we'll sit down right at the kitchen table at a member's house and just go and I think that's there again, what sets us apart and having that flexibility. If we need to get a doc signed, we'll come out to the field, we'll ride in the combine, you know, we'll get stuff done. You know, we'll work to your convenience. Don't feel that you ever have to be at the mercy of your lender, I guess.

Libby Wixtead (21:09):We love to travel, I mean, come on, who doesn't like to get out of the office. We love to come out and see your farm because we want to be that business partner for you guys.

Brenna Finnegan (21:18):It's all about being able to get the job done. I mean, we have a timeframe that we need to work things into for people. And sometimes it's got to happen right away. And that's when I think a lot of communication needs to happen because we need to get the full details of everything before we can really dive into what we have to do. But then there's times that there's going to be situations where it takes a little bit, okay, you're buying land. Okay. We got all your information. We got everything in now we order the appraisal and we order title work and we sit and wait and we wait. I mean, I don't mind the conversations of people calling and saying, Hey, how's this thing going? Or where are we at? And I'm like, well, we're still sitting here waiting for other people to get stuff done, but I'm ready whenever they are.

Matt Adams (22:05):Well, I think it brings it to, you know, we want to be this big of a part on your operation as from your, like you said, from your seed dealer to your hired man, to your equipment salesman, we want to be that resource that's there ready and waiting for you on the whole decision process.

Brenna Finnegan (22:26):How can somebody get the best, the most, I should say, actually out of the communication? I personally want to see somebody that's wanting to take notes as to, okay, this is what else I need, and they are engaged in writing it down, like, okay, building my checklist of what I need to follow up on as a borrower, because we're making our checklists along the way. So, I mean, what do you guys like to see happen?

Matt Adams (22:53):For me, I think it's kind of a, I want to say a case by case, you can kind of tell how certain people are going to want to give you the information, I guess, and how the communication is going to flow. I have quite a few members that it's nothing to get a text at 10:30 at night after they got done combine and saying, "Hey, here's a picture of the yield monitor. This is what this farm is doing." versus, you have more of, it's a phone call and they want to set up an appointment to come. So I think there's such a broad range on what you can look at that as. I do feel with technology and agriculture right now and just our communications, it does seem like it's more of a 24/7 communication. If you want to put that, I mean, we may have hours posted at our office, 8:00 to 4:30, we're truly a 24/7 lender. I mean, you never hesitate to call us any time with any question concerned, just to check in, you know, we like to do the same.

Brenna Finnegan (23:58):Agreed. So I've gotten phone calls at, like you said, 10, 11 o'clock at night and they're wrapping things up or they're still going. So I think having that relationship and I mean, some of my borrowers now are actually really good friends of mine. So, I mean, I don't know about you guys as far as how that works for you. I mean, I have a younger one that he'll call me anytime, anything financial comes up. "Hey, I got this check, what do you think I should do with it?" And it's like, well, it's your choice what you want to do with it. But you know, this will help you get further ahead here or there or whatever.

Brenna Finnegan (24:37):So coming to the conclusion, that communication is the number one thing we all want to hear and see happen. Obviously we know that there is a mutual, beneficial relationship. I mean, obviously, there's something for us as well as you guys, but more importantly, I feel in my opinion, it's for them rather than AgCredit and, I mean, we've got to keep it going, but that relationship has to happen. So I think another thing I'm trying to touch on real quick is understanding your loan agreement. And like I said before, I know, we do have the flexibility of changing things when things come up, but understanding it in the first place, I think is really important too.

Matt Adams (25:21):Yeah, ask those questions at closing, before closing. If you don't understand something by all means, ask us right away and we'll explain everything and answer any question that you have.

Libby Wixtead (25:35):And I would say too, whether you are a Farm Credit customer or a bank customer, know the papers that you're signing. Don't blindly sign papers that you don't know. And I'm going to call out some of the farm wives, I get a pit in my stomach every time I have a farm wife come to me and go, I just want to sign the papers. I don't need to know what it's for. Well, honey, you're signing your name on these papers. Like I wouldn't blindly sign these papers because if something happens to your husband, you are liable for the debt that you're signing your name to. And that's a whole another conversation for a different podcast. But you know, all parties need to know what they're signing their names to and all the terms and that everyone knows what's going on with the operation.

Phil Young (26:23):A couple different times where a couple who came to refinance and we couldn't do it because of how that loan was structured. You know, they were locked in with a certain lender for a certain amount of time. And I don't think it was anything that the lender didn't disclose. I think it maybe was just, they disclosed it and the borrower forgot about it and just didn't quite grasp what that meant and what that would mean down the road if they wanted to do a refinance or look at that. So that's a very fair point. Know what you're signing, ask questions.

Matt Adams (26:52):They kind of get that deer in the headlight look a little bit on some like, oh, wow, I don't remember that.

Phil Young (26:57):The terminology is funky sometimes. And so it's kind of legal, can be legalese, you know, so ask those questions and it's just us sitting in the room. So, learn something when you're there.

Brenna Finnegan (27:10):To go ahead and wrap everything up a little bit, kind of going through the list of things that we've talked about, obviously, communication. Matt mentioned taxes, having them available sometimes having that at your initial meeting puts us that much further ahead. And I think knowing your game plan as to what you want to do, what your ultimate goal is, like Libby said, you don't have to have a binder of a business plan, but you can have an idea of what you want to do, how you want to go about doing it and what is your ultimate end goal? I mean, everybody's there to make money.

Brenna Finnegan (27:47):I'm sure that's really what the end goal is, but I think it's, it's one of those things where just having that plan in place and, you know, coming to us initially and having that already set in your mind, it does make our job a little bit easier in order for us to fully help you in your situation. So I guess that kind of wraps up our Q and A with all of our hosts. And we hope that you gained some great insight and advice into choosing the right lender for your needs, how you can be prepared and communicate best and how to build a strong relationship with your lender. We'll chat some more next time.

Speaker 1 (28:29):Thank you for listening to AgCredit Said It. Want to talk ag in between episodes? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @agcredit. For more tips and resources, visit agcredit.net, and be sure to subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Catch you next time.