Since 1998, AgDirect has been serving customers and dealers using a point-of-purchase model that has become one of the fastest growing equipment financing programs in the nation.
Prior to AgDirect, the Farm Credit System did not have a consistent market presence in the machinery and equipment financing space.
As a mission-driven lender, Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) saw a significant opportunity to provide solutions and value to customers by improving the equipment financing user experience through accelerated transactions and personalized service.
Fast forward 25 years and the foundations of that vision would not only form one of the best collaborations within the Farm Credit System, but a trusted ag equipment financing partner that consistently ranks in the top three equipment lenders based on market share.
“AgDirect is the only equipment financing option among the top three that doesn’t manufacture equipment,” says Brian Legried, senior vice president for AgDirect. “What makes our approach so unique is that we are focused on developing long-term dealer relationships to establish their trust as a financial partner rather than on the color of the equipment being sold.”
“We are continuously working to understand the needs of our customers and provide creative financing solutions,” he adds. “Plus, as an equipment financing program offered by participating associations of the 100-plus-year-old Farm Credit System, customers can count on AgDirect to be one of the most dependable lenders. Along with offering the most ag-friendly terms in the business, we offer exceptional financial strength.”
Better customer experience
Today, AgDirect is offered by 15 participating Farm Credit System associations and its portfolio reaches well above $5 billion. The nationwide equipment financing program serves as a competitive alternative for producers looking to purchase, lease or refinance new or used farm equipment at the dealership, at auction – both in person and online – and through private party transactions.
Before AgDirect, the loan application and credit approval process required customers to visit their lending office, fill out a loan application, and then drive to the equipment dealer to make their purchase.
The AgDirect model not only scaled back the length of the application, but it also accelerated credit decisions. Suddenly, customers could complete their loan application and have a credit response within minutes. At the dealership, 75% of AgDirect’s credit decisions are made in less than 30 seconds, allowing customers to count on quicker closing and funding for their equipment needs.
In 2010, other Farm Credit System Institutions outside of FCSAmerica’s four-state market started offering AgDirect financing in their markets contributing to AgDirect’s continued growth and success. Since then, producers across the country have benefited from the attractive rates, flexible terms and responsive service AgDirect delivers.
Investing in technology
As AgDirect evolved, so did the technology used to support customers and dealers through the transaction process. Fax machines and overnight mail were replaced with online tools including a built-in payment calculator that allowed dealers to provide their customers with accurate pricing options and financing comparisons.
An online application, electronic signatures and mobile app were also added to improve ease of use and provide anytime access. Thanks to these tools, customers can now submit secure financing applications 24/7, sign documents remotely and run different scenarios before making a purchase decision all from their mobile phone.
“As we look to the future, we’ll position AgDirect to continue doing what it has done for the last 25 years, and that is serving our dealers and customers while changing to meet marketplace needs,” says Legried. “One of the things I’m most proud of is the foresight Farm Credit had to invest in the technology that made the AgDirect platform what it is today.”
Legried says he is also proud of the people and partners who have worked together to share their agricultural expertise and a focus in equipment financing.
“AgDirect changed the industry, and there’s a lot of pride in the personalized service we offer. It’s been a win for the dealers, it’s been a win for customers and it’s been a success story for our program and the Farm Credit System Institutions offering it.”
Learn more about AgDirect equipment financing by locating your nearest AgDirect territory manager or contacting the AgDirect financing team at 888-525-9805.