Farmer’s Loan Corporation (FLC) chairman and CEO Andrew Fung says he has been saving $1,000 a month to repay his debt in the last five years.
“I have had a pretty good start to the year,” Mr Fung said.
“We had a little bit of trouble in the first half, but it has all come back pretty well.”
I had $6,000 of loans taken out in the three months before the start of the year.
“We have had about $2,000 in repayments in the quarter after the debt was taken out, and that is a very good start.”
In terms of the average amount we pay in a year, we have just under $700 in the bank account, so that is pretty good.
“Our main source of income is our farming business and we don’t really see that going away, so it is important we get that in the right place.”
Mr Fung is also concerned about a possible decline in the number of farmers who can repay their loans.
“There is a possibility that in our business, and our industry, there will be less people that can pay their loans, but we are not quite sure yet.”
He said there were also “some very hard times ahead”.
“We are getting a lot of new people into the farming business, especially those in the agriculture sector who don’t want to be tied down by a mortgage.”
“So it is going to be a very tough period for people to get into farming and to find their footing.”‘
We need more people to pay off’Mr Fong said the problem was compounded by the fact the loans were written off in the market.
“The market is really tough right now, so the banks have been writing loans off very quickly and we have had quite a lot.”
So, as people get into debt, we need to look at the market more carefully and see if there are other ways to get the money out.
“There is also a real concern that we are going to see some more people that are going into debt and we need more borrowers to pay the interest on those loans.”
But, ultimately, the more we can do to help people to manage the costs of paying back their loans is the way we need the system to function.
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