Associated Bank was recognized with top honors by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development as a Million Dollar Lender for 2012. The recognition is made annually to lenders that excel in using the federal agency’s guaranteed loan program to increase home ownership.

“Fiscal Year 2012 was another successful year for Rural Development. Illinois guaranteed 4,671 loans totaling over $450 million. Lending partners like Associated Bank make this program possible,” said Colleen Callahan, State Director for Illinois Rural Development.

With the Rural Development guarantee, lenders can offer 100 percent financing with no required down payment, no maximum purchase price, competitive fixed market interest rates and 30-year terms. The program includes flexible credit guidelines and generous income limits.

Interested homebuyers can call Associated Bank at 309-682-5100 or Rural Development at 866-481-9575 for more information on the guaranteed home loans.

Rural Development has more than 40 programs that foster growth and economic stability in rural areas by providing affordable financing and technical assistance. In addition to housing, support is available for regional food systems, broadband and biofuel infrastructure, business development and community needs. More information on USDA Rural Development programs is available on the web at