The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural development Wisconsin state director, Stan Gruszynski, recently announced Associated Bank as a recipient of the Platinum Million Dollar Lender Award.

The Award is presented to lenders who have made a significant contribution to assisting Wisconsin rural residents achieve the dream of homeownership, in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) Program.

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.

In fiscal year 2014, Associated Bank utilized more than $5 million of GRH program funds by financing home purchases to help moderate income families in Wisconsin. More than 3,200 families across Wisconsin were able to purchase a home last year through the GRH loan program, totaling nearly $415 million.

“This award is testament to the strong and productive working relationship our agency has with Associated Bank here in Wisconsin,” said Gruszynski. “Because of this partnership, more families are able to realize the benefit of homeownership while strengthening the economies of Wisconsin’s rural communities.”

The Million Dollar Lender Award is presented at three levels based on the total of funding utilized Silver, Gold, and Platinum; Silver level utilized more than $1 million, Gold level utilized more than $2 million, and Platinum level utilized more than $5 million during the past year.

Associated has been recognized in various award levels each year since the inception of the GRH program in 2003.

“Associated Bank is pleased to accept this recognition and even more pleased to have helped so many families in Wisconsin own their own home through GRH loan program last year,” said Dave Bauer, senior vice president and director of Associated mortgage sales. “Associated is committed to our partnership with the GRH program to provide affordable interest rates and loan terms to borrowers in the communities we serve.”