News Release
Release No.STELPRD4022853
ContactKrista Mettscher402-437-5518
Vicki Schurman402-437-5563
Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec 03, 2013 --

@@Four Columbus banks were honored today as Top 10 Lenders in Fiscal Year 2013 for USDA Rural Development’s Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan program. Leading all lenders in the state was Charter West National Bank in Columbus with the Top Lender Award in Fiscal Year. Charter West provided nearly $17.3 million for 180 home loans through this program, which fostered rural homeownership in the state, according to Maxine Moul, Nebraska State Director for USDA Rural Development.

Pinnacle Bank provided more than $8.5 million for 84 home loans through this program, which fostered rural homeownership in the state, according to Maxine Moul, Nebraska State Director for USDA Rural Development. Pinnacle Bank was second only to Charter West National Bank, also of Columbus, among the Top 10 lenders this year.

A third Columbus bank, BankFirst ranked sixth in the state, with nearly $4.8 million in loans to 49 borrowers. First National Bank & Trust Company in Columbus provide nearly $4.3 million in loans to 43 borrowers.

This is a record year for USDA Rural Development housing programs in Nebraska with 74 approved lenders participating in Fiscal Year 2013. More than $124.2 million assisted 1,241rural Nebraska households to achieve homeownership. Demand for the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing homeownership program continues to be strong in Fiscal Year 2014.

Moul said, "We appreciate the Nebraska approved lenders, our partners, who make this program such a success. We anticipate another active year and we look forward to helping more rural Nebraskans to achieve the dream of homeownership. I wish to thank Charter West National Bank, Pinnacle Bank, BankFirst and First National Bank & Trust for their dedication in using the program.”

With guaranteed financing, private lending institutions provide the loans which are guaranteed by the federal government. The program features no down payment to eligible income households and no maximum mortgage limits. Dwellings must be located in a rural community with a population of up to 20,000. The communities of Norfolk and Columbus also remain eligible through at least January 15, 2014, when the current Continuing Resolution for the federal budget expires.

Existing guaranteed or direct loan borrowers may refinance their home loans under the GRH loan program to obtain a possible lower interest rate.

For additional information on becoming an approved lender contact Krista Mettscher at USDA Rural Development, 100 Centennial Mall North, Suite 308 Lincoln, NE 68508, (402) 437-5518 or at Visit

For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at:

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.


    To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, STOP 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992, (800) 877-8339 (TDD), (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 Spanish Federal-relay).