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There’s a pile of money in the federal stimulus package for rural loans and food assistance, reports Dawn House of the Salt Lake Tribune, but relatively little of it has been used in rural Utah. There is even money for rural businesses to borrow, but nobody seems ready to take the plunge. So far, House reports, “no banks or borrowers have tapped into the $12.3 million in stimulus money for business loans. The recovery funds are in addition to money already set aside for rural lending programs.”

The state USDA program director said people might be hesitant to borrow until the economy turns brighter. Others contend that people just plain don’t know about what the government has to offer.

People are hearing about USDA housing loans by word of mouth. House talks to young couples who have taken advantage of the program (photo above). Moreover, these loans appear to be paying back. out of 1,800 home loans the USDA made in Utah, last year only two defaulted.

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