AREF Rural Loans

About AREF

The Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund (AREF) emerged from its parent organization, the Arkansas Rural Rehabilitation Corporation (ARRC). In 1933, the ARRC was created by the United States Congress as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” efforts to lift the country out of the depression by making agricultural loans to farmers. By 1950, most agricultural loans were distributed and administered through the US Department of Agriculture. Congress then entered into a trust agreement to return the assets and administration of ARRC back to the State of Arkansas. With the passage of Act 27 in 1959, the Arkansas General Assembly created AREF as a private, nonprofit entity with the sole purpose of making affordable loans to rural Arkansans. Since that time, AREF has helped thousands of Arkansans attain higher education to pursue their dreams, and many of our borrowers have gone on to achieve greatness, even including an Arkansas governor.