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Credit Reform Accounts

The Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA) was enacted to accomplish four objectives:

  • measure the costs of Federal credit programs more accurately;
  • place the cost of credit programs on a budgetary basis equivalent to other Federal spending;
  • encourage the delivery of benefits in the form most appropriate to the needs of beneficiaries; and
  • improve the allocation of resources among credit programs and between credit and other spending programs.

Agencies that borrow for Credit Reform Accounts follow standardized processes for establishing accounts, creating borrowing agreements, accruing interest, and processing principal and interest transactions.

New Accounts: Preparing to Borrow

To Establish New Treasury Account Symbols

Agencies with new borrowing authority should contact: 

  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) budget representative,
  • Treasury’s Budget Reporting Branch (BAASGroup@fiscal.treasury.gov).

More information: 

  • OMB Circular A-11 Section 79.4 (How do I request new accounts, changes to existing accounts in MAX?)
  • Treasury Financial Manual Chapter 1500 (Description of Accounts Relating to Financial Operations)

To Establish a New Credit Reform Borrowing Agreement

Prior to borrowing, borrowing agencies must email a completed Required Information for Establishing Credit Reform Borrowing Agreements form to FIBB (Borrowings@fiscal.treasury.gov).  Fiscal Service will draft the Credit Reform borrowing agreement, which will be signed by the borrowing agency and then by the Assistant Commissioner of Fiscal Accounting for the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

Template/Example:  Credit Reform Borrowing Agreement.

Principal Transactions

All principal borrowing and repayment transactions should be submitted by borrowing agencies through the Agency Transaction Module of the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS).   Use the following link for more information on Obtaining access to CARS or call the Treasury Support Center (877-440-9476).

  • All FCRA borrowings, other than borrowings to pay interest, must have a CARS Effective Date of October 1st of the current fiscal year.
  • Borrowings to pay interest must have CARS Transaction and Effective Dates of September 30th of the current fiscal year.
  • Repayments of principal can be transacted throughout the fiscal year and must have CARS Transaction and Effective Dates equal to or greater than the date the transaction is certified in CARS.
  • Borrowing and repayment transactions must be submitted by 3:00 pm ET to ensure same day processing.

Interest Transactions

Borrowing agencies will need access to the Intragovernmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) System for non-principal transactions. Use the following link for more information on Obtaining access to the IPAC System or call the Treasury Support Center (877-440-9476).

Treasury’s Interest Receivable from borrowing agencies is accrued throughout the fiscal year by FIBB using the previous fiscal year’s single effective rate (default); OR an updated rate estimate provided by the borrowing agency.

Treasury’s Interest Payable to borrowing agencies is accrued throughout the fiscal year by FIBB based on the previous fiscal year’s interest collection from Treasury; OR an accrual estimate provided monthly by the borrowing agency.

The actual interest rates used for Interest Payable and Interest Receivable from Treasury are provided each fiscal year in OMB’s Credit Subsidy Calculator (CSC).  The CSC is normally made available by OMB ten business days prior to each fiscal year-end on the OMB MAX website. OMB can be contacted by phone at 202-395-3945 or by e-mail at CSC2@omb.eop.gov.

Reports

Each month, FIBB posts reports containing Treasury’s Loans Receivable, Interest Receivable, and Interest Revenue balances associated with agency borrowings from Treasury for each borrowing account.  FIBB also posts quarterly a report containing Treasury’s Interest Payable associated with Credit Reform Interest on Uninvested Funds.  These reports can be found on the Federal Borrowings Program Reports page. A Report Instructions page is available if further assistance with reports is needed.

Guidance