How to Get Your Canadian Business Equipment Financing Lease Approved
‘What is my rate?’ is a question I am often asked by customers when they work with us with respect to equipment and lease financing. They are surprised when I tell them that they get to pick their own rate! (All customers want the lowest rate!)
I am not trying to be facetious when we make that statement. What we are saying is that the over all credit quality of a customer, as perceived by the lender ( that’s important!) is in fact set by the customer, thereby driving a final approval on rate, term and structure of the proposed financing request.
The role of the customer, or their trusted advisor is to understand the basic credit information requirements and how the overall risk to the customer and their industry will be perceived by the lender. The irony of a lot of business leasing is that the industry for the most part used historical analysis to project future ability to pay. That is a difficult concept for the customer to handle more often than not – as an example the customer may have lost some money last year, driving a negative cash flow figure. Prospects have improved, new orders are coming in, and yet the business has a problem in getting new financing.
The customer needs to ensure that the information and ‘ story ‘ make the transaction become more ‘ approvable’.
Critical categories in the information submission by the company are as follows:
Length of time in business
Personal credit history of the owners
Relationships with other financial institutions
Quality of the financials (Some customers submit balance sheets that don’t balance!)
Additional collateral available if necessary
Summary of key financial info such as depreciation, cash flows
Positive focus on management and its background and experience
If the customer is qualified to make such a submission a solid package as per our list noted above should lend itself towards an approval at current market rates and structures. If the customer feels they are not properly qualified to make such a submission they are strongly encouraged to used a qualified intermediary who knows the industry and, more importantly, knows the specific weighting given by a lender to the above noted submission requirements.
The amount of information required around each component is more often than not determine by the size of the transaction or the lenders total exposure to that customer. In many cases small ticket transactions (those under $ 25,000.00) are adjudicated via a credit application and public reporting sources such as Equifax or Dun and Bradstreet. Typically 60-70% of all small ticket transactions are approved.
In summary, customers who want to get a prompt and of course positive lease approval should focus on providing a clean package of required information that will ensure a prompt approval based on specific industry requirements around the transaction size and asset type. Knowing that the lender will focus on future potential of the firm, the management experience, and the collateral asset are valuable data points for any business seeking a business equipment financing lease.