This week for our Q&A, we interviewed Jeff Potter, one of our customers, about his unique story within agriculture and his road to recovery after he was diagnosed with a debilitating illness. Jeff was great to talk to, and has a story that is inspirational for anyone in any industry.

Q: Hi Jeff, thanks for doing this Q&A. It sounds like your story really caught the eye of one of our reps, and we wanted to share it with our community. To start, I just wanted to get your background on farming.

A: Well, I guess my background in farming is that it’s pretty much what I’ve done my entire life. I grew up in Valparaiso, Nebraska, which is north of Lincoln. Uncles and grandparents farmed. That’s kind of where we got our start through 4H and FFA, and that’s kind of the history of it. We went to Southeast Community College in Beatrice for secondary education, and then we ended up in southern Nebraska in 1995.

Q: Wow, what a history! So you had been farming for a while. We had heard that you had been diagnosed with an illness. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

A: Well, at the time, I was farming… Basically, how it started is, I was riding on the tractor and I began to have leg seizures or tremors, and something didn’t seem quite right, so I started doctoring. Probably 6 to 8 months later was diagnosed with spinal AVM with a fistula.

Q: It sounded like from what I had heard that you had had to put farming on hold to take care of it. Can you talk a little bit about that and how it affected your work?

A: Right. Well, the farming end of it didn’t stop too much, I guess. I just was gone for just a little bit. We had some hired help. At the time we had just over 400 momma cows, and things weren’t just going real perfect because of health reasons, but calving season was coming on, and at the time I only thought I was going to be gone for just a short time. We’d go get it fixed and be back, and nothing would really change.

Q: What did that road to recovery look like for you?

A: When I was first diagnosed, we wanted to know where we needed to go. We couldn’t handle it locally here in Carney. Their suggestion was that I go to a medical center in Denver, and the doctor out there did an exploratory surgery. He said, you’re either going to have an aneurysm, or the outcome is just not going to be very good, and pretty bleak actually, and, of course, we chose surgery and they actually put some titanium clips on these veins. My fistula was located at the base of my brain and kind of intertwined around my brain stem and cerebellum, and that’s why I was basically having leg tremors, and it was kind of one of those deals, you walk across a flat yard and tip over because your left leg would forget to move. So it made things kind of pretty scary for a while, but I guess we stayed optimistic that we were going to get right back to doing what we were wanting to be doing and, after surgery, my doctor who did the surgery, he came in and said we’re going to show you how to walk. And of course, I kind of got a little irate, and said “what do you mean you’re going to show me how to walk?” Well, he was completely right, the surgery was more invasive than they thought. My left leg was, you know, you could move it, but you couldn’t tell it how to walk or run or anything like that. So, I was in Denver for almost a full month learning how to walk again and just pretty much stayed optimistic, but I was going home and worried about everything at home because we were going to have our first calving. I just had my surgery on the 13th of January, and calving was going to start in February. So the cow guy, or the farmer in me said, man I have to get home, they can’t do this without me, and basically left the hospital a little bit on the early side, and came home under my own strength. He basically said I could leave if I could walk out, so I found the will to walk and came home. I sure couldn’t do anything, but I was home. We had home health care, and I went to physical therapy for almost four months every day and we got to where I could walk. I do still have what they call a drop foot, so, my ankle or the bottom of my foot doesn’t flex like it should, and so, I kind of stumble around a little bit. But, we’re back to doing what we like to do. The cows had to leave for a while, because I couldn’t handle it, but back in 2011 or something like that, we went back to taking care of cows again, and have just been charging forward ever since.

Q: So, how has your business grown over the last 5 years, and what does it look like recently?

A: Well, I’m married again, and have two kids. We have a three year old and a two year old. I rest on my wife quite often to help out. She’s a full time school teacher, but our operation has kind of gone more to concentrating on putting up hay, and that end of it, because physically, I can handle that a lot better. We got the opportunity to take on cows again, and we took on that opportunity. We calve 140-head right now, half being in the fall, and half being in the spring, and just really love that aspect of it, but really like doing the hay operation also. We still have some very large seed lots. We do grind and deliver. But, we pretty much bail year round. We put up in between 10,000 to 12,000 bails of corn stalks through the winter, and then whatever we bail through the summer. So, we’re really probably busier now than we were when I was by myself in 2006.

Q: That’s great to hear! So, having gone through a struggle yourself, what message would you have for any other farmers going through any kind of struggle, or a similar struggle on their end?

A: Well, whether it’s physical or mental, whatever it is, just staying optimistic. You know, you have to keep that “I can do it” attitude. I’ll be the first to say that I’ve had lots of help. The first, being my wife. We couldn’t make it without her, because she physically does a lot more than I can do sometimes, and takes care of the kids, and has a full time job, and that sort of thing. But, if you want to farm, and be in agriculture, there’s always a way to figure it out. I think it was in 2013 or something like that I got acquainted with an organization called AgrAbility which is basically an organization that comes in and if you have some physical limitations, let’s say, you need a lift on your tractor because you’re wheelchair bound, or something like that, they both financially and emotional support, show you how you can still do that, still do what you like doing, and still be productive in agriculture.

Q: Yeah! That was one of the things we wanted to ask about. What does AgrAbility mean to you? Obviously it was a big help in that sense that they were willing to provide that assistance during a hard time. Could you talk a little bit about how other people can get involved to support the organization, or any other thoughts you may have about them?

A: Well, it’s a tremendous organization. They’re kind of a subsidiary or a spin off or the Easterseals. They just concentrate on ag, or ranching. Some of my limitations are walking across the field. In that case they could help with an ATV. Something they helped me out with is when the helped me to purchase our first Hydrabed to feed cows. To be honest, I use that Hydrabed for way more things than just feeding cows. But for AgrAbility, they have a great staff there that’s understanding and willing to help if they can in any way.

Q: Well, thanks a lot, Jeff. That should be good for us! You have a unique story and it’s awesome to hear about your recovery. Hearing an inspirational story like this can be the thing some people may need to hear to keep going and find success. I appreciate you doing taking the time.

A: Oh yeah, absolutely. Glad I could help.

Next week we will be back with another Q&A. Stay up to date and learn more from our valuable resources at

Each week, we’ll interview one of our experienced Finance Officers for a brief question and answer session about something interesting from the week, along with tips and tricks to make your finance process easier, and their unique perspective on the industries and customers we work with.

This week, we caught up with AJ Ochoa in our Portland office who talks about how commercial lending is a two-way street and how active applicants can help a deal get done faster.

Q: Thanks for doing this, AJ! I know that we have done one other Q&A on the phone, and I think last time we talked, you had a couple customers that you were working with that were close to funding. If you have anything that was an interesting or unique deal, or one that was a little more challenging, I’d definitely love to hear about it.

A: Yeah, let me pull one up here that I did not long ago. This one took me a little bit to work up and finalize everything, but that was a good one because that customer was pretty appreciative of us for funding the deal, and making it happen. He was actually wanting it to be expedited a little bit faster, just because he needed to get work in, and he was losing money. To start, he sent me the docs through regular mail, so that kind of delayed things. I explained to him that that was going to put a hold on the funding, and I did explain to him that we prefer overnight just so we can get it done faster. He acknowledge that this might have been a misstep, but at the end, he was very thankful that we were able to make it happen. He wanted us to fund the deal on a very near date, and I told him that I do my best to get it funded as fast as possible, but I can’t really give a timeline because with these transactions, anything can happen during the process, so that makes it difficult to have a clear timeline at the beginning, but luckily we were able to get it funded by when he wanted so that he was able to pick it up, and drive up to the seller and get his trailer. So, that was a pretty sweet deal where a customer was very thankful for our service, and we were able to wrap it up in a timely fashion.

Q: Were there any difficulties during the credit evaluation process that came up that might have caused any other delays in trying to get it done faster?

A: With the insurance, there seems to always be some kind of issue with it. I emphasized to him that he needed to send that insurance requirement form in to his agent. He didn’t do that, unfortunately, so that kind of delayed things. That was kind of the main thing, him not overnighting the documents, and not having that insurance that we needed, that’s kind of what delayed the whole funding. He understood, but unfortunately it kind of delayed the process. Regardless, at the end of the day, he was thankful that we were able to get it wrapped up.

Q: I think that it’s definitely good to be honest in these situations that, you know, a lot of other companies will talk about what they can do for you, but a lot of times, the funding process is a two-way street. That kind of mindset isn’t really that established for some deals. Do you find that’s the case that sometimes customers are moving ahead before they have all of their ducks in a row?

A: Yeah, a lot of the time, that’s what happens. They sign all the documents, but they don’t realize, or maybe they don’t acknowledge, “hey maybe we would need to get this other document first before we’re able to fund the deal.” A lot of times, they don’t have all of their ducks in a row, and that tends to delay the process, but I would say more often than not, they understand. They understand that it is a process, we do have to get certain paperwork in in order for us to actually wrap it all up, and then get their equipment. But yeah, it does happen a lot.

Q: Yeah, and to counteract that, a lot of times, it seems that it’s just honest conversations that help clear those things up. I know that we’re going to have a testimonial for you this week that ties into this point where the customers are always appreciative of having those conversations, as long as they’re as truthful as possible. Playing back into commercial lending deals being a two-way street, would you say that If the customers are unsure of what they may need that they shouldn’t hesitate to ask?

A: Yes, and as you know, every transaction is a little different, so you could kind of go back and figure out what they potentially will need to get it done, but again, a lot of the times, there’s also the deals where some little detail is missing, or the funding source is asking for this, and you may need to request that from the customer later. They may get a little frustrated, so I’ll say what has worked a lot of the time with my deals, is that I give the expectations that, hey, these are the preliminary items that we’ll need to get this one wrapped up, but I may need some other piece of information farther down the road. I think just providing that expectation that it is a process, that we do require some additional information to actually get it funded, it creates good expectations so that they know ahead of time that they might need some other items to get it wrapped up, versus surprising the customer saying “you signed your docs, but I’m actually going to need this and that”. I think that always helps out, creating that expectation.

Q: So in the end, things worked out, and you had those honest conversations, and the customer was satisfied?

A: Yeah, especially this one. He wanted things to happen fast. He was calling me multiple times throughout the day, or texting me, or emailing me, he always was looking for an update. Sometimes other parties wouldn’t get back to me in a timely manner, which I understand they can be busy, but yeah, he was thankful just because we were able to make it happen. I think he tried to go with a different financial services company, he was saying if we couldn’t get it done by this day, he might have to go somewhere else. At that point, I had a conversation with him explaining the process, saying I’m working my hardest to get this one done as quickly as possible, but sometimes I have to wait for other folks to complete their tasks in order for me to complete mine, and he understood. At the end of the day, he was thankful and appreciative of my work and that’s all that matters.

Next week we will check in with another finance officer in one of our offices. Stay up to date and learn more from our valuable resources at

Did you know?

98% of heavy equipment transactions are not funded by local banks or credit unions.

Banks and credit unions are great resources for credit lines, real property loans, and personal loans – but heavy equipment is a different story. Often, used yellow iron, older machines, or high hours machines like yarders and loaders fall outside of the bank credit window. Unlike banks, we have no age or collateral restrictions. If you see value in equipment – we can help you finance it.

That brings us to bulldozers. This equipment type can be expensive, and buying a dozer outright isn’t in the best interest of all companies due to cash flow constraints this may cause, and in some cases, it may be not possible with your current budget. Equipment financing can be a great option so that you can get the equipment you need to keep growing your business. When looking at equipment financing, there is more risk involved due to the equipment being financed contributing to generating profit so that you can pay off your loan. This can contribute to higher monthly payments than you may be used to with, say, a personal automobile. It’s important to look at what your returns are going to be. Will the equipment generate revenue that will cover its monthly payment, and additional profit for you? Then the higher monthly payment is probably worth it. That being said, there can still be factors that will help reduce what your monthly payment could potentially be. Let’s take a look:

Credit Score

While this may not be the only thing that will determine what your monthly payments are, it does play a big role. The higher your credit score, the lower your monthly payments will probably be. Keep in mind that when credit scores start dipping into lower ranges (~650 and below) you may start seeing commercial lenders ask for higher down payments as well. If you have some time to work on fixing any credit issues and raising your score before applying, this can go a long way.

Term Lengths

When you go through our PreQualification system here at American Equipment Financial Services, or through the websites of any of our partners, you are presented with a few term options after you submit your form. The longer the term, the lower your payment. Keep in mind, that with our programs, shorter terms will often carry a lower total payback. We recommend discussion options with your designated rep (who will reach out after you complete the PreQual).

Other Factors

There are a number of other factors that all play into what your monthly payments will end up looking like. If you have been in business for a couple of years, your monthly payments may be lower as a result (but don’t worry, we have programs for start-ups too). If you have comparable loans in the past, and have good pay history, this can be a huge positive when credit teams are looking over your application. Having collateral can also help make sure you secure an approval so that you can move forward with confidence.

If you do have any issues that will appear on your credit report, be ready to explain why these issues are there. This can help tremendously, especially if you have a plan on how to rectify these past issues. Don’t shy away just because you are worried that a couple issues will keep you from getting the funding you need. Here at American, we know there are people behind the application, and are interested in your story.

If you’re ready to move forward with looking for financing for your bulldozer, you can get PreQualified here, or visit our partner site that focuses specifically on bulldozer financing, so that you can get matched with a rep that can help with your specific need. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re excited to help!

Each week, we’ll interview one of our experienced Finance Officers for a brief question and answer session about something interesting from the week, along with tips and tricks to make your finance process easier, and their unique perspective on the industries and customers we work with.

This week, we caught up with Travis Van Houten in our Portland office who talks about how different term lengths can affect a commercial lending deal, and how this affected a recently funded customer.

Q: Hey, Travis! I’m glad we had a chance to connect. I know we’ve had a couple of Q&A’s now. Has there been anything interesting since the last time we talked?

A: The customer had told us when we first talked that he thought his credit score was well over 700, and when we ran it, it came in at a 590.

Q: Is that typical?

A: I wanted to look at someone that ran into a situation that would be worth explaining for anyone else looking for commercial lending. In this case, we overcame the objections of a competitor and their offer of financing. He was concerned about the overall payback. We were originally doing 48 months, I believe it was. I don’t remember how exactly he changed his mind. We had gone over payment and term options, but basically, saved the deal by recommending the shortest term, which I believe we had it at 18 months, because that was an overall cheaper cost of financing for him. Just knowing what his cash flows were, and the money the truck will bring in, he would have more than enough left over at the end of every month to cover the bill, plus have that marginal revenue, that additional revenue he was looking for, added to the bottom line. So, I did my best to explain that, and recommend that. He agreed, and we ended up redoing docs for 18 months and funded it.

Q: For the 18 months that were presented, was that something that was on the table at the beginning?

A: It was, yeah, he was able to choose that. He got sent documents to him for 48 because the payments were lower each month, and then he looked over everything and started worrying about the payback, so I recommended the 18 months. Even though it was a larger monthly payment, it was a lot less of a payback.

Q: So, you walked him through what the implications were of each term length?

A: Yeah, walked him through to make sure he understood how everything worked. It was just being upfront and honest about explaining how that worked, the security deposit and everything else, and then recommending a solution to his objections.

Q: For that process, it sounded like he hadn’t done commercial lending before. Does that kind of sound like that was the case here?

A: That’s a good question. Trying to do my best to think. Let me see what my transaction summary says. I usually note if they have prior commercial credit… New submission… Yeah, I do not remember anything coming up that he had commercial financing before.

Q: I think something that comes up for people that haven’t done commercial lending before, they tend to compare it to a lot of the common lending solutions, like with their automobile, or anything else. A lot of what people don’t think about is the balance of what they’re bringing in every month with the new equipment, and what their monthly payments are in comparison. Do you find that is something that you have to explain to a vast majority of the people that you work with?

A: Definitely. It’s a fairly accurate point. Like our credit team always says, this is an investment, so we should be looking at return on investment, and not necessarily the interest rate, and at the end of the day, the interest rate is just a percent, it’s not a true representation of an actual expense to them. That’s always one of the objections I have to clear the most – looking at commercial lending in a different light than other forms of lending people are used to.

Q: Definitely, so as far as the difference that it made for him, do you have any specifics numbers? Or, for anyone, when you’re going from 48 months to 18 months, would you say that that’s a pretty drastic change for the overall payback?

A: Yeah, when we present the 48 month payback, we’re supposed to say is 63,000 on a $28,000-$30,000 unit. People say, “well that’s a 100% interest rate”. Well not quite, you know, interest is computed on an annual basis, while you’re correct that you’re essentially paying for twice the actual cash value, because of the time value of money, if we were to shorten up the term lengths to, say, 18 months, you’re only paying back 18 months which is a total of, say, $45,000, so you’re saving yourself about $20,000. I think that was about what this customer was going to save going with 18 months as opposed to the longer term.

Q: I think that that is definitely a good point to make for this particular topic – keeping the different pros and cons of different term lengths in mind ahead of time, whenever you’re looking at any commercial deal. Especially when looking at terms that are presented to you with the PreQual system, because that’s obviously something that we lean into, that you need to decide what terms lengths will work best for your business, because obviously it was a big decision point for this particular customer.

A: Exactly.

Next week we will check in with another one of our finance officers in another office office. Stay up to date and learn more from our valuable resources at

Today, we’re looking at some interesting information that was first posted on our partner site. In a recent survey of 3685 small business owners that have made a vocational truck purchase in the last 12 months…

78% replace trucks only when reliable operation is a factor

Waiting until the wheels fall off is a very expensive approach to replacing your vocational vehicles. There is no bigger cost to your business than the service interruption to your customer. Even if you can avoid the pain of customer complaints following vehicle failure, it often involves very high rental expenses and the operational challenges of using a generic truck not designed for your business.

Fleets with an average age of 5 years or newer turn over less employees.

No one wants to drive an old, beaten down truck—and the stats prove it. Finding new employees that drive your vocational trucks is a significant expense. Operational disruptions of turnover can include workflow challenges, recruiting, training, certifications and more just to put another resource in the driver’s seat. And those items carry soft and hard costs that far outweigh what a new monthly payment might be for a new truck.

82% sacrifice on specs needed for upfront cost implications

Most business owners are passing on needed features just to save a little money up front. And we’re not talking additional chrome and reflectors here folks. These are major technology features that would help them meet customer needs more effectively or help drivers do their jobs better. An extra $3-10K might look painful up-front, but may only provide a nominal impact to monthly payment. This impact could be overwhelmed by the operational benefits and upside of having the features you really need.

If you are planning on keeping the equipment for as long as you possibly can, waiting for the wheels to fall off before thinking about replacement or sacrificing the specs you need for the up-front cost you want—you just might be adding to your long-term expenses instead of reducing them. A finance partner like American Equipment Finance can help. For years, we’ve been financing vocational trucks in a way that helps business owners make this investment more affordably. If you need some new thinking around this topic, let’s talk.

sprinter van loans

Each week, we’ll interview one of our experienced Finance Officers for a brief question and answer session about something interesting from the week, along with tips and tricks to make your finance process easier, and their unique perspective on the industries and customers we work with.

This week, we caught up with George Vandel in our Sioux Falls office who delivered on a customer’s expectations on the first deal we did with him, which led him to come back as a repeat customer multiple times!

Q: Hi, George! Thanks for speaking with me today. Can you tell me about a recent customer that you found to be a little more unique?

A: Well, I had one that I had done back in October, that since that deal was originated, he’s come back to us four different times to do additional units, or additional trucks. When we were first approached, he was buying an existing FedEx route delivery location, and that existing business had and owned or leased 16 trucks. When he approached us, he was upgrading 6 of those 16 that were soon coming off lease, and he wanted to exercise the lease option that the company had, and then acquire them and own them himself.

Q: What were the steps taken to do that?

A: So, we put together a financial package, and was able to obtain him $400,000 to lease buyout those trucks so that they would now be under his name, and under his ownership, because we did it on like a loan scenario. He enjoyed the process and the service that we provided to him on those, and since then, we have done another 8 trucks for him since then.

Q: That’s awesome! Since we haven’t really talked about repeat business in Q&As in the past, what differences, if any, are there when somebody’s coming back so recently from a funded deal? Are there any processes that change in that instance? Is it easier for them to do so?

A: Well, two things. Number one is, in terms of our ability to properly communicate and set expectations, I think we either met or exceeded everything that we told him we could do and the timeframes we could do it. So, in a situation like this, that was very comforting for him, because time was of the essence. Through his cooperation, obviously, we were able to deliver on all of those. Because of that, just the trust we gained with him, in doing that properly up front, I think it helped him feel very comfortable that as he needed that same type of thing in the future, that he knew that we were going to deliver on that because we already had.

Secondly, and probably more importantly, is the fact that because we needed such a comprehensive file on him, he didn’t need to re-invent the wheel somewhere else to acquire these assets. Submitting his financials and business plans, and all of these other things, he already had those done with us, so I think those two major legs to the stool, if you will, were reasons why he said, “I’m going to continue to use you for everything I need moving forward.” I think it’s important for these guys, once they get us information, that we already have them on file, so there’s not a lot that we need to do, other than just a quick re-investigation of credit. A lot of times, we don’t need any additional information, so they don’t need to re-invent to wheel from square one with another source, and so they find it easier, and because we delivered on all of the expectations, or exceeded them, it just makes them feel comfortable that we’re the right people to work with.

Q: Absolutely. So, are there any times where it would be more difficult for us to do repeat business that soon after a deal like that? Is there anything that was particular to his case that allowed us to do that, that maybe wouldn’t for other people?

A: I don’t see any barriers in us being able to, you know, because of our vast funding capabilities, you know, we’re not going to have ultimate exposure concerns, more times that not. If you went to your local bank, and you said, hey I need $400,000, and now I need another $300,000, who knows how excited they might be, because that’s their only available funds, they only have so much they can lend to one person, versus our abilities to utilize local bank partners, etc. that will allow us to then buy more paper than just one single source at times. In this case, it helped us find the funds necessary for a deal like this, and the customer has come back multiple times.

Next week we will check in with another one of our finance officers. Stay up to date and learn more from our valuable resources at

In the modern workplace, dependence on technology has continued to grow as more sophisticated systems proceed to develop and improve. While we offer many commercial lending solutions for used equipment (like logging equipment, or tow trucks), we understand that with technology, the latest, and highest-performing hardware and software is incredibly important in order to stay competitive in an ever-changing business environment.

Hardware is the more traditionally considered when talking about technology financing. Just like with any other equipment, these are hard assets that are more tangible to traditional lenders like:

You may be able to find assistance from traditional commercial lenders for hardware, but often times, banks will not assist with the other part of the equation: software. Software is more intangible, but we know that no matter how advanced your hardware is, it’s nothing without software. That’s why we offer software financing along with our other commercial lending packages. We know that speed is a factor when looking to upgrade software to keep up with technological changes in your business. With software financing, your barrier to entry is lower due to lower upfront costs, allowing you to make budgeting decisions that won’t interfere as much with other important items, like working capital, and other expenditures.

Due to our experience, we are also aware of other soft costs associated with software that we can easily bundle into your monthly payments. Associated services? Maintenance? No problem. We can talk you through your options to make sure that you find a technology financing solution that works for you.

No matter your technological needs, we would welcome a chance to talk about your business and how we may be able to help. Whether you are a newer business looking to get started with the technology you need to hit the ground running, or an established business looking to upgrade your technological infrastructure, we’re ready to assist.

Each week, we’ll interview one of our experienced Finance Officers for a brief question and answer session about something interesting from the week, along with tips and tricks to make your finance process easier, and their unique perspective on the industries and customers we work with.

This week, we caught up with Maria Ehlers in our Portland office who narrowly avoided a travel disaster in a deal with a customer who was about to buy a plane ticket to pick up some equipment he wasn’t fully approved for yet.

Q: Thanks for doing another Friday Q&A with me, Maria! Do you have a recent customer in mind, similar to our last profile, that was a little more unique or challenging?

A: No problem! This one was not too difficult, as far as the customer was concerned this time. It almost went wrong, but it ended up being okay. With the PreQual, everything was fine, everything lined up. It was one of those easy ones, that started out pretty simply. Got approved with him in about a day or so, and then we were working on getting the docs and everything out, that’s when we started to run into a couple of things.

Q: What kicked things off?

A: One, was that we needed to put a GPS into the equipment, and the installer and the vendor took about a week to get that installed. Nobody could get it on the same schedule, and I was having a hard time getting into contact with anyone to get that update, so we were running into that. Also, the insurance agent ended up taking several days as well. Usually, that wouldn’t be an issue, because I am usually able to keep the customer in the loop with what is going on, and as long as they’re patient, and kind of forgiving with stuff like this, it makes it easy. The thing was, in the middle of us trying to get the installation done, the customer mentioned that he had travel plans to pick up the equipment that I had no idea about up until this point, and he was about to buy a plane ticket, which I ended up getting him to not do, thank goodness, which would have ended up being a mess. But, if he would have bought it without telling me beforehand, he would have been stuck where the equipment was, and wouldn’t be able to take it home, which would have been bad. But, he managed to tell me before it was too late, which was great, and we waited until the last second to buy that plane ticket and pick that up, so it ended up working out well for everyone, and he was really understanding of the situation, and ended up not being stuck in a city without the equipment that he needed. That was probably the most interesting thing that happened to me recently.

Q: So, as far as the actual program that he had PreQualified for, you said that his credit profile and everything else was pretty good?

A: Right. Let me see. I’m going to open up his file really quickly… It looks like he did have a more challenging credit profile than we were expecting.

Q: But, regardless, there wasn’t anything through the credit process that was that big of a deal?

A: No, no, it was one of those things where his credit came back lower than expected, but I was able to get him to understand, and we got him fit into a program that he was able to do. It looks like his credit score came back lower than anticipated, but it didn’t seem like an issue.

Q: So, as anyone reading this can see, even though things had worked out pretty well as far as the initial upfront processes, a lot of customers that are looking for financing need to keep in mind some of the other processes that will need to take place, since there are going to be various entities involved. Even if things go smoothly on the front end, they need to factor these other processes into their expected timelines because there can’t always be control over every single part of the deal.

A: Exactly, there are some things that we just have no control over, like the GPS installation. I can’t personally go install that myself. I was kind of at the whim of the people that were going to install it, and then on top of that, it’s the travel plans. it’s crucial to let us know upfront so that our customers are not stuck with this plane ticket that they bought without letting any one know, and then not doing what they are needing to do when they get there.

Q: Yeah, I have heard a couple instances of that recently, where they actually made the trip. They went out there when things weren’t finalized yet. Luckily, it wasn’t a plane ride away, but it was still multiple hours drive, and they hadn’t let anyone know ahead of time.

A: Exactly, yeah, I have had that happen to me, and it’s really really hard to tell someone that they can’t take home what they need to, so it was nice that he let me know that he had that scheduled for a certain day. After talking this over, we got everything done soon after, and he was able to pick up the equipment, no problem!

Next week we will check in with another finance officer in one of our offices. Stay up to date and learn more from our valuable resources at

We get our funds from a bank just like you. The difference is that ours is a commercial relationship – so our rates are much lower than an individual’s. Nonetheless, we are not in the market to compete with the bank on rate. If rate is your only concern and your bank will approve you there are only two ways to get a better deal:

a)       Change banking relationship (go to another bank) – this may require you to move your accounts over with you!

b)      Buy brand new from the manufacturer/dealer financing – this may require you to pay a hefty markup for brand new equipment.

So, if we’re not cheaper than the bank on rate – why would anyone go with us? Fortunately, for lots of reasons!

a)       When the bank says no – banks lend based on rigid criteria – commercial credit scores, financials, and other qualifying standards that exclude a lot of smaller businesses.

b)      When it’s outside bank policy – certain equipment, especially used equipment, and certain industries – trucking, logging, construction – can fall outside bank policies.  The bank can’t be all things to all people, but we have very few age or industry restrictions, so we can usually help when the bank can’t. If it’s worth it for you to save on equipment markup by moving on a good deal on used equipment – we can help you realize those savings with financing.

c)       Commercial credit not required!  That’s right. We can leverage a combination of time in business, personal credit, cash flow, industry, and other factors to offer approval even if you have never borrowed in your business name before.

d)      We don’t report to your personal credit – In 99% of cases, we do not report your account with us to your personal credit bureaus, so it never shows up as personal debt. This means we won’t interfere with your ability to get a car loan, refinance your house, or pursue other consumer financing.

e)      We don’t take a lien on all of your business’ assets.  Most banks file what are known as blanket liens.  These are liens on all of your business property to secure a credit line and all other loans and accounts with them.  We only take a security interest in the equipment you’re financing – so if something goes wrong, we don’t own your business, just the machine in question.

f)        We help you save your bank relationship exposure for something larger or more important.  Most banks have a total exposure limit – the maximum amount they can lend to a business or individual in your situation. Often, individuals and businesses need this exposure for operating costs like credit lines to help finance the costs of running the day to day business. When you use the bank for capital expenditures instead of operating costs, you hurt your ability to access their cheap money for the day to day stuff that has a lower return on investment. Most equipment can generate much more revenue than its payment – even if you pay 10 or 12% instead of 6%, but if you lose the ability to access bank money for operating costs and have to borrow those funds at a higher rate elsewhere – the ROI is much lower. Payroll, inventory, insurance, and other operating costs have lower returns than a capital expenditure.

g)       We offer structures the bank doesn’t.  Need a lease with a 10% buyout? A residual built into the contract? Skip payments for seasonal businesses? Annual payments? We have you covered if you need alternative structure.

Each week, we’ll interview one of our experienced Finance Officers for a brief question and answer session about something interesting from the week, along with tips and tricks to make your finance process easier, and their unique perspective on the industries and customers we work with.

This week, we caught up with John Brock in our Kansas City office who talks about a deal where he ran into some roadblocks when trying to work with a seller on Craigslist, and how he was able to add value to the customer in the end.

Q: Hey, John! Thanks for talking to me today. It sounded like you had a deal recently that was a little more difficult. Can you fill me in on some of the details?

A: This one funded this week, I think. This guy was trying to get a brand new dump trailer, and a bucket truck. Actually, he originally just came to us for the bucket truck, and then he asked me if there was any way he could get a higher approval so that he could include a dump trailer, which we were easily able to accommodate, right? But from there, is where it really got interesting. The dump trailer was with a dealer who was pretty straight up. It was a brand new dump trailer, and they manufacture them, right? However, the bucket truck was with a guy off of Craigslist.

Q: Classic Craigslist sale?

A: Classic Craigslist sale. We were working with that guy, the seller, to obviously try to get everything that we needed from him in order to complete the transaction. Well, that seller also requested financing from us while we were in the middle of that deal, and we were unable to approve him. So that put an interesting twist on the dynamic between us and them as a seller.

Q: You don’t see that every day, huh?

A: Nope, you don’t. And so, as I tried to weave through that, I think I was able to at least maintain a good dynamic with that seller in order for him to continue working with us. Unfortunately, I think what ended up happening was, he put that truck back into work. I think some work came about that he was able to utilize that truck for, and so he put it out on the street to work, and did not want to sell it any longer, although he wouldn’t tell us that. He kept on saying, yeah, I want to sell this truck, I’ll get this stuff to you, like the copy of the title and all that kind of stuff.

Q: So that’s a couple obstacles right off the bat. Anything else come up?

A: Well, the biggest one was that we had already had agreements done for this truck, and we were basically ready to go. We just needed the copy of the title, right? And ultimately, it came down to where, I kind of had to make the call for my customer, because he didn’t know how to deal with it. I told him, hey, start looking for another truck, because I don’t know if this one’s going to happen. He found another one that he liked, but I was trying to explain to him, you know, this will be an all new agreement. This is kind of not completely starting over, but moderately starting over.

Q: Rough. How did you progress at that point?

A: Weighing those timelines out with the reality of the situation with the customer, I just kind of had to bite my tongue for a little bit and say hey, our best option right now is just to have this seller, this craigslist seller, finally come around and get us the stuff that we need. Eventually, it came down to the point where it was just no longer worth waiting, and so I had to make the decision to pull the trigger to re-do docs completely for the other truck, and so, all of that was a fun process. The biggest thing there that I think really provided a lot of value to the customer, was that during that entire transaction, which was over a month’s period, I was constantly in contact with the dealer for the dump trailer to keep him on board, which was difficult. He was, especially towards the end, pretty much asking, “is this thing ever going to fund?” Which, granted, it was a lot better than me just saying, here’s a promise, here’s a promise, and provide false promises without knowing how long this thing was going to take. To be honest, the dealer of the new truck wasn’t exactly the best either. They didn’t correctly complete documents multiple times, even with direction, but ultimately, we were able to get the deal done, and everybody was happy. Granted, by the time we got the dealer for the dump trailer funded, that dealer was, I think, perfectly fine, saying, “I understand these things happen”, although he wasn’t all that excited before it got funded. When it got to the end, things were a lot better. And so, that was a difficult situation, in multiple ways.

Q: That can really happen with Craigslist sellers.

A: That’s true. We’ve had a lot of great transactions with Craigslist sales, but in this case, I had given our guy a lot of warnings that we were going to go somewhere else if we didn’t hear anything back, so ultimately, I just let it go.

Q: That’s what we seem to hear in a lot of stories with the finance officers, the more private the sale gets, the more variables there are, because there aren’t a lot of standard practices of business with private sellers, so that’s something that seems to be a common thing we would advise with anyone looking for equipment, be prepared with private sellers to deal with all of the variables. It can be a great experience, or you could potentially run into some roadblocks.

A: And that’s something that, you know, I always tell my dealers whenever they say, “well do you guys work with private sellers, can I work with this guy from Craigslist” … Yes, we can, but there is going to be a lot of different things that could come up, so be prepared. Ultimately, we got to avoid the issues with funding and all of that stuff.

Q: Well, I’m glad to hear everything worked itself out in the end.

A: Yeah, most of the issues dissolved once we got to funding. We just needed a little patience.

Next week we will check in with another one of our finance officers. Stay up to date and learn more from our valuable resources at