Equipment Financing Approvals – You are a Canadian business owner or financial manager who requires lease financing for asset acquisitions. Although a majority of leasing firms are located in the Toronto area lease financing is of course available across Canada. We encourage clients to seek out and develop a business relationship with a trusted and credible lease financing advisor.
So what is important in getting a lease approval? Unfortunately most clients tend to focus on only one thing – the interest rate. The actual accounting reality around lease financing is that the interest rate is not even a rate per se as you are utilizing the equipment but not necessarily owning it. Anyway that point alone is a discussion for another day.
Naturally the financing rate attached to the lease is important, but face reality – your rate is always going to be commensurate with your overall credit quality – if your firm has excellent financials, is profitable, has good cash flow, is growing and is in a good industry sector we can assure you that you will always have a competitive rate within a ¼ point or so.
The lease credit decision actually plays a large part of the entire lease financing approval cycle. Factors that determine your overall final approval are as follows:
– Overall credit quality of your firm – ( key factors include your balance sheet, are you profitable, years in business, and amount of financing requested
– Type of asset you are financing
– Dollar size of transaction
– Special structuring requests
Traditional lease financing focuses on your ability to demonstrate you can make the payments – no surprise there of course. But how does your lease firm make that decision. Fortunately or unfortunately it’s a very mechanical decision – it’s a case of taking your cash flow from your financials – i.e. net income and depreciation combined together, and determining if that cash flow supports on an annual basis the next 12 months of payments .So there, we have just shown you how you can influence and present your cash flow repayment ability.
In many cases, certainly in the current more challenging business environment your financials might not be in a position to meet these cash flow calculations. That is where extra skill on your behalf (but more probably and properly achieved with a leasing advisor) is required to present what I have called ‘the weight of evidence ‘that you can make those payments and are worthy of an approval. Additional factors might include some potential restructuring of the lease term – i.e. a shorter term, or accelerate payments . Although many firms stress leasing as 100% financing the reality is that for the transaction to work for yourself and the lessor you should be expected to offer up a 10- 15% (sometimes more) down payment.
Typical other factors to be taken into consideration are your payment experience reports at a Commercial Credit bureau or Dun and Bradstreet, and miscellaneous factors such as years in business, cyclicality of your industry etc. In some cases offering up some additional equipment that isn’t financed as collateral will get you to the goal line.
In summary, lease financing approvals in Canada is a bit of both an art and a science .A proper presentation of your ‘weight of evidence ‘around your ability to pay should ensure you receive a satisfactory rate, term, and structure. And remember, it’s not always about the rate – pick a solid lease partner and work towards a long term relationship which will pay off ten fold over time relative to your lease financing needs.