Monthly Archives: September 2017

Commercial Truck Financing – How is the System Structured?

First there are the captive finance companies. Think of them as the financing arms of all the major manufactures. They exist solely to provide financing to the public in an effort to sell their trucks. In the past they have been somewhat liberal in their underwriting criteria and like the mortgage industry perhaps too liberal. This relaxed underwriting of the past has caused serious defaults today. This has resulted in a subsequent tightening of credit. The end result is the selling of less trucks and trailers; customers have a harder time getting financing. Nonetheless, the captive financing company will always be part of the commercial truck financing game.

Second are the independent financing companies. They are not tied to the manufactures in any way. They exist to make a profit from financing commercial trucks and other equipment. They can be a welcome alternatives for several reasons. First they can be someone to turn to if a good credit customer is “tapped out” with the captives. This means they have already financed trucks with the captive financing companies and they don’t want to do anymore for the customer (at least for now). These “A” credit sources are competitive on rate with the captives and, using different independent sources, a customer can finance an unlimited number of trucks. Independents are great for other reasons too. Say a customer wants a TRAC lease with different parameters than what the captives are offering. They can search for an independent that can tailor a TRAC lease for that customer. This is invaluable for the more sophisticated customer that has tax structure as their main objective. Here’s another one, we have customers calling us all the time that may only work nine months out of the year. They need financing that can offer skip payments. This way the customer can make nine payments a year instead of twelve; taking three months off of making their payments. One last one that hits home with us, the customer with bad credit. A captive financing company generally works only with people with good credit. For the customer with bad credit, their choices are limited. Thanks to independent financing companies (like ours) that specialize in customer with bad credit; these customers can get the financing they need to start or grow their business. Think of independent financing companies as offering financing products that can accommodate almost any need.

The third financing arm for commercial truck financing is the in-house financing program. Usually offered by the smaller vendor, in-house financing offers benefits for both dealer and customer. By offering financing in-house the dealer is able to move more inventory than if he didn’t. This is important because a smaller dealer doesn’t always have a captive finance program. And with credit tightening up the independent financing companies are becoming less important. The dealer can act like an independent financing company by offering all the same products while keeping the benefits of earning interest on the trucks they sell. The bad side, of course, is they also suffer in the case of defaults where the customer stops making payments. The benefits to the customer is they have a one stop shop where they can finance a truck at the same place they are purchasing it from. Downside is they are limited to their inventory.

Small Business Finance

Financing a small business can be most time consuming activity for a business owner. It can be the most important part of growing a business, but one must be careful not to allow it to consume the business. Finance is the relationship between cash, risk and value. Manage each well and you will have healthy finance mix for your business.

Develop a business plan and loan package that has a well developed strategic plan, which in turn relates to realistic and believable financials. Before you can finance a business, a project, an expansion or an acquisition, you must develop precisely what your finance needs are.

Finance your business from a position of strength. As a business owner you show your confidence in the business by investing up to ten percent of your finance needs from your own coffers. The remaining twenty to thirty percent of your cash needs can come from private investors or venture capital. Remember, sweat equity is expected, but it is not a replacement for cash.

Depending on the valuation of your business and the risk involved, the private equity component will want on average a thirty to forty percent equity stake in your company for three to five years. Giving up this equity position in your company, yet maintaining clear majority ownership, will give you leverage in the remaining sixty percent of your finance needs.

The remaining finance can come in the form of long term debt, short term working capital, equipment finance and inventory finance. By having a strong cash position in your company, a variety of lenders will be available to you. It is advisable to hire an experienced commercial loan broker to do the finance “shopping” for you and present you with a variety of options. It is important at this juncture that you obtain finance that fits your business needs and structures, instead of trying to force your structure into a financial instrument not ideally suited for your operations.

Having a strong cash position in your company, the additional debt financing will not put an undue strain on your cash flow. Sixty percent debt is a healthy. Debt finance can come in the form of unsecured finance, such as short-term debt, line of credit financing and long term debt. Unsecured debt is typically called cash flow finance and requires credit worthiness. Debt finance can also come in the form of secured or asset based finance, which can include accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, real estate, personal assets, letter of credit, and government guaranteed finance. A customized mix of unsecured and secured debt, designed specifically around your company’s financial needs, is the advantage of having a strong cash position.

The cash flow statement is an important financial in tracking the effects of certain types of finance. It is critical to have a firm handle on your monthly cash flow, along with the control and planning structure of a financial budget, to successfully plan and monitor your company’s finance.

Your finance plan is a result and part of your strategic planning process. You need to be careful in matching your cash needs with your cash goals. Using short term capital for long term growth and vice versa is a no-no. Violating the matching rule can bring about high risk levels in the interest rate, re-finance possibilities and operational independence. Some deviation from this age old rule is permissible. For instance, if you have a long term need for working capital, then a permanent capital need may be warranted. Another good finance strategy is having contingency capital on hand for freeing up your working capital needs and providing maximum flexibility. For example, you can use a line of credit to get into an opportunity that quickly arises and then arrange for cheaper, better suited, long term finance subsequently, planning all of this upfront with a lender.

Unfortunately finance is not typically addressed until a company is in crisis. Plan ahead with an effective business plan and loan package. Equity finance does not stress cash flow as debt can and gives lenders confidence to do business with your company. Good financial structuring reduces the costs of capital and the finance risks. Consider using a business consultant, finance professional or loan broker to help you with your finance plan.

What Sets This Finance Website Apart?

“What Obama Must Say Tonight,” “10 Tax Moves to Make in 2010,” and “Ailing Banks Favor Salaries Over Shareholders,” are all examples of the dozens of articles that could be found today at Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance is a finance website that offers lots of free information and tools all related to finance. There are many websites today that offers resources and tools related to personal finance and investing, so what does Yahoo! Finance have to offer?

*Free- Although there are some services available for a fee, accessing the Yahoo! Finance website is free and so is the use of many tools.

*Personalized Updates- If you choose to set up an account, you can get personalized updates when you log on about stocks or companies that you’re interested in.

*Up to Date- This is one of the best things that sets Yahoo! Finance apart. Market indexes and updates are updated frequently and the “news” is fresh.

*At a Glance- You can see Market index averages for the day including the DOW, NASDAQ, S&P 500 and more, as well as graphs showing the trend in these averages for the most recent working day.

What’s Up at Yahoo! Finance?

In addition to the Yahoo! Finance home page, you can find helpful pages on:

-Investing

-News and Opinion

-Personal Finance

-My Portfolios (if you choose to organize your financial information here)

– A Tech Ticker

On the Investing Pages at Yahoo! Finance:

Find out about “Today’s Markets,” including recent earnings statements, recent stock splits and more.

Mutual Funds, Stocks, ETFs, Options, Industries and Currencies are all explored furher. Find research, converters, calculators, articles and more.

You can also learn more about world stock index levels, world news and exchange rates are under “International.”

“Research and Education” offers a business term glossary, personal tutorials on finance and investing and more.

Of course Yahoo! Finance also offer “Community,” a section where you can chat, ask questions or join groups.

On the Personal Finance Pages at Yahoo! Finance:

Get your personal finances organized at “Banking and Budgeting.” Free trials of online bill pay are available. Frequent offers include free for 6 months and $4.95 thereafter.

More under Personal Finance…

*Insurance

*Taxes

*Loans

*Real estate

* Family and Income

*Retirement

On the News and Opinion Pages at Yahoo! Finance:

Look for articles on…

*Industry news

*New technology

*Top picks by experts

Creating a Yahoo! Finance Account:

Creating an account at Yahoo! Finance is easy and free. Once you’ve created an account, you can personalize your logon so that the information that is important to you will be displayed including stock prices and relevant news pertaining to companies you are interested in.

The Perks of Yahoo! Finance:

Yahoo! Finance visitors and members enjoy that there’s so much financial information in one place and that the articles and financial charts on Yahoo! Finance are kept up to date. They also like that so many of the services available are free. Visitors also applaud Yahoo! for having limited ads.

Popular Tools at Yahoo! Finance:

There are rate charts and calculators for Mortgage, Home Equity, Savings, Auto Loans and Credit Cards for fixed loans and ARMs. You can see rates across the country as well view rates in your area.

What’s not to love about Yahoo! Finance?

While many users like the non-nonsense format at Yahoo! Finance, others find the finance web sites look to be drab, boring and unexciting with little more than two colors, black and blue, a limited photos.

Still, Yahoo! Finance is recommended as a finance website that has a lot of helpful tools and resources that are well organized, up to date and more than not, free.

How to Choose a Car Finance Broker

Financing a car is a very important process and today with the availability of numerous car finance brokers it has become an easy option to get secure car loans. Today these car finance brokers are also playing a vital role in assisting car buyers. In fact, consulting and taking help of car broker can definitely be most appropriate option if you don’t have any clue about what to look at according to your budget. A finance broker is the most experienced personnel and clued-up on how to approach the financiers in a way that can persuade them to approve the loan. They usually have good relations and reputation with the lenders as being reliable, and so they know which lenders are likely to be open to a client.

In general, they act as the key source and offer services such as finding a used or brand new car model that the customer wants and within a budget range. At times, these car brokers even assist car buyers in negotiating with a used car seller. However, these days there are many car finance services and making a proper selection is turning out to be a very complicated process. You need to understand that not all car finance services are fair. Therefore, if you are looking to finance a car or choose a car financing service then here are a few important points that you should keep in mind while making a selection:

Standards

You must confirm whether your car finance consultant or broker is a member of FBAA or COSL or both of these industry associations. While Finance Brokers’ Association of Australia Ltd. (FBAA) is one of Australia’s leading membership bodies for finance broking professionals, the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) is an independent organisation that is mainly indulged in handling complaints about finance brokers. You can easily confirm finance consultant’s membership by searching through their member list. Adding to this, WA Finance Broker License is yet another additional requirement for finance brokers serving in Western Australia. Nevertheless, if you are looking for finance broker and residing in the state of WA or other states of Australia, it is essential that the broker must hold a WA Finance Broker License. A broker holding WA Finance Broker License entails passing a comprehensive range of checks, educational requirements and operational requirements.

Accreditation

While selecting a car finance broker also ensure you know about their range of lender accreditations. The range of accreditations held by a broker governs the range of options they can offer. You must note that a broker’s accreditation can not just change the range of finance options available to you, but it may even affect the quality of those options.

Experienced Staff

You must choose car finance service that recruits and retains professional and knowledgeable staff. The broker must be an experienced professional who can demonstrate and explain about why a particular product is highly recommended or even suites your specific circumstance. If possible make sure you even ask for testimonials from previous clients that in turn may help you in the confirmation of their experience.

Services Offered

As mentioned earlier, today there are many finance services available in the market. Therefore, you must find out more about any extra service that a broker can provide. You should expect your finance consultant to supply detailed information about timeframes, and any fees or extra charges related with your finance. The key point is if a broker is being able to clarify the comparison rate of your recommended vehicle finance and the overall cost of your finance package then it is quality sign of a good finance broker.

These are some important points that can help you in choosing your car finance services easily. Today a lot of responsibility goes along with buying a car and taking financial help through car broker. Just taking care of few essential steps can help you select your car broker and further purchase a nice new or used car.