Producers have many options when it comes to trading or replacing farm equipment. The same is true when choosing the right equipment financing partner.
Equipment financing companies are distinguished by the way in which they are structured. For example, while major equipment manufacturers are known for financing the popular brands found in their product lines, independent financing companies are free to focus on any number of product sectors and can finance a wide range of equipment brands.
Both types of financing companies play a critical role in helping producers afford the equipment they need. The differences between them become most important when determining which can provide you with the best options at the time of your next purchase.
Rates and relationships
Today, many machinery purchases and financing transactions take place simultaneously at the dealership. According to Mike Linton, general manager at Heritage Agriculture of Arkansas in Carlisle, AR, customers comparing their financing options often want to know interest rates, how long they can extend their terms and whether they can refinance the unit down the road.
“The major equipment manufacturers can offer low rates, sometimes down to 0%, but the independent financing companies create a healthy dose of competition and can offer more flexibility when structuring deals,” says Linton.
“The difference makers are the financing companies who focus on relationships and developing trust,” he explains. “Relationships are always more important than the color of the equipment.”
For Jill Beck, an AgDirect territory manager in Arkansas, the customer experience is continually top of mind when she’s working with dealers and customers to find financing solutions.
“Rate is rate, but if a deal goes bad, both dealers and their customers will remember that,” she says. “That’s why at AgDirect we strive to deliver excellent customer service from beginning to end and structure deals that put everyone involved in the transaction in a good position.”
Meeting customers’ needs
One of the biggest differences of working with an independent financing company, like AgDirect, is they are not limited by restrictions or policies placed on them by manufacturers. This allows independents to innovate and tailor financing to meet a customer’s specific needs.
In addition to competitive rates, flexible terms and friendly service, Beck says there are several other advantages to choosing AgDirect equipment financing.
• Down payment options as low as $0 down for qualified customers on certain types of assets.
• Flexible payment structures that align with a customer’s cash flow.
• Cash discounts offered by the manufacturer with an AgDirect rate.
• Simple refinancing process for lowering rates on existing debt with a manufacturer or other equipment lender.
• Attractive lease and loan agreements with no recourse to dealers.
• Easy application process and digital tools that help customers get the financing they need faster.
“At the end of the day, we’re willing to work with customers to help them make the right decisions for their operation,” says Beck. “And, as part of the Farm Credit system, customers can count on a lender that has been serving agriculture just as long or longer than some of the major equipment manufacturers.”
The right equipment financing partner can help you remain competitive and profitable. Ask your dealer about AgDirect or learn more about AgDirect equipment financing options by locating your nearest AgDirect territory manager or contacting the AgDirect financing team at 888-525-9805.