In the business of agriculture, producers depend on the sound use of credit to finance farm equipment, real estate, operating activities and more. That’s why a good relationship between borrower and lender is critical to long-term operational success.
“Like everything in agriculture, producers have lots of options on who they choose to do business with from the fertilizer they buy to the color of the equipment they purchase,” says Ryan Kruger, AgDirect territory manager in Idaho and Utah. “The same is true when it comes to financing ag equipment, and at AgDirect we strive to be a valued partner with our dealers and customers.”
While both borrowers and lenders have high expectations in the business relationship, not all farm equipment financing companies have the same capacity, financing tools or personalized service to meet your borrowing needs.
It’s important to work with a lender whose goals match your own in ensuring the long-term viability of your operation. Here are some important qualities and characteristics to consider for building a successful relationship with your equipment financing partner.
One of the first steps in cultivating a positive borrowing experience is finding an equipment financing partner who is invested in the long-term success of your operation. That means working with a lender who listens and works alongside you to understand your needs, strengths and goals for the future such as your trade-in cycle or risk tolerance.
“The personalized service we offer at AgDirect goes back to our Farm Credit System mentality to take care of our customers first,” says Kruger. “Agriculture is a relationship business, and we believe the best deals are made through human interaction.”
“When a customer calls AgDirect, they get to speak with a real person from our financing team rather than an automated prompt,” he adds. “We appreciate the business and loyalty of our customers. The relationship means more to us than just the transaction.”
Just as agriculture is a diverse business, so are the equipment financing needs of those who work in the industry. The right financing solutions for your operation may vary depending on your geographic region, farm structure, commodities or livestock grown and personal preferences.
“As an equipment financing program powered by Farm Credit, we know agriculture from top to bottom and have a long-term presence in the industry,” says Kruger. “Ag equipment financing is all we do and that’s why we like to think we’re the best at it. When customers buy equipment, they might be brand loyal – but when it comes to the financing, more and more producers are choosing AgDirect.”
Not only do you need an equipment financing partner who has the capacity to meet your current borrowing needs, but one who can evolve with you to accommodate future growth. A lender who understands the volatility of agriculture will support you and your operation during prosperous and challenging times.
Competitive rates and flexible financing solutions
The changing nature of agriculture calls for competitive rates and flexible financing solutions. It’s a good idea to work with an equipment financing partner who customizes your loan, lease or refinancing options, rather than one who offers a one-size-fits-all solution.
“When looking at rates and terms we work with each customer to help them make the right decision for their operation,” says Kruger. “For the hay producer, that might mean setting up delayed payments, or for the dairyman, a monthly payment schedule to align with cash flow.”
Remember while the deal with the lowest interest rate may be most attractive, it should be carefully considered in the context of the total credit package. You’ll also want to pay attention to the down payment required, term length, payment frequency options, prepayment penalties or other hidden fees.
Faster credit decisions
Your time is valuable with most of your energy focused on supporting your family and completing the day-to-day activities in your operation. That means when it comes to your ag equipment financing, you expect clear communication, an easy application process and timely credit decisions.
“In the old days, customers would have to meet with their lender to get approval, and then drive to the dealership to finalize their purchase. With AgDirect, customers can enter their application and know if they are approved right at the dealership,” Kruger explains.
“Speeding up the financing process is a benefit to both dealers and customers so that they can move quickly on deals, especially today where we’re not seeing as much iron available on dealer lots.”
Accessibility and ease of use
Along with a faster, more efficient financing process your ag equipment financing partner should be easily accessible and provide valuable resources to assist you with your decision-making.
“At AgDirect, we’ve followed up our equipment financing with digital tools, like our mobile app and online application, to make the process even easier and more accessible to customers no matter how they choose to do business with us,” says Kruger. “We understand not every producer likes to use technology this way, which is why we offer many different ways for them to work with us at their leisure.”
Today, customers can apply for AgDirect financing at their dealership, by applying online or through the mobile app.
“And both dealers and customers can use our online payment calculator to run different scenarios or quickly put together a quote,” Kruger shares. “We’re constantly evolving and changing with the industry to better serve our customers and business partners.”
Learn more about working with AgDirect as your equipment financing partner by contacting your nearest AgDirect territory manager or the AgDirect Finance team at 888-525-9805.