Currency (Equipment Financing) Review
Need help finding a lender?
- Date Established
- Los Angeles, CA
- Low credit score requirements
- Multiple types of financing available
- High borrowing amounts
- Long-term financing options available
- No prepayment penalties
- Funds can take a while to disburse
- Website advertising is not informative
- Customer service is inconsistent
Currency, formerly Currency Capital, is a Los Angeles-based alternative financing company that offers a platform to connect customers with third-party equipment loans and leases. The company also provides payment services through its CurrencyPay product.
Currency’s exchange is ambitious and forward-thinking, as is its implementation, though it doesn’t manage to address all of the industry issues it sets out to disrupt. The funding process can still drag out, and many businesses will still be turned away for poor credit. However, Currency does manage to offer an impressive amount of equipment capital to new businesses.
Table of Contents
Currency provides the following types of financing:
- Equipment Financing: Equipment financing encompasses loans and leases used to purchase or rent equipment.
- Medium-Term Loans: Term loans provide a lump sum to the borrower, which is then paid back over time, plus interest.
To qualify for equipment financing through Currency’s platform, you must have no recent bankruptcies. While individual lenders on the platform will have different qualifications, Currency’s first-party screening process requires that your business meets the following minimum requirements to have a good chance of qualifying for a loan or lease on its platform:
|Time In Business:||6 months|
|Business Revenue:||$75,000 per year|
|Personal Credit Score:||585|
Rates & Fees
Here is a snapshot of what Currency’s platform offers businesses seeking equipment financing:
|Borrowing Amount:||Up to $500,000|
|Term Length:||Up to 72 months|
|Down Payment:||Varies by lender|
|Additional Costs:||Varies by lender and risk; origination fees range between 0%-5% of the loan or lease amount|
|Buyout Agreement:||Varies by lender|
|Effective APR:||Learn more|
As mentioned above, Currency primarily serves as a digital equipment financing exchange that connects clients to lenders who have partnered with the company. The division that handles lending is called CurrencyFinance. (The company also has a payment processing division called CurrencyPay and a division focusing on aircraft financing called CurrencyAir).
Currency’s partners deal in both loans and leases, so you should be able to find an equipment financing solution that suits your needs. Equipment loans function similarly to most other loans except that the equipment itself serves, in part or whole, as collateral. Leases, on the other hand, serve as rental or conditional sales agreements and come in a wide variety of forms with different accounting advantages and disadvantages. Consider the type of equipment you’re financing and whether it’s likely to retain its value over the long run.
Currency can also help you get a working capital term loan if you need money for something other than equipment.
Note that your options may vary depending on which lenders are willing to extend you credit.
Currency’s biggest innovations come in the form of its streamlined application process and the design of its equipment financing exchange. While alternative lenders have used a similar approach to working capital loans and advances, equipment financing has largely stuck to more traditional processes. Interestingly, it’s not necessarily the fastest game in town. Funding decisions can be made in a matter of hours, though many users describe the process as taking a week or two.
You can begin the process by calling or emailing Currency or by going through a link provided by one of its partners.
The company’s chief innovation, however, comes in the form of the Currency API. This platform matches your credit profile and funding needs with dozens of lenders and can initiate a loan process for a particular piece of equipment with a simple button click (similar to Amazon’s 1-click ordering).
You’ll still need the following supporting documentation:
- Three months of business bank statements
- Three years of income tax returns (if you’ve been in business that long)
- Financial statements
- Current loan documents or lease agreements
- Personal financial information (if your business is small or hasn’t been around long)
- Ownership information
- Business licenses (if applicable)
- A business plan explaining what you are doing with the capital requested
Be aware that Currency will do a soft pull on your personal credit.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Currency’s website conveys little useful information and instead acts more like a vague advertisement for the company’s services. If you dig around the site, you can find a few tidbits of information, but it’s scarce overall.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Currency’s customer base generally describes the company as easy to work with, responsive, and having helpful employees. Some customers have reported frustrations with the API. However, these frustrations had more to do with the fact that the process was more complicated than they thought it would be and not because of technological issues.
As is the case for many online lenders, Currency’s user reviews tend to be very polarized between customers who had excellent experiences and customers with complaints.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Currency maintains an A+ rating with the BBB. There have been 24 complaints registered within the last three years, with seven closed in the previous 12 months. The reviews are split pretty evenly between positive and negative. Complaints include:
- Time To Funding: Many customers were surprised to find the funding process dragging on for weeks.
- Unclear Terms: Some customers were billed at a higher rate than anticipated. More often than not, this problem seems related to fluctuations in the price of the desired equipment rather than a bait and switch.
- Product Confusion: Customers have complained about receiving lease offers when they thought they were applying for a loan.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Currency rates well on Consumer Affairs with a 4.6/5 aggregate user rating, with reviews citing:
- Customer Service: Customers were generally satisfied with the care they received.
- Convenience: Currency’s platform strives to disrupt the old, arcane systems of equipment financing. Its novel approach appears to be appreciated.
- High Lending Amounts: For an alternative lender that primarily serves small and medium-sized businesses, Currency has access to pretty deep pools of capital.
Currency seeks to stand out from its competition by bringing a modern, techy approach to a very traditional industry. For the most part, it succeeds in streamlining some intimidating and arcane processes, though at the end of the day, we’re still talking credit checks, bank records, and pages of fine print.
Younger companies that don’t have an established relationship with an equipment financer should consider giving Currency a try, provided they manage to clear the minimum credit rating. The exchange rates are pretty decent, and the large battery of lenders can increase your chances of getting the money you seek.
If you’re looking for a more traditional approach to equipment financing, check out some of our favorite financers.