Western Equipment Finance Review
- Simplified application
- Fast credit decisions
- Fast time to funding
- Opaque borrower qualifications
- Opaque terms and fees
Western Equipment Finance is a subsidiary of Western State Bank that provides equipment financing nationwide. The company is based in North Dakota.
Western provides a solid range of equipment financing options for new and mature businesses. While the bank’s speed and flexibility will be attractive to many potential customers, its high credit qualifications and not-quite-transparent terms and fees may make this financing less-than-ideal for some.
Read on to find out more, or check out some equipment financing alternatives.
Table of Contents
Business Lending Products
Here are the borrower qualifications for Western Equipment Finance:
|Time in business:||Any, but new business may be asked to put money down and/or accept a shorter term|
Western serves the following industries:
- Funeral Services
- Information Technology
- Lawn & Tree Care
- Rental Equipment
- Solid Waste & Recycling
- Surface Mount Technology
Terms & Fees
Here are the terms and fees for Western Equipment Finance:
|Term length:||12 – 72 months|
|Contract types:||$1 buyout; 10% buy option; FMV; 10%; Purchase Upon Termination (PUT); equipment loan|
Western Equipment Finance doesn’t provide a whole lot of information upfront about its products, but the lender does provide some flexibility as far as the terms of your contract go.
Western offers equipment loans and a number of variations on the equipment lease, so most borrowers should find something here that works for them. As mentioned above, newer businesses may have additional restrictions placed on what terms and products they qualify for.
Equipment loans are a form of term loans but come with a few advantages and restrictions. Compared to working capital loans, however, equipment loans must be used to purchase specific assets. Those assets then serve as collateral for the loan. Traditionally, equipment loans cover around 80% of the cost of the equipment, which appears to be the case with Western. Once you’ve purchased the equipment, you’ll make monthly payments until the loan is paid off.
Equipment leases, while traditionally thought of as rental agreements, now cover a broad swath of loosely related financing agreements. As is the case with equipment loans, you’ll still make monthly payments, but there are a few differences. The first is that leases (usually) cover the full cost of equipment. The second is that at the end of your lease term, you’ll be left with a residual payment. Western breaks its leases down by buyout terms:
- $1 P.O.: Features higher monthly payments, but a mere $1 residual. Since you have effectively paid for the equipment and then some by this point, select this option only if you intend to keep your equipment long term.
- 10% P.O.: Similar to the $1 agreement, except with lower monthly payments and a higher residual (equal to 10 percent of the equipment’s value at time of purchase).
- FMV P.O.: A good option for equipment that becomes obsolete quickly, FMV leases give you the option of returning your equipment to Western at the end of your term. Alternately, you can buy it for fair market value (FMV). Note that Western does not consider its FMV leases to be operating leases, which have different bookkeeping ramifications than capital leases. That is, you will be considered the title holder for the duration of the lease.
You can begin your application online through Western’s website.
The online form is straightforward but fairly extensive–it’s a real application, not just a screening tool. You’ll enter information about your business, including your federal tax ID.
After that, you can select your preferred financing terms from a series of pulldown menus. Terms include:
- Cost (of the equipment)
- Contract type
- Term (length)
Then you’ll enter details about the equipment and contact information for the vendor. Then fill out a CAPTCHA, agree to the terms, and submit.
Western boasts 30-minute credit decisions and 24-hour funding, though this is, of course, contingent upon all the necessary documentation being in place. If you aren’t sure what kind of terms and agreement you want, I’d recommend contacting sales prior to filling out your application.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Western’s aughts-era website provides a small amount of information, but it’s scattered across a number of different pages. There’s also not much information about rates or qualifications.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Western Equipment Financing can be reached by phone between 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM CST. You can also email the company, submit a form through its website, or interact on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you prefer in-person contact, Western has locations in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota, and Washington.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Western Equipment Financing is accredited with the BBB and currently has an A+ rating with four complaints logged in the last three years. Google customer reviews are less flattering, with the company receiving 2.7 stars out of 5 (12 reviews). Some of the issues customers noted were:
- Billing Issues: Customers described various issues related to billing, including difficulty setting up automated payments and making
- Customer Service: While many customers were satisfied with the service they received, some found their reps difficult to reach.
- Unclear Terms: Western doesn’t divulge too many details upfront.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Customers who left positive reviews talked about:
- Customer Service: The issues above notwithstanding, Western’s customer service is also described as friendly and easy to work with.
- Nationwide: Western can finance equipment in all 50 states.
- Fast And Easy: Customers appreciated the quick funding decisions and fast time to funding.
Western Equipment Finance’s quick turnaround times, nationwide presence, and willingness to work with many industries and newer businesses make it a good option for those who qualify. With a minimum credit score of 700, however, qualifying may prove difficult for many businesses. Ideally, I’d also like to see more transparency from this company so that prospective borrowers could more easily compare their options.
Don’t qualify for equipment financing through Western? Check out our equipment lending comparisons.
Looking for a loan or line of credit and want an alternative to Western? See how this company compares to other bank lenders. Don’t qualify for a bank loan? You can still get funding through alternative sources.