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Written byShaun McGowan
Asset finance is a collection of business finance products that are used to finance various business assets. Assets can include all types of short- and long-term business equipment, machinery, and other assets, and can even include office fit-outs.
Asset finance is available from banks, specialist lenders, and by working with finance brokers. You can apply online with specialist lenders, and finance brokers can assist if you are unsure which lender or finance product is most suitable for your needs.
In summary, asset finance:
Shopping around for the right loan can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees.
Asset finance is a category of business loan products used to buy new assets, or replace and upgrade existing assets for a business. Asset loans are generally secured by the purchased asset, with terms relative to both the type of asset loan and the lifespan of the product.
In Australia, there are many types of asset finance products, offered by just as many individual lenders. While the rates, terms, and fees may vary between lenders, most asset finance loans work in a similar way. The maximum amount you can borrow is up to $2,000,000.
There are several options available for asset finance in Australia. When enquiring about asset finance, you can quickly match the needs of your business to the most appropriate form of asset finance from various lenders. Generally, asset finance will involve:
Considerations you will need to take into account when comparing asset finance options are:
Asset finance interest rates vary between lenders and begin from 4.00% to 9.90% depending on the strength of the application and the risk level presented by the borrower.
Asset finance may also include fees. This commonly includes an application fee, and some types of asset finance may also include ongoing monthly fees. If you plan to repay your loan amount early, be sure you won’t be liable for any early repayment or break fees, as this could negate any interest savings you might make on the early repayment.
Make sure you understand any fees before signing an agreement with a lender.
You can read our guide to compare the benefits of a chattel mortgage vs lease vs hire purchase.
Asset finance is popular with SMEs that have limited access to cash flow and would prefer to pay for assets over a set period. It can also be used for low-value assets — such as computers — which you plan to upgrade in a short time, or which will likely become obsolete.
Asset finance is commonly used if you:
Assets can include major investments, such as an office or warehouse, mid-range investments such as a company vehicle or manufacturing equipment, and minor assets, such as laptops, stock, furniture.
If you qualify for asset finance with a lender, you can finance almost any asset related to your business. This can include:
Traditionally, getting a personalised rate may require exhaustive research and contacting a number of lenders directly, or paying a broker to assist in the process. The base-rate advertisements displayed on many 'comparison' sites are only the prime-borrower rate, and offer no indication of your rate, or whether you can get approved.
Money.com.au aims to clear up the confusion around rates and approval, so we can provide the best consumer experience possible. We only show you real, personalised rates from lenders who can give you approval on the loan. No hidden fees, no inflated rates, no stress, and no impact on your credit score.
Just real rates, from real lenders, who you can apply with immediately to get real deals. (Yes, really!)
Type of business: Real Estate Agency
Loan amount: $35,000
Case: A retail agency has been operating for two and a half years and has gradually increased its sales potential and client book considerably in the previous six months.
The agency is now looking to take on new staff, but require additional company vehicles which can be branded with the agency’s logo and branding. Based on the projected sales figures for the next three months, the agency is confident it can hire a staff member and procure a vehicle to manage the increased sales activity.
The agency applies for finance and receives $35,000 to finance the purchase of the vehicle and additional marketing decals for the vehicle as well. The business makes steady repayments during the initial month of onboarding and training.
In the second month, the increased activity by the agency in both marketing itself and managing more properties allows for greater profits, which the agency uses to make additional repayments.
Instead of repaying the amount in full, the agency decides to refinance its initial loan for a further $35,000, repeating the process as the team grows again.
This time, the agency repays the loan amount in full during the third month of the loan term and decides to reassess its situation in the following year. The agency now has additional staff, additional vehicles, and a strong relationship with its lender.
Most banks will offer asset finance options to their customers. Otherwise, you could choose to work with a finance broker, who will help manage your application process.
If you’d like to see which lenders can offer you asset finance, you can use our smart form to compare offers from lenders in Australia.
Qualifying for asset finance is relatively simple. Most lenders will be able to provide plenty of options if you:
Although the process will be a little more involved, you can still get asset finance if you:
The fastest approval speed will be offered by specialist lenders. Often, you can apply online and receive approval and finance within 24 hours. These lenders also offer a streamlined method of applying; many will allow you to compare offers and apply using our simple, online smart form.
However you choose to apply, you will need to demonstrate the ability to service your finance amount, and meet individual lender criteria, such as:
You may also be asked to provide additional supporting documents, which may include:
Business loan brokers can be found all across Australia — if you need a business loan and would like professional assistance in comparing your options, you can find business finance brokers in all major Australian cities; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, and Canberra.
Money Tip: You can usually get quicker approval on asset finance loans from specialist asset finance lenders than you can with your bank.
In a business context, an asset is any possession you’d record on your balance sheet. It could be a valuable resource like a building, a vehicle or a piece of equipment or technology. Or it could be something that fluctuates, like the stock in your warehouse or the cash in your bank account.
Asset finance is often used for business purchases that have a reasonable lifespan and cost a considerable amount of money. Most often, this will include business vehicles, IT equipment, and machinery.
For secured asset finance, where the assets are used as collateral, the interest rate is generally between 5% and 8%. Unsecured asset finance will generally have higher rates.
Fees for asset finance vary between lenders. In most instances, there will be an establishment fee and sometimes ongoing monthly admin fees.
Yes. In most instances, you can repay your loan or clear your financial debt through extra payments. However, some lenders may specify that there will be penalties for doing so. If you intend to pay out your loan early, it’s best to work with a lender who is more accepting of early payouts.
If you are applying for asset finance, lenders will generally look at the creditworthiness and serviceability of your business, instead of your credit rating. You may be able to find lenders who will approve asset finance even if you have a less-than-perfect credit score.
Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.