Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fire Truck Leasing Horror Stories: #2

More and more fire departments are choosing to finance their new fire apparatus.

And there are some hidden traps if you don't know what to ask.

 

Horror story #2

Last week, the horror story was tactical - not knowing how to compare financing offers.  This week, the horror story is more strategic - the lack of a overall financial plan.

Almost every day, I talk to a caller and ask the question:  "What is your financial plan for this purchase?"  And the response is usually about the truck, how much pumping capacity, how many seats, why the new truck will be better than the truck it's replacing.

Now, those factors are very important for the purchase but they demonstrate a frequent problem   -  A lack of a overall financial plan.  That means knowing how you plan on budgeting and paying for the purchase. But it also includes how the financial decisions you make today will affect the future financial condition of your fire department.

So, here's some questions to ask yourself as you consider buying a new apparatus:

  1. What is the most important financial concern? - For example, paying the least borrowing cost, fitting the payment into your budget, etc.  For more, click here for the full list.
  2. When do you need to buy the next truck?
  3. What other major financial events may happen during the period we are paying for the new truck? - For example, add or pay staff, or other major purchases such as gear or stations.
  4. What will this purchase do to our financial condition? - For example, eliminate all our savings, or stretch our budget.

Summary

It's simple,  If you don't have a plan, you can easily get trapped in a horror story. You'll make decisions without knowing why they should or should not be made and how they fit into your bigger picture.

Stay safe!
John R. Hill
President
First Bankers

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fire Truck Leasing Horror Stories: #1

More and more fire departments are choosing to finance their new fire apparatus.

And there are some hidden traps if you don't know what to ask.

Horror story #1

Name any product you buy that you don't ask how much it costs. I would bet you can't name any.

Yet most callers never ask me what it costs to finance their truck.  Sure, they ask the interest rate but they never ask how many dollars will they pay to finance their truck.  In other words, what is the price for financing.

Here's the tip:  Interest rate is part of the cost but is not all of the cost.  So, comparing interest rates only will cause you to overpay.

 

Interest rates can be legally calculated differently, don't include such things as other fees and charges, and time (how long you finance) and money (how much you borrow) has much more impact on what you actually pay for financing than the interest rate.


Summary

Don't get pulled into the horror story of just thinking interest rate alone is how much you pay.  It's only one part of your total borrowing cost.

Want some help?  Download the free Fire Truck Financing Kit today to learn what to ask. Click here to get your free kit.

Stay safe!
John R. Hill
President
First Bankers

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Fire Truck Financing: The Final Wrap-Up

Fire truck financing is more complex than car or house financing

Over the past few weeks, I've shared what you need to know.

What you should know

Financing a fire apparatus is a unique experience.  Most people just don't do it enough to know how to do it well.  They bring their experience from financing a car or house to the fire truck world.  And it just doesn't fit.

With cars or houses, you don't get many choices.  You are told how much you can borrow, for how long, at what rate, and here's the fees dropped on you at the last minute.

Financing a fire truck has many options.  You can choose from many different scenarios. Interest rate is important but not the only factor that can help you save (or cause you to overpay) costs of financing.

I've shared the terms, the decisions, the frequently asked questions, and the should ask questions to help you become a more knowledgeable borrower.  You don't want to make mistakes!

Summary

There's a lot to know if you want to do a good job when financing your new fire apparatus.


Stay safe!
John R. Hill
President
First Bankers

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Another year and thank you

I've had the privilege of helping and connecting with the many fine men and women of the public safety service over the past year. I am always amazed at the selfless quality of you all and thank you for your service.

I'm grateful for the comments you've shared over the past year and look forward to helping you more in 2018.

Happy new year!

Stay safe!
John R. Hill
President
First Bankers