Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Endeavor Business Media
Contracting Business/Kelly FAloon
Kelly L. Falloon
Kelly Faloon/Contracting Business magazine
Keri Kalshultz, sales manager at FTL Finance, told 2022 AHR attendees that most homeowners prefer to use some type of buy now, pay later plan for HVAC repairs and replacement.

AHR 2022: Understanding How Consumers Use Credit

Feb. 3, 2022
Today, most people do not have money saved for an emergency.

In 1950, Diner’s Club established the first credit card that could be used in multiple establishments. Since then, Americans have had a love-hate relationship with credit. For some it’s a lifeline, for others it’s an emergency/big-ticket item use only; the remainder fall into the middle.

Today, most people do not have money saved for an emergency, noted Keri Kalshultz, sales manager at FTL Finance. She told 2022 AHR attendees Feb. 1 that people with cash-flow problems prefer to use some type of buy now, pay later (BNPL) plan.

“All demographics like this,” she said. “They’re easy to finance and usually have no or low interest.”

Personal loans are the fastest-growing debt category, she added.

When homeowners are faced with a large bill for replacing HVAC equipment, they may not have the cash to pay for it. Offering financing options may be the only way to make that sale.

Kalshultz identified six options available for BNPL:

  1. Installment loan
  2. Equal payments loan (set number of equal payments)
  3. Deferred interest (no interest for a promotional period)
  4. Same as cash (no monthly payments during loan term)
  5. Lease program (lessor retains ownership and is responsible for maintenance)
  6. Rent-to-own (monthly payment for a specified time period with an option to buy)

Lease programs are the newest trend, she noted, with rent-to-own making a comeback, especially among younger homeowners.

To keep the customer, contractors should have one monthly payment program and one deferred interest program in their financing arsenal.

While many contractors do offer financing options, many customers don’t know that. Kalshultz suggested having that information prominently displayed on websites, service trucks (decals or other signage), and on estimate/quote documentation.