Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Endeavor Business Media
Contracting Business/Kelly FAloon
Kelly L. Falloon
Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
65b1b5df2ac572001dfd0f72 2024 Ahr Expo Hvac Financing

2024 AHR Expo: Maximize the Benefits of HVAC Financing Strategies

Jan. 25, 2024
Every homeowner deserves financing options to pay for HVAC repairs or replacement, such as installment loans, even those with low credit scores.

What do you consider expert service? Is it good communication, quick response time, easy scheduling, a professional staff, going above and beyond for the customer, and quality equipment?

What about offering multiple payment options, such as cash, credit cards, or financing through an installment loan?

Kelsi Cooper, an inside sales manager at FTL Finance, and Andrew Lockman, an account executive at FTL, discussed customer financing on Jan. 24 with attendees at the 2024 AHR Expo in Chicago.

They noted that the average U.S. credit score (FICO) hasn't increased; in 2022, 20% of FICO scores decreased by at least 20%.

"It's alarming across all FICO ranges," Lockman said. 

While HVAC contractors may prefer customers with high credit scores, he noted they may be missing opportunities with those with lower scores. Those homeowners may not have enough money in their bank accounts or on their credit cards to pay for a needed repair or replacement – contractors can maximize financing by offering it to this "underserved market."

Cooper explained that financial institutions like FTL are considered prime lenders (lending to consumers with credit scores between 660 and 719) and near-prime lenders (lending to consumers with scores between 620 and 659).

Subprime lenders serve the underserved market (credit scores between 580 and 619). They also look at more than credit scores.

Customers who apply for these contractor financing programs and don't qualify for prime or near-prime loans will have their applications sent to a subprime lender (no additional application required.)

"Choose a lender with options to cover a range of credit scores," Lockman added.

They concluded that every homeowner deserves the option of a loan, even those with low credit scores. "It's not a scarlet letter," Cooper added.

About the Author

Kelly L. Faloon | Freelance Writer/Editor

Kelly L. Faloon is a contributing editor and writer to Contracting Business magazine, Contractor and HPAC Engineering. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, Faloon has more than 20 years experience in the plumbing and heating industry. She started a freelance writing and editing business in 2017, where she has a varied clientele.

Faloon spent 3 1/2 years at Supply House Times before joining the Plumbing & Mechanical staff in 2001. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years at CCH/Wolters Kluwer, a publishing firm specializing in business and tax law, where she wore many hats — proofreader, writer/editor for a daily tax publication, and Internal Revenue Code editor.

A native of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].