We always like staying on top of the latest news for the industries we work with, so we were happy to receive the August issue of Pumper magazine (the Midwest edition) which focuses on the liquid waste industry and the various equipment types the industry employs – you can find their website here. There are so many exciting developments and opportunities on the horizon that we know will play huge roles in your business. Growing trends like alternative-fuel work trucks can save you money over time by way of reducing the gasoline consumption of your fleet (page 50 “Clean Fleet Partnership Saves Fuel Costs” – here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each fleet energy type).

Technology is also playing a bigger role, as the wastewater industry continues to adapt to changing environmental regulations using new equipment types, and implementing automation to both residential and commercial systems (page 68 “The Future is Tied to Technology and Automation” – check out The Advantages of Automating Wastewater Treatment here).

Of course, the other foundational parts of a waste management fleet need to be in good condition to keep business running as the industry continues to progress. New pump trucks are getting developed all the time. Here are a few vendors that should give you a well-rounded picture of what’s out there:


So, if you’re looking to acquire new equipment, that’s great! Just make sure to plan accordingly. If you pay with cash, that could leave you without capital for other business needs. Sometimes, your best option is to finance your equipment, to allow for manageable monthly payments that keep your cash flow free. With equipment financing, you can make upgrading your equipment easier than ever, but you need to find someone who knows what they’re doing… and we’re here to help you know what to look for in a good funding source.

Your local bank is usually a good choice, however, given that they may not be familiar with liquid waste equipment, this may not be the path of least resistance. So ~ as you begin your search (under most normal circumstances) you should do the following things to determine if you are working with a quality equipment leasing / financing professional – see below:

Upfront Monies: If they ask for money upfront ~ you’re up the wrong money tree! Once you are APPROVED & receive documentation, then & only then should you send the lender any needed down payment or advance payment along with your signing of a credit-approved final contract.

Furthermore, check for the following ~

Reputation: That the commercial lender has a great reputation. But, how do you know? Easy enough ~ Google the company name and the city and state. You are just looking for complaints. Be careful if you see many (more than a couple) of these! If so, choose another.

Longevity: Has this company been around for 10 or 20 years or more? A seasoned organization, with no complaints is often a great way to go.

The Contract: Review the contract and verify that these are the final terms & that you are indeed credit approved. Verify too that they are ready to fund once you send in the final contract. If this is not the case … you’re better off with someone else.

Once you find a credible lender it is time for underwriting.

Get a financing or equipment leasing quote and complete a credit application.

Many well-established lenders offer an online application ~ like this:

Online Application: Click Here

Terms and Payments for liquid waste equipment can vary based on the amount of money involved and your overall credit profile.

Also ~ whether the equipment is new or used can sometimes impact the terms available for borrowers.

Many National Commercial Lenders offer A, B and C Options and thus the differences. Financing terms are typically from 2 – 5 years. Here are some factors that aid them in underwriting a company’s credit application:

Time in business: The newer the company the greater the monthly payment.

Personal Credit Score: The lower the credit score the greater the monthly payment ~ all things being equal.

Many other factors help a lender to analyze the risk associated with a professional applicant.

Usually the 5 C’s of Credit come into play when a lender analyzes an applicant.

Character / Credit: Personal and business credit scores and the like help the lender understand this C as it relates to an applicant.

Capacity: Show me the money! Capacity to pay is all about cash flow. Many liquid waste equipment lenders ask for a copy of 3 recent bank statements. These are easy to obtain & forward thanks to online banking. This shows how much you are making & spending in each of the months presented.

Collateral: What is the equipment worth now and what will it be worth in the future. This helps to show a creditor the value of the collateral.

Conditions: What are the conditions of the industry and the economy as a whole?

Capital: How much money or wealth do you have in your company?

Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be! We have over 30 years of experience at SLS Financial Services helping people just like you finance new and used equipment so that you can focus on growing your business. If you’re ready to add the benefits of new equipment to your ever-growing business, we’re ready to help you make the process… Uncomplicated! We aren’t your typical commercial lender. We look at the person behind the application. If you have any questions about our process feel free to reach out to us at 816-587-3400 or you can find a link to our application below.

Today, credit scoring systems can make credit decisions almost instantly. However, business is still about people. More than ever, business-owners seek a commercial lending partner to learn about their unique needs and be solution-providers.

Speed and technology are important, but do they come at the expense of leaving people, their story, and opportunities behind?

At SLS, we’ve never lost focus on the business-owner behind the application. A big part of our success is based on customer satisfaction ~ plain & simple, because we believe in leveraging technology and combining it with our expertise for only one purpose…to help people.

Call Doug for more information ~ 816.863.3070

President of SLS Financial, an accountant, former Board Member of one of the safest banks in America, and owner of multiple businesses.

For more than 30 years he has assisted buyers and sellers of equipment with competitive finance and commercial lending programs.

Contact Doug:

Doug Fuller



Have you ever thought …

  • The financing process is too hard.
  • It’s a game where I feel like my lender is an adversary.
  • Financing takes too long and makes me feel like I’m on trial.

These are just some of the comments that emerged from recent third party research about financing for small businesses.

And if you have ever felt like this…just know there is a better way.

Here’s how it should work:

People matter most.
A commercial lending relationship has to go beyond a one-page application, an interest rate and a payment. While speed and simplicity are important, a lender without the qualitative understanding of your business, specific project understanding, where you’ve been and where you’re headed will likely leave you with unreliable experiences sooner or later. A lender that invests in you, just as much as they do “the transaction” is interested in a relationship. They understand that this is not the only need you will ever have and if they take the time to really understand your business, offering competitive solutions in a simple straightforward process, they’ll keep you coming back.

What we say…we should do.
Poor expectation setting leads to long maybe’s, what if’s, complicated processes and eventually disappointment. These actions, unfortunately, deliver too many negative experiences for too many small businesses. But a real professional relationship is built on trust. And that starts with doing what you say you are going to do. Trust must be earned. A lender should return calls promptly. They should correctly set expectations on timing, documentation required and deliver within the parameters of those expectations—every time.

Knowing Business and the ‘Process’.
If you have ever tried to finance a specific collateral or asset class with a lender that clearly doesn’t know anything about your business, you understand the importance of this statement. Knowledge of your business can lead to better terms of financing along with easier approval and funding processes.

Some lenders only offer one finance option. You either fit their “box” or you don’t. If there is one thing we can all agree on, is that fitting all or many businesses into a single “box” is an unreasonable expectation. Because of this, financing with a company with few options can feel inconsistent, unreliable and produce generally poor customer experiences. Their single option simply can’t be flexible enough to adapt to the dynamic issues affecting your company. A great long term commercial lending relationship should be able to grow with you or be there for you when business situations become more challenging. More financing options power more flexibility and the best lending partners can offer this.

At SLS, we’ve helped small businesses succeed uncomplicated finance programs for more than 30 years. While our finance programs are competitive and flexible, what sets us apart is our people. We may have Wall Street caliber financial resources…we’re Main Street kind of people. And maybe that’s why so many small businesses and dealers trust us time and time again.

If you want to know how to establish or grow a finance program for your company…let’s talk.

Doug Fuller



The offices of SLS Financial Services (Kansas City, Sioux Falls, Pratt, Seattle, Houston, Minnesota) will be closed on Monday, September 4th to honor Labor Day. We hope you and yours have a safe and fun holiday! We will be back on September 5th to help you with your equipment lending needs.

In the meantime…

Did you know that Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday in 1887? It didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1894! Learn a little bit more about the unofficial end of summer, and let us help you get ready for the last quarter of the year:

Talk to you on Tuesday!


Breaking down the credit mystery: Character

Every day, our staff spends time educating business owners on the impact of their credit on finance needs. In this heavily financed world, there is still a great deal of mystery to most small businesses around how financial institutions evaluate them. So let’s unpack the core components of credit decisions (called the five “C’s” of credit) in a series of short articles that remove the mystery and arm you with the information to succeed with financing. Today we’re looking at “Character”:

Pay History

Affordable monthly payments are the central cog in the operation of generally any finance agreement. For most of us, we have had quite a few of these arrangements over the years. Making these payments in a timely way is an extremely important component of evaluating risk. Statistically speaking, most people that have had slow or no pay histories … repeat that history, therefore increasing the risk to the lender. Make your payments on time or, if you do go through challenging times, demonstrate those situations to be temporary.

Personal Credit

As a small business owner, there is less separation between business and personal credit history at times.

Tax history

Tax Liens are just bad news. Don’t take chances with your tax obligations and never assume you can do it all by yourself. The tax landscape is remarkably complex on small business owners and while we see many able to handle annual and quarterly reporting on their own, payroll tax and other responsibilities sneak up and cause harm if not managed well. More often than not, we recommend finding a tax professional to address this need. It will cost real money … but it will be worth it. A tax lien will be destructive to your financing efforts.

Bank and Trade References

Do you have credit terms with a dealer for equipment rental? Does your bank show that you manage daily cash operations with consistent balances and without NSF? Finance companies and banks look to people that work with you on credit terms and/or cash management to help build their confidence in you and manage the risk of the investment in your company. Take these relationships seriously; lenders are watching.

Depending on the type of financing, there are other components that may influence the evaluation of “character,” but always remember … if you do what you say you are going to do with your financial partners, rarely will you ever have issues with this component of the credit process. More importantly, isn’t this how you would want people to deal with you?


Here are more articles in the “5 C’s of Credit” series:


At SLS, we’ve helped small businesses succeed with our uncomplicated finance programs for more than 30 years. While our finance programs are competitive and flexible, what sets us apart is our people. We may have Wall Street caliber financial resources … but we’re Main Street kind of people. And maybe that’s why so many small businesses and dealers trust us time and time again.

If you want to know how to establish or grow a finance program for your company … let’s talk.

Doug Fuller



What’s your rate?  Great question ~ and let’s face it, yields for non-traditional borrowers are indeed higher – and justifiable so. But don’t let a higher cost of capital deter your desire to make big things happen in your industry.

The equipment or capital is what matters most.   Most businesses count on new equipment and capital to increase revenues, win more business, generally grow, and improve their financial position. The financial benefits of using the capital / equipment to earn revenue overwhelm the “real dollar” payment difference in an interest rate.

Real value. Once understood, the impact the equipment has on the company helps to highlight that many reasonable financial options assist in obtaining the equipment needed today, while putting you on the road for more competitive financing in the future. Leases and Commercial Loan solutions get behind the numbers and focuses on the story in order to make things work today. It also helps borrowers build a good credit relationship, build their credit tactically with their timely payments, and offers guidance as to sound business decisions that improve their position the next time a finance need arises.

The right funding partner.  This partner should have a process that makes the its customers feel comfortable … and important. Your partner should be a trusted resource to get the deal done now, and even more as credit improves ~ with rates that improve.

Cement a relationship.   We hope that the loyalty derived from helping in challenging times can create a long term relationship. This is always our goal! As circumstances improve, you can be positioned for more competitive financing.

At SLS, we’ve helped companies succeed with uncomplicated finance programs for decades. While our programs are competitive and flexible, our people really make the difference. We may have Wall Street caliber financial resources … but we’re Main Street kind of people. And maybe that’s why so many businesses trust us time and time again.


If you want to know how to establish or grow a comprehensive business lending program for your company … let’s talk.

Doug Fuller



Here is what we know!

Updating excavation equipment is favorable when wishing to increase the efficiency and quality of your fleet. 

From a lending perspective, earthworks equipment represents an outstanding collateral value because of their long life and strong resale value.

Summary: Underwriting for excavation equipment and earth work equipment should be relatively easy to finance with good credit.

Let’s unpack the different lending options, structures, and rates, available for various credit composites when adding to a fleet.

About Your Author; Doug Fuller | 816.423.8021 |

President of SLS Financial, an accountant, former Board Member of one of the safest banks in America, and owner of multiple businesses.   

For more than 30 years he has assisted buyers and sellers of equipment with competitive finance and commercial lending programs.

Preferred Financial Services Programs

Your Bank may provide financing for excavation equipment (however, not usually lease financing). A bank may also (but not always) require a larger down payment, albeit sometimes with lower interest rates, than Commercial Equipment Lenders.

Wells Fargo has a robust equipment financing division ~ we know because they, in part, underwrite us (SLS) and we offer their programs along with our own.

Next, Dealers often will provide financing options from lenders that have been vetted by them. These are usually reliable options.

Other commercial lenders ~ However, I do not recommend choosing a random online lender as often – you simply don’t know what you don’t know. 

At the end of the day … you may wish to contact us ( SLS Financial Services for lending, guidance, and direction.  

For research into what pieces of equipment are the right choices to update, or add to your fleet, check out:

Financing Structures for Excavation Equipment

First ~ Let’s start with the typical and popular structures!

A 60-month term is very common and may be structured as a lease with a 20% TRAC Lease (simple language definition: a lease with a 20% of original cost end of term commitment) or a 60-month loan with a 20% balloon. The math (payment) on both is usually similar although the impact of depreciation might adjust the lease payment.

Lease and Loan terms can be as long as 84 months in some cases. 

Most commercial lenders provide terms from 24 – 60 months for both Leases and Loans.

Leases may be found in the following forms:

            Finance Lease – examples of which are a $1.00 purchase option (or some other bargain purchase option) and are treated as a loan for federal income tax and accounting purposes.

            True Leases – do not contain a bargain purchase option ~ yet may still contain a purchase option. 

            TRAC Lease – Terminal Residual Adjustment Clause. An IRS provision for some titled vehicles that allow for the expensing of payments when properly structured.

Is a loan or lease preferable? The answer is usually easy to conclude if we have the proper company financial variables. Financial information, like taxable income, liquidity, and the total of other equipment acquisitions in the year of acquisition are each an important part of the analysis. 

IRS Code Section 179 is a very important consideration in this analysis.

Next, let’s discuss credit quality.  

Here is how most business lenders will underwrite a commercial credit application. 


The credit evaluation process

Business credit providers have been well grounded in the 5 C’s of Credit for decades. And that foundational approach to credit remains today. The Infographic on the left gives a basic explanation of the key components that go into the underwriting process.

Think of the credit process as a big sliding scale. If a business has strong equity in the asset to be financed, more consideration can be given to personal credit challenges. If there is a long time-in-business and strong personal credit, more consideration can be given to equipment that has poor secondary market value or has little money invested up front. Each lender evaluates all of these criteria and determines their own requirements, exceptions and limitations.

At SLS, we take the entire credit picture in account when underwriting story credit transactions. Furthermore, we’ve never forgotten the owner behind the application and believe in a simple, transparent process. Should you have questions about our approach, we’d welcome a conversation any time.


Rates ~

Please know that there are usually compelling rate options for A, B & C credits when acquiring this equipment class. 

As a general rule … the lower the risk perceived by the lender the lower the rate. 

  • For A Credit rates will usually range from 3.9% to 7.9%
  • For B Credits rates will usually range from 8% – 12.5%
  • And rates for the C Credit composite will usually be higher than these yields of course.

Also, it is noteworthy that Pre-Owned Drywall Cranes may also be readily financed. Rates for pre-owned cranes may be slightly higher … all else being equal.


Credit information needed / Underwriting


Depending on the lender and, of course, the amount (dollars) involved, there are generally two approaches to underwriting financing for Excavation Equipment.

Application with financial disclosure (common)

  • Credit Application
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Your most recent company financial statement. (balance sheet / profit & loss)
  • Last two years’ personal and business tax returns. 
  • Last two years’ end-business financial statements.
  • Equipment proposal or invoice.

Application only ~ or limited financial information disclosure.

  • Credit Application
  • Bank Statements
  • Equipment Proposal or Invoice
  • Other ~

Need More Information? Call: (816) 423-8021


Would you like to apply online? Click below!

Since 1986 SLS Financial has provided uncomplicated lending solutions for all types of assets. 

Contact us anytime to begin building a professional relationship with an industry leader.

Doug 816.423.8021


As we’ve covered in a previous post, the real estate market in Kansas City is robust right now, and buyers and sellers are rightly looking to capitalize on the opportunities this brings.

While there are many ways to purchase real estate, there is one option that gets overlooked: Rent-to-Own.

While these kinds of properties can be rare, it’s good to know the basics if you are seeking this method of acquistion.

Rent-to-Own agreements come in two forms:

  • Lease Agreement with Option to Purchase
  • Lease Agreement with Purchase Agreement

In a Lease Agreement with Option to Purchase, you will often pay a fee (or sometimes put up collateral) at the beginning of your transaction for the OPTION to purchase the property in the future.

From our perspective, all things being equal, the following may be the superior solution.

In a Lease Agreement with Purchase Agreement, you set up your purchase at the beginning, using either a fixed purchase price, or a plan to close with a future appraisal.

Take a look at a related article on Trulia for more information.

If you plan accordingly, with the appropriate agreement, you might be able begin your journey to property ownership, even if you do not have the cash for a down payment.

Keep your eye out for these overlooked method of acquisition during your search. If you have any questions on how you can use Rent-to-Own agreements in your real estate endeavors, feel free to reach out! Call Doug Fuller for more information:

Doug Fuller



Purchasing capital assets is an integral part of every business. Whether the purchase be for a replacement, or for future sustained growth, you have put in the time researching, testing, and comparing countless pieces of equipment to find the one that best fits your business. Now here comes the fun part… the actual transaction of purchasing the equipment.

There are two primary ways to purchase equipment: cash or financing. Perhaps you want to avoid the headaches of dealing with the bank and going through the long drawn out process of financing, so you purchase the equipment in cash. There is nothing wrong with purchasing your equipment in cash. However, there are many benefits of financing equipment. Additionally, financing equipment with a reputable financial services company is a simple and easy process. Within 48 hours, you can have the equipment purchased and contributing to your bottom line. Below is a step-by-step guide to lead you in the process of getting your equipment financed.


Step 1: Find a commercial lender.

Seems simple enough. However, there are hundreds of financial lenders to choose from. Picking the wrong one will exponentially increase the hassle. Not only that, but fraudulent businesses have unfortunately been known to target the financial services sector. Do your research, google reviews, ask your dealer for recommendations, and avoid sending any up-front payment charges. The best advice? Pick a company that has been in business long-term, has the experience, and has many satisfied repeat clients. Finding a trusted lender is the most important part of the financing process.


Step 2: Supply the necessary documents for underwriting

Many finance firms provide “app only” offers for their customers. However, you should be wary of application only packages. Long story short, a typical credit package includes:

  • 2 years most recent business tax returns and/or personal tax returns
  • Business Financial Statements (current balance sheet, income statement, & cash flow)
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Application
  • Equipment Invoice

Ultimately, the goal is to use this information to paint the full credit package. Oftentimes, additional information allows lenders to offer you better options (less money down, lower rates, longer terms, etc.).


Step 3: Wait for a credit decision

Once you have sent in all of your credit information, all you need to do now is relax and wait! Typically, a successful financial services company will provide you with a credit decision within 24 hours… Sometimes even sooner!


Step 4: Work out payment details

Once you have accepted an approval, the lender will typically ask for the equipment dealer’s contact information. They will use this information to work out all the payment details in advance, so all you’ll need to do is pick up the equipment (or wait for the scheduled delivery).


Step 5: Make regularly scheduled payments

Pay off your equipment as agreed upon in the approval. Most lenders will accept ACH payments or checks. A good lender will check back with you after the first month just to make sure everything is running smoothly and to see if you have any additional questions.


Need additional resources? We can help! With over 30 years of experience, we know the financing process front-to-back, and we’ve helped many businesses grow with our expertise. Call SLS Financial and we will gladly help guide you through the financing process.

Doug Fuller




If it is negative online information … It’s not us!

We are SLS Financial / Security Leasing Services, Inc. and S & P Financial Services, Inc. headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri –


We are a commercial / business lender and have zero affiliation to any other SLS company.

We have no known negative reviews online or elsewhere for that matter.


We have 32 years of successful operations with highly satisfied customers in most every state over the years.

We have been a nominee for the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year nearly every year for the past 20 years … along with other awards and recognitions.


We have professional relationships that date to the early 1990’s & before with the following outstanding organizations:


Missouri Bank & Trust:  ~ Our president has served on the board of directors of this institution. (Call Charley Benson EVP ~ 816.881.8255)

Platte Valley Bank of Missouri: ~ SLS Principals have a banking relationship dating to 1989. (Call Kelly Parkhurst, EVP (816) 858-5400)

Wells Fargo:


Other references are available upon request.


We are proud of our STERLING reputation and in case you are considering doing business with SLS Financial Services in Kansas City, Sioux Falls, or elsewhere around the country, please rest assured that we are focused on satisfaction.


Call us confidently any time for your commercial lending and business lending needs.

Doug Fuller

Doug Fuller



If you are a professional real estate investor / renovator you may find that our commercial lending tools are of unique value to you.

Terms from 6 – 12 months with rates starting at prime plus 8; Flash Funding is available too!


For more information ~


Nicole Hall

Tel. Direct (816) 605-1204 e-Fax (866) 821-2439

SLS New Logo

Here is a good explanation of Hard Money lending from Wikipedia:

A hard money loan is a specific type of asset-based loan financing through which a borrower receives funds secured by real property. Hard money loans are typically issued by private investors or companies. Interest rates are typically higher than conventional commercial or residential property loans, starting at 7.7%,[1] because of the higher risk and shorter duration of the loan. Most hard money loans are used for projects lasting from a few months to a few years. Hard money is similar to a bridge loan, which usually has similar criteria for lending as well as cost to the borrowers. The primary difference is that a bridge loan often refers to a commercial property or investment property that may be in transition and does not yet qualify for traditional financing, whereas hard money often refers to not only an asset-based loan with a high interest rate, but possibly a distressed financial situation, such as arrears on the existing mortgage, or where bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings are occurring.[2]

Hard Money is a term that is used almost exclusively in the United States and Canada where these types of loans are most common. In commercial real estate, hard money developed as an alternative “last resort” for property owners seeking capital against the value of their holdings. The industry began in the late 1950s when the credit industry in the U.S. underwent drastic changes.[3]

From inception, the hard money field has always been formally unregulated by state or federal laws, although some restrictions on interest rates (usury laws) by state governments restrict the rates of hard money such that operations in several states, including Tennessee and Arkansas are virtually untenable for lending firms.[4]

The hard money loan mortgage market has greatly expanded since the 2009 mortgage crisis with the passing of the Dodd Frank Act. The reason for this expansion is primarily due to the strict regulation put on banks and lenders in the mortgage qualification process. The Dodd Frank and Truth in Lending Act set forth Federal guidelines requiring mortgage originators, lenders, and mortgage brokers to evaluate the borrower’s ability to repay the loan on primary residences or face huge fines for noncompliance. Therefore hard money lenders only lend on business purpose or commercial loans in order to avoid the risk of the loan falling within Dodd Frank, TILA, and HOEPA guidelines.

Because the primary basis for making a hard money loan is the liquidation value of the collateral backing the note, hard money lenders will always want to determine the LTV (loan to value) prior to making any extension of financing. A hard money lender determines the value of the property through a BPO (broker price opinion) or a independent appraisal done by a licensed appraiser in the state in which the property is located.

  • Asset-based loan — a similar type of commercial loan based on real estate, indicating the loan will be based upon a percentage of the properties appraised value, as the key criteria.
  • Private money — refers to lending money to a company or individual by a private individual or organization.
  • Bridge loan — a similar type of commercial loan based on real estate.
  • Non-conforming loan — a loan that fails to meet bank criteria for funding.
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