In its roundup of credit options for tire retailers, Modern Tire Dealer reached out to American First Finance (AFF), which offers both installment loan programs and lease-to-own (LTO) programs. Here's an overview of AFF's options.
MTD: What services and products do you offer tire dealers?
AFF: 1. Bank installment loans are offered in 40 states. 2. Retail installment contracts are offered in 21 states. 3. Lease-to-own contracts are offered in 47 states.
MTD: How do your offerings benefit a tire dealer?
AFF: AFF offers many features and benefits on its products, including low or no down payments, no processing fees on installment contacts and installment loans, a 101-day early payoff discount, contract terms up to 24 months and product offerings across all 50 states.
Higher approval amounts and lower, more manageable payment plans allow the customer to purchase tires and related services with a greater tread life versus a less expensive set of tires. This means a better product for the consumer and a higher average ticket for the dealer. AFF’s approvals are up to $5,000, which allows all four tires to be purchased, additional repairs to be completed, and in some cases a remaining open-to-buy amount available for subsequent purchases.
AFF offers bank installment loans through its partner FinWise Bank, and this solution allow the dealer’s customers to finance all products, services and add-on products. With a loan, the customer realizes day-one ownership of their tires, as opposed to gaining ownership after they pay off their lease.
MTD: What sets you apart from other finance companies?
AFF: All products, services and labor are included. Shops that sell tires and wheels offer many other repair services and add-on products. The power of “yes” to a multi-product sale versus a tire-only sale allows the dealer to better service the customer, achieve a higher close rate and increase same store sales all by offering an American First Finance solution.
AFF has developed technology integrations allowing for a single application process which seamlessly flows from primary lender (Citi, CFNA and Synchrony private label credit cards) to secondary lender and tertiary lenders. This allows dealers to offer a finance solution to all customers, and on all of their products and services.
AFF won’t ask the dealer to split consumer sales tickets into one for product and another for labor and services. AFF can lawfully finance all products, services and add-on products. The customer owns the product on day one and the dealer does not have to contend with individual state lease-to-own guidelines.
The process is paperless. No invoice uploading is required and transaction funding happens on the next business day.
AFF’s contract durations, up to 24 months, create a more manageable payment plan for the customer. Installment agreements and loans are reported as credit repayments as opposed to trade line payments.
With on-time payments on their installment transactions, the customer can potentially build better credit.
Non-prime customers can qualify for better pricing plans or rate reduction plans with installment programs.
MTD: How long does it take a dealer to qualify for your program?
AFF: Fully completed dealer applications are approved in about 48 hours.
MTD: What are the dealer transaction fees?
AFF: Dealer transaction fees vary but can be as low as a 0% merchant discount rate.
MTD: What technology is required by the dealer?
AFF: A dealer only needs to have internet access to offer the AFF secure, dealer transaction portal.
MTD: What is your approval rate?
AFF: AFF consistently delivers approval rates around 80%.
MTD: What are your approval amounts?
AFF: AFF approves transactions up to $5,000 including tire and wheels, repair, service and add-on products.
MTD: What is your close rate?
AFF: The “close rates” in our automotive portfolio are in the 70% to 80% range.
MTD: How long does it take for a tire dealer to be paid the full amount of the sale?
AFF: AFF funds its merchants on a next-business-day basis.
MTD: How long does it take for consumers to qualify for financing?
AFF: Our application is one of the shortest in the industry, with only 18 fields for the consumer to complete. In most instances, the application can be completed in less than 3 minutes, with real time decisions on approvals and denials.
MTD: How do you evaluate customers beyond FICO scores?
AFF: AFF develops its own proprietary underwriting models and operates its own underwriting systems, based on 20-plus years of experience in the non-prime consumer finance industry. AFF utilizes the latest technologies and data analysis techniques to convert “big data” into useful, actionable data.
MTD: How can dealers contact you?