North Mill Equipment Finance, an independent commercial equipment lender located in Norwalk, CT, posted record originations for the first half of 2020. Funded volume reached nearly $80 million, representing a growth rate of 40% over the same period last year.
“Despite the many challenges imposed by the global pandemic, we have managed to achieve unprecedented volume,” David C. Lee, chairman and CEO of North Mill, said. “In the first quarter of this year, we were up 125% from Q1 2019. Once the coronavirus took a foothold, ensuing market volatility necessitated taking a more conservative approach as we adjusted our funding guidelines to avoid taking on too much risk.”
The modified requirements notwithstanding, total volume for the first six months of 2020 outpaced the same period last year and the average FICO shot up from 693 to 708, representing an increase in better-credit customers. In addition, 256 different referral partners have funded a transaction so far this year.
“As we all adjust to the new normal, we will continue to support our referral partners and modify our offering to meet the evolving needs of the customer,” Lee said.
Transportation, which made up nearly 100% of the firm’s asset portfolio a few years ago, now accounts for below 50% of funded volume. As the organization’s asset mix has expanded, so too has the number of referral agents interested in working with North Mill.
“A record-breaking number of new applications has been processed this year from brokers looking to establish a relationship. We couldn’t be more pleased,” Lee said.
Lee also attributes the increase in originations to the firm’s response to market demands. Most recently, North Mill lowered its time in business requirement from three years to two, a modification that helped broker partners by unlocking a pool of additional borrowers who otherwise would have been declined. Additionally, the company updated its equipment guidelines to provide greater opportunity to fund more asset classes such as medical, agricultural and printing.
To sustain continued growth, North Mill relocated its corporate headquarters to a corporate park in Connecticut’s Fairfield County, Merritt 7.
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