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hire purchase fixed or variable rate?

We have come across a very interesting scenario in the last week or so whereby another broker had bee quoting a very very cheap rate on a hire purchase deal. Not wishing to criticise my fellow broking colleagues I suggested to the customer that maybe  not all is at it should be.

 Most finance companies have the same funding costs and they have the ability to link it to fixed rates or variable rates. At the time of writing this article the cost of fixed funds for most finance companies is around 4.o%. I would suggest that a margin of 2.5-3% would be a fair return giving a nominal rate to the customer of about 6.5-7%. Therefore when a customer was being quoted 5.5% on a hire purchase deal one can only deduce that the broker was about to sign the deal up on a variable rate. Most finance companies on a variable are taking a min base rate of around 3% so this would seem to stack up.

At a time when interest rates are really low it would make sense to go for the slightly more expensive fixed rate because rates are only going to go up but maybe not in the immediate future. At the end of the day it must b the customers choice and as such the customer must be aware as to what he is signing up for. As provision of  hire purchase or finance lease to business users is totally unregulated the end user must be aware that even a written quote may not contain this vital information

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