Over the years in this industry I’ve worked with many a different crane equipment lender, from banks to hedge funds to family offices and private funds. Most of the articles written on due diligence involve coaching a borrower on how to prepare a loan submission package that will increase their chances for an approval. That’s important. It is also important you screen the lender, to make sure it is right for you. Through some hard earned lessons I’ve come up with several tips I used to fully vet a crane equipment lender for a particular deal. I provide this service on behalf of my clients, but it’s prudent for any borrower to do the same. 1) Ask for references. If an equipment lender will not provide them, move on. If they do, actually call the reference! Amazing how few people do this. You want to know if the lender can actually perform, the ease of their process, do they provide clear communication, etc. 2) Ask about the procedure for submission and due diligence. Take notes. The process should match the explanation given at the beginning. If there is a variance, ask why. Sometimes there is a reasonable explanation unique to your application. 3) Try to obtain a copy of the lender’s standard loan document package as early in the process as possible. Some won’t give it until they are ready to close, but if you can get it during due diligence, have your legal counsel review it. Problems with conditions and requirements (like guarantees) are addressed promptly, instead of when you’re headed to the closing table. 4) Finally, and this really is just common sense, pay attention to how you’re treated during the process. Do you get complete answers? When you reach out with a message, do you get a prompt response? Does the lender behave as if your loan is important to them? You do have to hold up your end. Everything you expect from the lender in terms of their service you need to reciprocate by providing information they request in the same manner they do. The goal is to work through the process cooperatively, so that the loan can be funded as quickly as possible.