Asset-based lending is any kind of lending secured by an asset. This means, if the loan is not repaid, the asset is taken. In this sense, a mortgage is an example of an asset-based loan. More commonly however, the phrase is used to describe lending to business and large corporations using assets not normally used in other loans. Typically, these loans are tied to inventory, accounts receivable, machinery and equipment. Asset-based lending in this more specific sense is possible only in certain countries whose legal systems allow borrowers to pledge such assets to lenders as collateral for loans (through the creation of enforceable security interests).
Funds are advanced against any of these company's assets.
Asset-based lending is usually done when the normal routes of raising funds is not possible, such as the capital markets (selling bonds to investors) and normal unsecured or mortgage secured bank. This is often because the company has exhausted other capital raising options or needs more immediate capital for project financing needs (such as inventory purchases, mergers, acquisitions and debt purchasing). Asset based loans are also usually accompanied by lower interest rates, as in the event of a default the lender can recoup their investment by seizing and liquidating the assets tied to the loan.
Many financial services companies now use asset-based lending package of structured and leveraged financial services. Many banks, both national investment banks (e.g. Citi, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, et al.) and regional banks, offer these services to corporate clients.
Apart from large enterprises, many individuals and small business owners also resort to asset based lending services for raising short term finances. Service providers like Unbolted provide short term loans against luxury assets. This includes a wide range of items like vintage cars, luxury watches, wine collections and other assets of value.
Asset-based lending, once considered a last-resort finance option, has become a popular choice for companies and individuals that don't have the credit ratings, track record or patience to pursue more traditional capital sources.
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