The 5 Best Equipment Financing Companies to Work With
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Many companies need capital to buy or lease equipment, but they often can’t qualify for financing with traditional banks. Some business owners are turning to alternative equipment financing companies. These types of lenders typically have less-stringent requirements in terms of credit ratings and documentation than traditional lenders. To help you find the best options for equipment financing companies, take a look at the chart below. Then, continue reading to learn more about each one.
- What the top five equipment financing companies have to offer
- What is equipment financing and how does it work?
- How to apply for equipment financing
Consider starting with LendingTree. LendingTree’s network of business loan funding partners can help you get the money you need, and you can choose your best terms and lowest rates. After filling out an online form, you could be matched with lenders that may meet your business’ equipment financing needs.
Best equipment financing companies:
- National Funding
- Funding Circle
- Crest Capital
- CIT Bank
|Best Equipment Financing Companies|
|Company||Interest Rate||Fees/Penalties||Loan Amounts||Min. FICO score||Time to Funding After Approval|
|National Funding||Not listed||Origination fee; no prepayment penalties||Up to $150,000||575||1 business day||SEE OFFERS|
|Currency||Starting at 6.49%||$295 documentation fee; no prepayment penalties||Up to $500,000||600||2 business days||SEE OFFERS|
|Funding Circle||4.99% to 24.90%||Origination fee between 3.49% and 6.99%; no prepayment penalties||$25,000 to $500,000||660||5 business days||SEE OFFERS|
|Crest Capital||Not listed||$275 document fee; no prepayment penalties||$5,000 to $500,000||650||Varies||SEE OFFERS|
|CIT Bank||Starting at 5.49%||No prepayment penalties||$500,000 to $1,000,000||620||1 business day||SEE OFFERS|
What the top five equipment financing companies have to offer
The equipment financing companies on our list were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Minimum FICO score requirement below 700.
- Funds available within one week of approval.
- Flexible repayment terms with no prepayment penalties.
1. National Funding
National Funding offers equipment financing up to $150,000 for term loans, as well as leases for any type of equipment.
Where National Funding stands out
National Funding will pair you with a loan specialist who has specific knowledge about your industry. The company offers deferred payment options, such as seasonal, quarterly or skipped payments.
National Funding requires that an applicant has been in business for at least six months and has a FICO score of at least 575, lower than many lenders. The company also offers early pay-off discounts — for a two- to five-year term loan, you can receive up to 6% off the remaining balance.
National Funding guarantees you’ll get the lowest payments on leased equipment with terms from 24 to 60 months. National Funding guarantees a low payment and could even pay up to $1,000 toward qualifying leases if you find a competing offer with a lower payment.
Where National Funding falls short
National Funding does not disclose rates online, so you may not know how much your equipment financing could cost until you submit an application.
Additional benefits of National Funding
National Funding does not restrict the type of equipment it will finance. You could finance or lease commercial fleet vehicles, medical tools, equipment for farms, restaurants, construction, office equipment and more.
Currency offers commercial loans up to $500,000 to finance equipment. Repayment terms are up to 72 months, and interest rates start at 6.49%. Eligible business owners could receive funding in two business days after approval.
Where Currency stands out
Currency works with businesses that have been open for at least one year and generate $100,000 or more in annual revenue. The minimum required credit score is 600: not as low as other lenders, but it does give business owners with less than perfect credit an opportunity to qualify for financing.
Where Currency falls short
Currency’s website is sparse when it comes to loan details, so business owners will likely have to submit an online application to see more of what Currency has to offer.
Additional Currency benefits
If you lease equipment through Currency, you may be able to purchase the assets at the end of your term. Currency requires 90-day notice of whether you plan to buy, return or continue to lease equipment.
3. Funding Circle
Funding Circle offers loans from $25,000 to $500,000 to buy equipment for your business. The company has a fast, online application process and offers approval notification in one day, though it may take up to five business days to receive funds.
Where Funding Circle stands out
The loan amounts and loan terms are flexible. Funding Circle assigns each applicant a personal account manager, and a personal underwriter approves your loan. Repayment terms span 3 to 120 months, and you wouldn’t be penalized for paying off your debt early.
Where Funding Circle falls short
Funding Circle charges a late payment fee of 5%. The company also requires a FICO score of 660 — 660 if you’re a sole proprietor — and the company charges a one-time origination fee between 3.49% and 6.99% of the loan.
Additional Funding Circle benefits
Funding Circle can quickly prequalify an applicant. Loan offers are non-binding and Funding Circle provides a transparent amortization schedule for its loans.
4. Crest Capital
Crest Capital offers financing and leasing options for any type of equipment from $5,000 to $500,000, with term lengths of two to seven years. For funding in excess of $250,000, the company requires additional documentation, including a written overview of your organization and an explanation of what you want to do with the equipment. Crest Capital would also need the following business information:
- Last two years’ worth of financial statements
- Previous two years’ tax returns
- Current financial statement
- List of current loans or leases
Where Crest Capital stands out
Crest Capital offers deferred plans (where payment is deferred for up to six months), step-up plans (pay less during the first few months of the term and more later) and seasonal plans (make no monthly payments during seasonal or slow periods). Seasonal plans best suit businesses that use equipment only at certain times of the year. Crest Capital usually makes a lending decision within hours for businesses that seek less than $250,000.
Where Crest Capital falls short
Crest Capital requires a minimum credit score of 650. Also, you must be in business for at least two years with no history of delinquent payments. Crest Capital charges a $275 documentation fee and the first month’s payment up front.
Additional Crest Capital benefits
The company also offers guaranteed purchase agreements in which it guarantees the price of the equipment at the end of the term. Crest Capital also offers first-amendment leases that enable you to purchase equipment at certain points during the lease or renew the lease if you do not choose to purchase the assets. The Crest Capital website has a tax deduction calculator to calculate tax savings under Section 179 of the IRS.
5. CIT Bank
CIT Bank offers loans and leases for restaurant equipment, point-of-sale terminals, construction equipment, commercial vehicles and computer hardware and software. You may be able to secure up to $500,000 with only an application, while larger financing amounts up to $1,000,000 would require additional documentation and financial information.
Where CIT Bank stands out
CIT Bank offers monthly, seasonal and deferred payment options. You could match your repayment terms to the useful life of the equipment, and you may also have the option to choose a fixed or floating (or variable) interest rate.
Where CIT Bank falls short
Whether you need to provide financial documentation in addition to your application would depend on your circumstances and the amount of money you’re seeking. Loan amounts exceeding $500,000 would require more information. If you need to submit extra documents, it could delay time to funding.
Additional CIT Bank benefits
CIT Bank lends to sole proprietors and LLCs, and there are no restrictions on the equipment they finance — new or used assets are acceptable.
What is equipment financing and how does it work?
You can finance equipment by taking out a small business loan or lease. Equipment loans are asset-based — lenders use your asset as collateral to back the loan. Although traditional banks and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provide equipment financing, they tend to have tougher qualification requirements in terms of FICO scores, and the process is sometimes slower.
When you lease equipment, your monthly payment represents the cost of renting the equipment, and the lender benefits from any tax advantages associated with depreciation. Leasing is the best option if the equipment has a short shelf life, such as computers and other technology products.
There are tax benefits to leasing. Under IRS Section 179, you can deduct up to $1.02 million of equipment that you’ve purchased, even if it’s financed. Lease payments appear as an expense deduction on your taxes.
Leases come in various forms:
- Equipment finance agreement: Similar to a car loan, you take ownership of the equipment up front and pay the lender back on a monthly basis.
- Fair market value lease: Enables you to purchase the equipment at fair market value when the lease expires.
- $1 purchase option lease: The lender owns the equipment until the lease matures. The lessee can return the equipment for something new or buy it for $1 at maturity.
- 10% purchase option lease: Typically gives the borrower lower payments and the option to buy the equipment for an agreed upon amount when the lease matures.
- Equipment loans: Similar to traditional banks’ term loans and have fixed repayment schedules that include interest. As you pay off an equipment loan, over time the equipment transitions from a debt to an asset.
Choosing the best equipment financing company for your business
Choose a financing company that offers the type of arrangement that works for you. Do you need to update your equipment often, or would you like to eventually own the piece of equipment? What arrangement provides you with the best tax advantages? You might need the advice of a financial planning or tax expert to help you choose the best equipment financing company.
How to apply for equipment financing
Loan applicants can apply online, answering questions about the type of business they own and the equipment they need. You will be asked to upload or email requested documents. You’ll sign your contractual documents online, and lenders may make a decision on your loan within one day.
Here are some typical documents you might need to show a lender:
- Equipment quote
- Driver’s license
- Recent utility bills
- Voided business check
- Bank statements
- Personal credit score
- Two years of business tax returns
- The most recent personal tax returns of each person who owns 20% or more of the business
Equipment financing can be quick and easy, thanks to online lenders. Be sure to get tax advice, however, before choosing an equipment financing company or a loan option to ensure you’re taking advantage of any deductions that might be available to you.