Celtic Commercial Finance Review

What is Celtic Commercial Finance?

Based in Irvine, Calif., Celtic Commercial Finance has been providing equipment leasing for 27 years and has leased $2 billion in equipment for companies in more than 20 industries. The lender is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based MB Financial Inc., which has $20 billion in assets. Fifth Third Bancorp acquired MB Financial in May in a $4.7 billion transaction.

When seeking a lease from Celtic Commercial Finance, you need to apply before purchasing any equipment. You choose the vendor and equipment, allowing you to negotiate a price that works for you. But before you purchase, submit an application with Celtic Commercial Finance so you can lease your purchase. You can apply afterward, but could face tax consequences if you bought the equipment before entering into a lease agreement.

Lender highlights

Different types of leases offered. There are several different structures of leases from Celtic Commercial Finance:

  • Operating leases: These often include flexible lease periods with end-of-term options like purchasing the equipment for fair market value, renewing the lease or returning the equipment to the lessor.
  • Capital leases: For lessees who want to own the equipment at the end of the lease, Celtic Commercial Finance offers a fixed, end-of-term buyout amount.
  • Specialized leases: Celtic offers many structures such as step leases, note and security leases and deferred payment leases, designed to meet specific leasing requirements.
  • Purchase/Leasebacks: Celtic purchases equipment from a business and then immediately leases it back, allowing the business to get an infusion of cash from the sale.

One-page application. Celtic Commercial Finance’s one-page application is available on its website. In addition to your basic contact information, Celtic Commercial Finance asks for company details as well as a description of the equipment you plan to lease.

What Celtic Commercial Finance offers?

Celtic Commercial Finance provides equipment leases to business owners who can’t or don’t want to purchase equipment outright.

Celtic Commercial Finance: At a glance
Loan product Loan amount Loan term APR range/ factor rate Fees Time to funding
Equipment lease $100,000 to $10,000,000 2 – 10 years No APR associated with a lease Documentation fee of $295 and
one month’s payment due upfront
3 to 10 business days; or after the equipment is fully installed and operational

Rates current as of 6/21/2018

Eligibility requirements

Loan product revenue Min. business credit score or personal credit score Time in business
Equipment lease $20 million to $250 million in annual revenue Not provided by the lender 3 years


Additional eligibility factors

Celtic Commercial Finance approves leases on a case-by-case basis and the decision mostly relies on your time in business and your company’s credit profile.

Businesses that are not eligible for Celtic Commercial Finance loans:

Celtic Commercial Finance does not work with restaurants, solar, money services, or oil and gas businesses.

How to apply for Celtic Commercial Finance financing

You can complete Celtic Commercial Finance’s application online. Celtic Commercial Finance asks for the following:

  • Your personal and company information
  • Length of lease you want
  • Cost of equipment you need
  • Description of the equipment you need
  • What you want to happen at the end of the lease, such as purchasing or returning your items

Documents needed to apply:

  • Last three years of audited or reviewed financial statements
  • Stub year unaudited financial statement
  • Bank references
  • Vendor details


Pros Cons
  Variety of lease structures.   You don’t own equipment.
  No down payment required.   High revenue requirements.
  Simple application.   Not intended for new businesses.

Who is the best fit?

Wide span of industries. Celtic Commercial Finance leases equipment, including physical pieces and IT software, to businesses in a variety of industries such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Packaging
  • Legal
  • Education
  • Architecture
  • Heavy equipment

Established businesses. Celtic Commercial Finance works with businesses making $20 million to $250 million in annual revenue. Although the company may provide leases to those making more or less, that range indicates lucrative businesses are best suited for leases from Celtic Commercial Finance.

Fine print

Leasing is not the same as financing. When you lease equipment, Celtic Commercial Finance as the lessor holds the legal title to the equipment and you pay rent to use it over a specified period of time. When you take out a loan to finance equipment, you hold the legal title after you repay the funds loaned to you to purchase the equipment. You would not return the equipment to the lender, but you must return it to a lessor unless you decide to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease. An equipment loan generally requires a down payment, while a lease finances 100% of the cost.

Limited customer service. Celtic Commercial Finance’s toll-free number, (866) 323-5842, goes directly to voicemail. However, a second number, (949) 263-3880, listed on the company’s Frequently Asked Questions page, will put you in touch with a manager who can answer general questions before filling out an application.

The bottom line: How Celtic Commercial Finance stacks up

Celtic Commercial Finance provides equipment leasing, not equipment financing. This means Celtic Commercial Finance owns your equipment and you pay monthly rent to use it. You wouldn’t have to purchase the equipment outright or make a down payment. However, you would have to return the equipment when your lease ends, unless you decide to purchase it at that point.

Celtic Commercial Finance specializes in middle-market transactions and works with established, profitable businesses. If you’re a new business owner or you’re looking to buy equipment costing less than $100,000, you may want to explore other options to finance your purchase.

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