The Best Equipment Financing Companies For Small Businesses
You can use most financing on equipment, but not all financing is equipment financing.
Equipment financing represents a specialized form of funding designed to get physical (or software) assets into the hands of businesses. If you’re looking for equipment financing, you’re looking for a loan that uses the equipment you’re buying as security, or you’re looking for a lease.
|A transparent lessor that offers a variety of equipment leases.
A transparent lessor that offers a variety of equipment leases.
|Low-cost SBA loans, which can be used to purchase equipment.
Low-cost SBA loans, which can be used to purchase equipment.
|Equipment loans for franchisees.
Equipment loans for franchisees.
|Equipment loans for borrowers who need a loan fast or don't qualify for financing elsewhere.
Equipment loans for borrowers who need a loan fast or don't qualify for financing elsewhere.
|Multiple lease and loan options for established businesses.
Multiple lease and loan options for established businesses.
|Show More Options
|A service that connects borrowers with the right financer for their loan or lease needs.
A service that connects borrowers with the right financer for their loan or lease needs.
|An equipment lessor with a fast application process.
An equipment lessor with a fast application process.
|Show Fewer Options
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
- Crest Capital
- ApplePie Capital
- TCF Capital Solutions
- US Business Funding
- How To Choose The Right Equipment Financer
- Final Thoughts
- Equipment Financing FAQs
Highlights: Transparency, good reputation, and a wide variety of lease options.
Crest Capital is a venerable equipment financer offering a respectable variety of leases to established businesses with decent credit. The company takes great pains to make information about its products available, which makes it a lot easier to know what you're walking into. Just bear in mind that it charges an administration fee on its leases, which does add some cost to the process.
Crest's lease offerings are broad enough to cover the circumstances of most companies, though you won't find a traditional equipment loan here.
The biggest issue potential lessees are likely to run into with Crest is the company's relatively high borrowing requirements. It requires a credit score of at least 650. You'll also need to have been in business for at least two years.
Highlights: Convenient service for businesses that qualify for SBA loans.
You may not think of SBA loans when you're thinking of equipment financing, but you can use an SBA 7(a) loan to purchase equipment for your business. It's a good option for businesses that need a lot of money but don't need it right away.
SmartBiz specializes in guiding businesses through the bureaucracy of applying for an SBA loan and making it as painless as possible. SmartBiz doesn't originate the loans, however, and instead will help connect you with a bank that does.
Highlights: Franchise specialists, great customer service, and good rates.
For businesses looking for a traditional equipment loan that also happen to be franchisees, it's worth taking a look at ApplePie Capital. This lender works with over 40 big-name franchises, including 7-Eleven and Dunkin' Donuts. ApplePie specializes in delivering funds quickly to businesses belonging to one of its partner franchises, but if you don't mind waiting longer, it's able to finance other franchises as well.
Highlights: Low prerequisites for equipment loans, excellent customer service, and prepayment discounts.
OnDeck is a big name in online lending thanks in large part to low credit requirements and a fast application process. It doesn't prominently advertise its equipment loans, but it is an option for those looking to borrow from a well-established lender.
To qualify, you need a credit score of 600 or better and business revenue of at least $100K per year. You also need to have been in business for at least one year.
TCF Capital Solutions
TCF Capital Solutions
Highlights: Offers good rates and a wide variety of financing options.
TCF offers a broad range of equipment financing options to well-established businesses at reasonable interest rates, catering to borrowers interested in buying or leasing. You'll find everything from equipment loans, to capital leases, to operating leases here.
The company is, however, a bit on the conservative side, requiring a credit score of 700 or higher and five years in business.
Highlights: Third-party loan aggregator focused on equipment financing and has low credit requirements.
Currency is a third-party loan aggregator connecting businesses to lenders by way of its lending platform. While Currency does not originate its own loans, it is willing to work with lower credit scores (585+) than the vast majority of equipment financers. With loan amounts of up to $2 million, Currency can also accommodate a wide variety of business needs.
The biggest downside to Currency is that the specifics of your loan may vary widely depending on the lender you get paired with; you won't have too much information ahead of time.
US Business Funding
US Business Funding
Highlights: Offers competitive interest rates and relaxed borrower qualifications.
US Business Funding offers several different leasing agreements, ranging from fair market value (FMV) leases to a sales leaseback. The company has competitive interest rates and relatively quick turnaround times (two to seven days).
While the borrower qualifications are a little more relaxed than other small business lenders', they're also a bit vague. US Business Funding prefers you've been in business for two years but may be willing to work with newer businesses with excellent credit.
How To Choose The Right Equipment Financer
Equipment financing can be one of the more complicated forms of funding, so let’s try to demystify how you go about finding a financer.
Decide If You Want To Lease Or Buy
One of the most significant factors to weigh before you look at equipment financers is whether or not you want to eventually own the equipment or simply use it for a few years and then return it.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both ownership and renting. Points to consider include:
- The Longevity Of The Equipment: Will you be using it for a year, a couple of years, or indefinitely? How quickly will it become obsolete?
- Taxes & Bookkeeping: Whether the equipment appears on your balance sheets or your financer’s has significant tax ramifications. Some businesses prefer to write off their equipment costs as operating expenses, whereas others might prefer to write the asset off as a purchase. Talk to your accountant to figure out which.
- Maintenance Responsibilities: Depending on your lease agreement, you may or may not be responsible for maintaining the equipment for the duration of your lease.
- Some Leases Are Effectively Purchases: Capital leases, while still technically leases, are designed to transfer ownership to the lessee. The main difference between capital leases and loans is that the former usually doesn’t have a down payment (beyond the first and maybe last month’s payment), and it’s more likely to cover soft costs, such as shipping. Loans, however, will generally have lower interest rates.
Learn more about the differences between equipment leases and loans in our comprehensive guide to equipment financing.
Find A Financer That Works With Your Industry
One of the easiest ways to rule potential financers in or out is checking to see which industries they’re willing to work with. Almost every financer has restrictions on the industries they’ll lend to. In most cases, you can find these online on the funder’s website, though in some cases, you may have to call.
Captive Lessors Are An Option For Specific Brands
If you have a specific brand in mind, especially vehicles and farm equipment, you may have an additional funding option in the form of a captive lessor. In essence, these are financers owned by the equipment manufacturer to help sell their equipment.
While they’re convenient, don’t automatically assume you’re getting the best deal from a captive lessor; you’ll still want to compare your options.
We’ll be updating this list over time as we review additional equipment financers. Do you have a favorite equipment financer? Let us know!