Small business owners often purchase equipment to keep up with customer demand or changing markets. Sometimes these purchases are planned, which means they’ll fit your budget. But more often than not, you’ll face an unplanned purchase or a big-ticket item that might be out of your cash flow reach. Luckily, equipment financing can help you buy the equipment you need, when you need it. Equipment financing is similar to a home mortgage or a car loan in your personal life— except you use equipment financing to buy business equipment. Perhaps it’s for a significant expenditure like a 6-burner stove for your restaurant, or it could be as simple as buying a new printer for the office without dipping into your rainy-day fund. Whatever your use case may be, you have alternatives on sources for equipment financing. It may feel daunting to sort through all the options, but we’ve got you covered with a review of some of the leading choices available today. What Is Equipment Financing? In a nutshell, equipment financing is a business loan used to buy equipment. Our guide can give you all the information you need to know about equipment financing. The short version: many companies offer equipment financing options that include online applications. These can be completed in minutes and have the potential to deliver funds in as little as 1 day. Just because the application process is easy doesn’t mean you can skip the due-diligence part of this decision. Like any loan, you’ll need to take the time to understand the terms of the offer, including the interest rate, the loan amount, and any applicable fees or down payment requirements. You should also run through ROI calculations to decide if now’s the right time to purchase the equipment. The essential thing to remember: don’t limit yourself. If there is a piece of equipment that would help grow your business, then take the necessary steps to secure the funding to reap the rewards. Luckily, equipment financing options vary, which means it's easier than ever to find funding to meet your qualifications and needs. How Can Equipment Financing Be Used? Equipment financing covers so many possible purchases. Sure, we all picture something big and impressive when we think of equipment—a backhoe or a piece of packaging machinery. But you can also use equipment financing on a smaller scale. Do you need to replace your laptop with a newer model? Equipment financing to the rescue. You can also buy intangible items with equipment financing like software to digitize your ordering and service processes or even a firewall to protect your business from cyberattacks. Best Equipment Financing Options Your bank may offer equipment financing options, but that’s typically a slow, arduous process. To help you minimize the effort of securing funding, we've compiled a list of equipment financing companies to consider. Each company has unique qualification criteria (e.g., requirements for minimum time in business or minimum credit scores) and different loan products. Items to consider before you apply include: \tWhat amount of funding do you need? \tHow long have you been in business? \tWhat’s your annual revenue? \tWhen do you need the financing (turnaround time to receive funds)? \tWhat’s your credit score? \tDoes the funding need to be Section 179 friendly? \tWhat payment terms are you willing to accept (e.g., length of the loan, fees and interest rate, down payment and collateral requirements, prepayment options)? Once you’ve answered some of those questions, it’s time to take a look at the top companies offering equipment financing. CIT As a national bank and not a finance company, CIT’s qualification process may be more stringent than some of the other options we’ve reviewed. Highlights: \tFunding amounts: up to $500,000 (application only), or $1 million (with financials) \tRequired time in business: not specified on their website \tTurnaround time: as fast as 1 day to receive funds \tPrepayment options: potentially, depending on terms \tUsed equipment financed: yes Crest Capital Crest Capital uses the phrase “we help successful companies become more successful”—which means startups and businesses with bad credit need not apply. Annual loan requalifications are not required. Generally speaking, if you make timely payments, they leave you alone. Highlights: \tFunding amounts: $5,000–$500,000+ \tRequired time in business: operational for a minimum of 2 years \tTurnaround time: approval in hours, time to funds not specified \tPrepayment options: not specified \tUsed equipment financed: yes Currency As a marketplace lender, Currency’s baseline criteria for funding can be flexed depending on the lender. Suppose you need accommodation for a poor credit score or a specific loan term length: in that case, there might be options through Currency if you accept that fees or interest rates will vary accordingly. Highlights: \tFunding amounts: up to $500,000 \tRequired time in business: preferably a minimum of 2 years \tTurnaround time: varies based on the application \tPrepayment options: depends on the lender \tUsed equipment financed: unspecified, likely depends on the lender Funding Circle Funding Circle provides for equipment financing via its term loan program. They do not operate in the state of Nevada. Highlights: \tFunding amounts: between $5,000–$500,000 \tRequired time in business: minimum 2 years in business \tTurnaround time: typically 3–10 days \tPrepayment options: depends on the loan terms \tUsed equipment financed: yes, since this is technically not an equipment financing loan Lendio Lendio is fueling the American dream with more than 300,000 small business loans to date and more than $12 billion funded. With our nationwide network of 75+ lenders and easy 15-minute application, there’s a good chance we’ve got you covered even if you think you might not qualify. Highlights: \tFunding amounts: between $5,000–$500,000 \tRequired time in business: typically at least 12 months \tTurnaround time: can be as fast as 24 hours \tPrepayment options: depends on the lender \tUsed equipment financed: depends on the lender National Funding National Funding helps businesses with bad credit scores, but they still require a credit score check for applicants. Under certain circumstances, some equipment leases may be eligible for a “Guaranteed Lowest Payment” (similar to a price-match option with qualification criteria attached). Highlights: \tFunding amounts: up to $150,000 \tRequired time in business: 6 months \tTurnaround time: can be as soon as 24 hours to receive funds \tPrepayment options: some contracts are eligible for early pay-off discounts \tUsed equipment financed: yes Whatever you do, don’t let your lack of funding hold you back. Apply today and see if equipment financing is right for your business.