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Equipment leasing is available from banks, alternative and direct lenders, as well as commercial vendors. The top leasing companies can offer competitive rates and terms, industry expertise and transparent lease agreements.
The right option for your business, however, will also vary based on the type of equipment lease you’re looking for and your qualifications, among other factors.
Here are our picks for equipment leasing companies, as well as tips to help you choose the best provider for your needs.
How Much Do You Need?
1. Wells Fargo
Best for: Equipment leases from a bank.
Through Wells Fargo’s commercial financing division, the bank offers a range of different equipment leasing programs. You can get a lease to finance equipment for your construction business, IT business, marine business or solar business. Wells Fargo also offers an extensive equipment financing and leasing program for commercial vehicles, including trucks, semi-trailers, buses, motorcoaches and more.
Equipment leases from Wells Fargo start at $100,000. Specific loan amounts and repayment terms will vary based on the equipment you’re looking to purchase and the conditions of your lease agreement.
Wells Fargo does not provide information about interest rates or qualification requirements on its website. Generally, banks offer some of the lowest business loan rates, but have the strictest requirements. You’ll likely need multiple years in business, excellent credit and strong revenue to qualify.
To learn more about Wells Fargo’s equipment leasing options, you can fill out a contact form on the bank’s website and a lending representative will reach out to you to discuss your financing needs.
2. Crest Capital
Best for: Variety of lease options.
Crest Capital is an online lender that provides a streamlined equipment leasing process for a variety of small businesses. Through Crest Capital, you can finance almost any type of new or used equipment, including vehicles, software and furniture.
Crest funds transactions from $5,000 to $500,000 and up, with competitive rates and terms that vary based on your business’s qualifications, funding needs and collateral, among other factors. With Crest, you can choose from different lease options, including:
$1 purchase agreement. You pay fixed monthly payments, and at the end of the lease, you buy the equipment for a nominal amount, like $1.
10% purchase option. You pay fixed monthly payments and have several end-of-lease options. You can buy the equipment at 10% of the original cost, renew the lease, return the equipment or apply to upgrade to new equipment.
Fair market value option. This option offers the lowest fixed monthly payments. At the end of the lease, you can purchase the equipment at fair market value, renew the lease, upgrade to new equipment or return it.
Guaranteed purchase agreement. This offers a guaranteed price for the equipment at the end of the lease. You can choose between a fixed amount or a range between a fixed minimum and maximum amount.
First amendment lease. You have a purchase option at one or more specific points during the lease, with the stipulation that you continue or renew the lease if you decide not to buy the equipment. The purchase price is typically fixed at approximately fair market value.
And depending on what works best for your business, you can combine most of these lease structures with plans such as a master agreement, which allows you to add additional equipment purchases in the future. Crest Capital also gives you the option to create a customized payment structure with its financing team — a level of flexibility that’s not always offered by other equipment lenders.
To qualify for equipment leasing from Crest Capital, it’s helpful to have at least two years in business and good credit. The lender considers a number of additional factors during the underwriting process, however, such as current utilization of debt, collateral and industry. Crest does not lend to startups or businesses with bad credit.
Crest Capital can approve and fund applications in as little as 24 hours. And if you’re looking for an equipment lease of less than $250,000, you can complete an expedited application that doesn’t require tax returns or financial statements.
3. National Business Capital
Best for: Borrowers with bad credit.
National Business Capital is an equipment leasing company with flexible qualification requirements — making it a particularly good option for businesses with bad credit.
This lender can work with a variety of companies, regardless of their credit history, and instead evaluates applications based on future sales or business projections. In addition, National Business Capital doesn’t implement industry restrictions by size or type of business and will consider your application even if you’ve been turned down by a bank.
National Business Capital offers equipment leases for a range of industries, with terms from one to five years. If you’re looking to finance larger manufacturing equipment, you may be able to qualify for terms up to 10 years.
The lender doesn’t charge any upfront fees for equipment leasing, but you’ll need to reach out to get details on interest rates. You can call National Business Capital directly for a free consultation with a business financing advisor for more information.
To apply for equipment leasing, you can complete a basic application on the lender’s website. National Business Capital can approve and fund applications in 48 hours.
4. National Funding
Best for: Equipment leases for startups.
National Funding offers smaller amounts of equipment financing compared with other lenders — a maximum of $150,000 — but can work with startups, as well as businesses with less-than-perfect credit histories.
To qualify for equipment leasing from National Funding, you’ll need a minimum of six months in business, a personal credit score of 575 or higher and an equipment quote from a vendor. A down payment and/or collateral is not required.
National Funding allows you to lease new or used equipment, with terms that range from two to five years, and it places few limitations on the type of equipment that’s eligible. Although the company does not provide interest rate information on its website, it does offer a “guaranteed lowest payment” — which states National Funding will give you the lowest lease payment in the industry, or they’ll pay you $1,000 cash (within certain restrictions).
You can fill out a simple form to apply for equipment leasing from National Funding. Then, a funding specialist will contact you to learn more about your business and help you through the remainder of the underwriting process. National Funding can approve applications within 24 hours, and you can receive funds as quickly as the next business day.
Best for: Construction, restaurant and medical leasing.
CIT is a division of First Citizen Bank that offers streamlined, online access to equipment financing. CIT offers funding up to $500,000, with terms from six to 72 months. Rates start as low as 5.49%, but vary based on your qualifications.
Although this equipment leasing company supports businesses across a range of industries, it lends heavily for construction, medical and restaurant equipment needs. Some common financing purchases in these industries include:
Bulldozers, cranes, drill equipment, jackhammers and generators for construction.
Ice machines, vending machines, point of sale systems, restaurant ovens and dishwashers for restaurants.
Dental seating, imaging equipment, ultrasound machines, wheelchairs and X-ray machines for the medical industry.
CIT also offers different lease options, including $1 buyout, fair market value and net terms.
You can apply online and receive funding as fast as one business day. CIT does not provide any details regarding eligibility requirements on its website. Considering that the company is part of a bank, however, you’ll likely need strong credentials to qualify.
How to choose an equipment leasing company
You’ll want to research several equipment leasing companies before deciding which option is right for your business. As your compare companies, consider these factors:
Funding availability. Leasing companies will have different maximum financing amounts and may restrict the type of equipment you can lease. You should confirm that the equipment you need falls within a lender’s requirements.
Cost of borrowing. Banks will typically offer the lowest interest rates, however, these products can be difficult to qualify for. Online lenders will have more flexible qualifications, but higher rates. You should always ask a lender about any additional fees they might charge and consider those fees in your borrowing costs as well.
Repayment terms. Repayment terms on equipment funding can range anywhere from one to five years or more. Leases can generally offer lower monthly payments (compared with equipment loans), but you should make sure that you’re not still paying for the lease past the working life of the equipment.
Lease options. Equipment leasing companies may offer different types of leases, such as a $1 purchase agreement or fair market value option. These options dictate how you make payments over the course of your lease, as well as what happens to the equipment once the lease ends. You should determine what type of lease works best for your needs and find a lender that can offer that agreement.
Qualification requirements. Like other types of business lenders, equipment leasing companies will typically consider your personal credit score, time in business and annual revenue when evaluating your financing application. They may also look at your cash flow and any collateral you can offer. To qualify for equipment leasing from a bank, you’ll need to be an established business with a strong credit and financial history. Online lenders will be more flexible and some may work with startups or borrowers with bad credit.
Speed and application process. If you need funding fast, online and alternative leasing companies may be able to offer you an equipment lease in just 24 hours. These lenders generally have simple application processes with minimal documentation. More traditional lenders, on the other hand, will be slower to fund.
Industry and customer experience. The best equipment leasing companies will have experience in your industry and be able to offer guidance through all stages of the funding process. Ideally, your company will provide a range of ways that you can access customer support and will be able to address any questions or concerns you have about your leasing agreement. Reading reviews and talking to other business owners can help you verify the reputation and trustworthiness of an equipment leasing company. Watch out for companies that make red flag promises, such as “no credit check equipment financing” or “guaranteed approval.”
Find the right business loan
The best business loan is generally the one with the lowest rates and most ideal terms. But other factors — like time to fund and your business’s qualifications — can help determine which option you should choose. NerdWallet recommends comparing small-business loans to find the right fit for your business.