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Equipment Financing: Best Business Loan Options

Banks and online lenders offer equipment loans to help finance costly equipment purchases for businesses.

Andrew L. WangMarch 11, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Equipment financing is a type of small-business loan designed specifically for the purchase of machinery and equipment essential to running your business. You can use an equipment loan to purchase anything from office furniture and medical equipment to farm machinery or commercial ovens.

Keep reading to learn more about equipment financing and compare your business equipment loan options.

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Our picks for

Equipment loans for items under $50,000

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OnDeck - Online term loan

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Est. APR

9.00 - 99.00%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within the same business day.
  • Requires low minimum credit score.
  • Less paperwork than most lenders.

Cons

  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment will not save interest.
  • Requires frequent (daily or weekly) repayments.
  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.
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Credibility Capital - Online term loan

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Est. APR

6.99 - 24.99%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Min. Credit Score

650

Credibility Capital offers low-cost business loans that work best for small-business owners with strong credit.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No prepayment penalty.
  • Extra monthly payments can save interest cost.

Cons

  • Requires high minimum credit score and revenue.
  • Requires business lien and may require personal guarantee.
  • Not available in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $200,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 5 years.

Our pick for

Equipment loans for items $50,000 and over

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Funding Circle - Online term loan

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Est. APR

12.18 - 36.00%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Min. Credit Score

660

Funding Circle is an option for established businesses that are financing an expansion or refinancing debt.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within 3 business days.
  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No minimum revenue requirement.

Cons

  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
  • Not available in Nevada.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: None.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 7 years.

How Much Do You Need?

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Summary of Equipment Financing: Best Business Loan Options

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreNext Steps

OnDeck - Online term loan

Best for Equipment loans for items under $50,0009.00 - 99.00%600
See Your Loan Options

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Credibility Capital - Online term loan

Best for Equipment loans for items under $50,0006.99 - 24.99%650
See Your Loan Options

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Funding Circle - Online term loan

Best for Equipment loans for items $50,000 and over12.18 - 36.00%660
See Your Loan Options

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What is equipment financing?

With equipment financing, the loan amount you qualify for depends on the value of the equipment you are purchasing. The equipment also serves as collateral for the loan, so the lender can seize it if you fail to repay the loan.

Traditional banks typically offer the most favorable interest rates and terms, but they have strict credit standards. Online small-business lenders are another equipment financing option, especially if you need to purchase equipment quickly or if your personal and business finances aren’t in excellent shape.

The size of the loan should match the price of the equipment you’re purchasing, while the loan term should match how long you expect to use the new equipment. If you’re buying commercial ovens that you expect to use for 10 years years, get a loan with a 10-year term. A shorter term may have you scrambling to make payments, and a longer term means you’ll be paying for the equipment after you stop using it.

Some lenders may require an equipment loan to finance heavy-duty vehicles, whereas others offer business auto loans or semi truck financing to cover such purchases. Compare options to find the best fit for your business.

Equipment financing interest rates

Equipment loan interest rates are typically between 8% and 30%. Where your rate will fall in that range depends on your credit score, business revenue and time in business, as well as the equipment you’re financing.

Established businesses with excellent financials could secure a rate below 8%, for example. While startups and business owners with bad credit (a FICO score between 300 and 629) will likely have a higher interest rate.

Equipment financing pros and cons

The main benefit of financing large equipment purchases is that it leaves working capital free for day-to-day operations. But there are other things to consider, such as the length of the loan and whether you’ll need a down payment. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

PROS

  • An equipment loan is usually the financing option with the lowest interest rate.
  • You’ll own the equipment outright. Once the loan is repaid, business owners who own equipment but need cash for other business purposes may opt to arrange a sale-and-leaseback agreement. This involves selling equipment to a lender in return for quick cash and then leasing it from that lender.
  • At tax time, the interest you’ve paid is deductible, and you’ll also enjoy a depreciation tax benefit.

CONS

  • If the financed equipment becomes outdated, you’ll need to sell or dispose of it.
  • An equipment loan may require a high initial down payment.

Equipment leasing option

Many vendors offer leasing as a financing alternative.

Equipment leasing can help reduce costs and maximize an investment. For instance, a piece of equipment becomes less valuable and productive as it gets older, so leasing it for a limited time may be a smart move.

Some financing companies also offer the option of buying the equipment at current market value.

Leasing generally is more costly than buying if you end up using the equipment for a long time. According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, leasing is “likely the preferable option” for equipment you plan to use for 36 months or less. If you’ll use it for longer, it makes more sense to buy.

Last updated on May 20, 2021

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NerdWallet's Equipment Financing: Best Business Loan Options

Does your business need funding? Find your best loan options with Fundera by NerdWallet.

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