The 2020 Review of GE Commercial Finance

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Chances are, you’ve come across General Electric as you live your day-to-day life. Whether it’s because of your microwave you heated up your lunch with, the helicopter you rode in, or anything in between, GE is a household name.

And for good reason—it was founded 125 years ago and has been at the top of the Fortune 500 list for more than 20 years. Throughout their tenure as one of the top corporations, they’ve had their hand in almost all things industrial.

But what can they do for your business?

Well, the answer to that question resides in the details. With this article, we provide a thorough guide to all the arms of GE Capital.

GE Commercial Finance: The Fundamentals

In your search for business funding, you might be keen to work with familiar names. As such, GE might be first on your list to seek funding from.

How is GE commercial finance structured, and what kinds of business loans do they offer?

Well, GE commercial financing comes from GE’s financial services arm called GE Capital. Though this arm of the conglomerate was seriously pared down back in 2015, it’s still alive, well, and financing equipment in some of the top industries across the world.

From the x-ray machine your doctor uses to the engine in the airplane you flew home in, GE Capital has likely funded at least one piece of equipment you’ve relied on recently.

But, the question still stands, can they do anything for your business?

Let’s break down all of the different types of GE commercial finance available through GE Capital.

GE Commercial Finance: Aviation

GE Commercial Finance plays a key role in aircraft fleets all around the world. To be more exact, they are a crucial financial partner to over 245 aircraft customers in 75 different countries.

Here’s a look at the 4 pillars of the aviation services that GE Capital offers.

    Leasing

    From aircraft engines to helicopters, if it’s flying, then GE Capital likely leases it.

    From aircraft engines to helicopters, if it’s flying, then GE Capital likely leases it.

    Within the 3 categories of commercial aircrafts, commercial aircraft engines, and helicopters, GE offers operating and finance leases for a variety of different shapes and sizes of aircrafts.

    Lending

    GE Capital offers a variety of secured loan options for aircrafts both new and used. For commercial aircrafts, GE will act as both provider and arranger of asset-based aircraft financing.

    On the other hand, if you’re not looking to invest in an entireaircraft, GE also provides financing for aircraft engines and spare parts. For engines, they provide secured loans on GE, CFM, Rolls-Royce, IAE, and Pratt & Whitney engines. For spare parts, GE Capital will provide loans for parts on select commercial aircrafts.

    When it comes to straightforward, secured financing on big aircrafts, GE Capital is the name of the game.

    Trading

    GE Capital occupies a very specific and useful corner of the aircraft market—with a large inventory of aircrafts and engines, along with remarkable financial stability, they’re able to buy and sell with investors.

    They maintain an inventory of more than 100,000 aviation parts that they trade with investors all around the world.

    Consulting

    Last but not least, GE Capital also provides aviation consultancy services.

    In practice, these services could range anywhere from management solutions for aircrafts and engines to airport solutions and planning.

GE Commercial Finance: Energy

Next up, GE Capital also offers energy financial services. They’ve been investing in energy sources through 35 years worth of economic ups and downs.

Within this category of financial services, GE Capital continues to categorize its services even further. In fact, their energy financial services reach conventional power, renewable energy, and oil and gas infrastructure.

Let’s take a look at these 3 types of energy financial services that they offer.

    Conventional Power

    For more than 30 years, GE Capital has been actively investing in thermal power through both equity and debt.

    Through loans, equity, and leasing, GE Capital’s conventional energy services end up accounting for about a fourth of their business activity. Through and through, GE proves financial dedication to the tried and true energy source, thermal power.

    Renewable Energy

    The fastest arm of GE Capital’s energy financial services, renewable energy is the next category of energy that GE invests in.

    Though GE mostly invests in renewable energy projects through equity, they also provide leasing and financing options. With about $9 billion invested in wind energy and about $3 billion invested in solar energy, GE Capital’s total commitments to renewable energy top off at nearly $12 billion. As you’ll soon learn, that’s more than double of what GE Capital has invested in oil and gas infrastructure.

    Oil & Gas Infrastructure

    Finally, GE Capital also provides financial services for infrastructure to move and store oil and gas.

    Through equity and financing, GE has invested over $6 billion in oil and gas infrastructure, amounting to 47,000 miles of pipeline.

GE Commercial Finance: Industrial

The final category of GE Capital’s services is their industrial finance services category.

You might be thinking that this category title is pretty vague and non-descriptive, in which case, you’d be right. But it’s vague for a reason—this category is sort of a catch-all category for the smaller industries that GE Capital invests in. While GE’s services in energy and aviation are high-volume enough, healthcare, additive manufacturing, lighting, and transportation services all fall under this umbrella of “industrial” services.

Under this wide “Industrial” umbrella, GE Capital offers similar services within these smaller industries as they do for energy and aviation, just on a smaller scale. Whether your business needs a 3-D printer or an x-ray machine, GE has your business covered.

Who Is Eligible?

When should you use GE commercial finance over another financing option?

Here are the advantages of financing your business this way.

Who is GE Commercial Finance Aimed Towards?

If you’re a big company looking to finance industrial equipment, GE commercial finance is a good bet for you.

If you’re a giant within the many industries that GE commercial finance applies to, and you’re looking to acquire huge-ticket equipment, then GE Capital can certainly stay on your short-list for sources of equipment financing.

That said, GE Capital works on a huge scale—think airplanes and power plants big. Even if your business is flourishing or even dominating an industry, you might just not need such massive equipment as GE Capital finances.

Who is GE Commercial Finance Not Aimed Towards?

If you’re not a big company looking to finance industrial equipment, you’ll probably need to look elsewhere.

And who is GE commercial finance not meant for?

Basically, everyone else.

If you’re not a huge company or you’re not looking to finance a huge piece of industrial equipment (or you’re neither), odds are, you’re going to have to look at other options besides GE Capital.

But don’t fret—not all commercial equipment financing is geared towards huge industry giants like GE Capital’s services are. In fact, many commercial equipment companies are looking to work specifically with small businesses.

In the next section, we’ll take some time to go over some smaller-scale options for financing equipment for your business.

Small Business Alternatives to GE Commercial Finance

Hoping to secure some financing for more modest commercial equipment?

Even if you’re daunted by planes and x-ray machines, there’s no need to be discouraged in your search for equipment financing.

There are plenty of options for finding smaller-scale equipment financing. The best way to secure equipment financing for your small business is by getting a term loan that can be used to buy the piece of equipment and, in turn, will be secured by the collateral of the exact equipment it was used to buy.

In fact, many small business lenders and equipment financing companies jump at the opportunity to provide loans that are secured by newly-acquired equipment.

With this type of self-secured funding, the risk that lenders take on by lending to small businesses is mitigated by the collateral of new pieces of equipment.

Plus, you won’t have to put any of your own, personal assets on the line as collateral. Equipment financing for small businesses who need to defer their payments on a piece of important equipment is really a win-win.

Let’s take a look at some small business solutions for financing and leasing equipment.

Crest Capital

To start, Crest Capital both finances and leases equipment for small businesses. In fact, they’re America’s number 1 lender for small businesses when it comes to equipment financing, vehicle financing, and software financing.

They operate online, so their application process will be streamlined and quick. They offers low rates without requiring external collateral outside of the equipment you acquire with the loan. Not to mention, Crest Capital can also provide up to 100% financing of equipment your business needs.

Plus, they’re okay with financing used equipment, even if you acquire it through a private sale. To top it off, they’re also willing to finance the “soft costs” of your business’s equipment, as in the costs of the moving, installation, and all the other sneaky fees.

Additionally, while most lenders don’t consider software an asset, Crest Capital realizes that it’s a worthwhile investment for all businesses. As such, they finance it just like any other piece of tangible equipment.

Funding Circle

The online lender Funding Circle is another option for small business looking for equipment financing or leasing.

Their equipment financing ranges from $25,000 to $500,000 with APR’s as low as 4.99% and payment terms that can last from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the longevity of the equipment you’re financing.

If you were considering GE commercial finance because they offer industry-specific equipment financing, Funding Circle is a great small business alternative. Through Funding Circle, you have the opportunity to secure equipment financing for any equipment from medical equipment to farm equipment.

The best part?

Funding Circle knows that good deals on equipment don’t wait—they’ll fund your equipment financing in as little as 24 hours.

Direct Capital

Last on our list, Direct Capital is another online lender that tops the small business equipment financing lenders.

They finance equipment with loans of up to $250,000, depending on your equipment’s value. Plus, their APR’s can dip as low as 5.49%. Not to mention, their payment terms can stretch as long as 72 months, depending on the projected life of the equipment you plan to finance.

Even better?

They’ll finance any equipment from construction gear to software, so whatever you need, Funding Circle can likely help you finance it.

Balboa Capital

Last up on our list of small business-friendly equipment financing providers is Balboa Capital.

This alternative lender has a small business loan arm for those companies that don’t quite qualify for their middle-market commercial financing. This program offers funding of up to $250,000 to small businesses that need money for heavy equipment.

Plus, this funding option comes with terms ranging from 3 months to 2 years, so whether you’re hoping for short-term or longer-term options, Balboa Capital’s small business loans have you covered.

All you’ll need is at least $300,000 in revenue and at least 1 year in business to be eligible for this program, and if you qualify, you’ll be able to spend the proceeds on any business cost you need to, not just a piece of heavy-duty equipment.

See If I Qualify

The Verdict on GE Capital’s Commercial Finance

So, what’s the verdict on GE Capital’s commercial finance?

Well, it’s great, for those big businesses for whom it’s meant. If your business is scaling massively, and you need help securing large shipments of high-tech equipment, then GE Capital can probably a good source of equipment financing,

But unless your small businesses is buying large shipments of planes or windmills, GE Capital equipment financing probably won’t be of much help.

Luckily, many alternatives lenders have answered the small business demand for equipment financing.

Are you ready to fund the equipment that your business needs to grow?

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Vice President and Founding Editor at Fundera

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a vice president at Fundera. She launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014 and has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending. She is a monthly columnist for AllBusiness, and her advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, MyCorporation, Small Biz Daily, StartupNation, and more. Email: meredith@fundera.com.
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