Restaurant equipment financing is a form of a small business funding that allows restaurant owners to access capital to purchase equipment that itself acts as collateral for the loan.
Therefore, if you need a new stove, a new truck, or pretty much any piece of equipment for your restaurant, equipment financing will allow you to access secured financing without requiring you to offer up external collateral. As a result of its self-secured nature, restaurant equipment financing will be a great option for startups and restaurant owners with challenged personal credit who are looking for business loans.
In this guide, we’ll break down some of the top restaurant equipment financing lenders, as well as discuss how to apply for this type of loan for your business.
Best Restaurant Equipment Financing Options for 2020
If you need to buy equipment for your restaurant, equipment financing might be the best way to fund your needs and grow your business.
This being said, not all lenders offer equipment financing, whereas others specialize in this type of funding, even specifically for the restaurant industry. As you explore your financing options, you’ll want to look for a company that not only offers restaurant equipment financing, but also offers the right terms, rates, and loan amounts for your business.
The financing company Balboa Capital offers restaurant equipment financing of anywhere from $3,000 all the way up to $250,000.
If you need more than $250,000, you won’t be able to use Balboa’s online application but you can call them to discuss your options. Although the repayment term for your financing will derive from the expected life of the equipment you buy with it, it could range from two to five years long.
To be eligible for equipment financing from Balboa, your restaurant will need:
You’ll also need to have a “decent FICO credit score,” according to Balboa’s website.
Another top option for restaurant equipment financing will be Currency Capital, or Currency Finance.
You can get Currency Capital equipment financing for as little as $5,000 and as much as $500,000 with repayment terms as short as one year and as long as six years.
Rates will dip as low as 6% for restaurant equipment financing from Currency. To qualify for financing from Currency, you’ll need to check off the following boxes:
You’ll notice that Currency won’t require a minimum time in business—as a result, this is likely the best equipment financing company for newer businesses. Plus, you can apply with very limited information online and get approved in as little as three minutes and funded within 24 hours.
The next option on our list of the best restaurant equipment financing companies is Crest Capital.
Crest Capital offers equipment financing anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 with repayment term lengths ranging from one to seven years. Even better, Crest Capital interest rates can dip as low as 5%, making your restaurant equipment financing that much more affordable.
That said, the minimum requirements that Crest Capital has for borrowers might be slightly harder for some restaurant owners to fulfill—especially if they’re looking for restaurant equipment financing with bad credit or for their startup. You’ll need to have the following credentials to qualify for equipment financing from Crest Capital:
Additionally, Crest Capital will consider your industry, equipment times, and business credit history when evaluating your application.
This being said, if you’re looking for many different restaurant equipment financing structures to choose from, Crest Capital offers the widest selection for you to shop from. So, whether you want to access a $1 purchase agreement or an operating lease, Crest Capital’s seven different forms of equipment financing will be your best bet for alternative structures.
Moreover, if you’re looking for a restaurant loan of under $250,000, you’ll be able to fill out Crest’s simple online application without significant documentation and receive approval in a matter of hours. If you’re looking for a larger amount of financing, you’ll need to provide more information, but you’ll still be able to receive approval within a business day.
National Funding is an equipment financing company that specializes in financing for a number of industries, including the restaurant industry.
With National Funding, you can get financing of up to $150,000 to purchase any kind of equipment you need. National Funding doesn’t require a down payment with their funding and they allow you to apply online, connect with a loan specialist, and receive a decision in as little as 24 hours.
To qualify for restaurant equipment financing with National Funding, you’ll need:
Kabbage offers restaurant equipment financing in a unique way. Kabbage offers equipment financing in the form of a line of credit, which lets you draw funds as needed. You only accrue interest on the money you draw and once you pay it back, your limit resets.
Therefore, unlike traditional equipment financing, this equipment line of credit through Kabbage is not backed by the collateral of the equipment itself. Additionally, a line of credit from Kabbage will give you significant flexibility—allowing you to purchase new equipment, update or repair existing equipment, and even extend your purposes beyond equipment into other parts of your business.
Kabbage offers lines of credit up to $250,000 with terms of six or 12 months. Plus, if you’re applying for financing under $200,000 Kabbage can approve you in minutes using their online application.
To qualify for equipment financing through Kabbage, you’ll need:
Kabbage does not have a credit score minimum and will judge your application largely based on your bank statements and other services you link to your Kabbage account. Therefore, although Kabbage does not offer restaurant equipment financing in the same way as other lenders, it might be a good option if you’re looking for greater flexibility.
Ultimately, restaurant equipment financing is only the right move if you need to invest in a piece (or multiple pieces) of equipment for your restaurant. If you don’t need a piece of equipment to grow your restaurant, then you should look into other small business loan options that won’t fundamentally rely on equipment purchases.
Additionally, if you aren’t willing or able to provide collateral to secure your business funding, but you still want to access the low rates and long repayment terms of secured business funding, then restaurant equipment financing is an ideal fix.
Finally, if you’re working with less-than-stellar qualifications—like little business history or average personal credit—then restaurant equipment financing could offer you the most affordable terms you’ll be able to find. Because the equipment itself secures the financing and takes some risk off the lender, less-qualified businesses will be able to access longer repayment terms and lower interest rates.
With all of this in mind, then, let’s discuss how to apply for restaurant equipment financing:
Before you dive into your application for restaurant equipment financing, be sure that you’ve pinpointed a few lenders you want to proceed with. The more you apply to, the more vulnerable your credit score will be to hard inquiries, so definitely be strategic about which equipment financing companies you provide credit authorizations to in your application.
Before you apply, you’ll also want to know exactly what you’re looking for. How much money do you need? What terms are you looking for? What kind of equipment are you trying to purchase? How much is that equipment worth?
Answering all of these questions will play an important role in your financing application.
Next, take a look at what documents each of your chosen equipment financing lenders will need from your restaurant. Especially if you’re looking for restaurant equipment financing of less than $100,000, this list of documents will be pretty short.
This being said, it’s always worthwhile to gather your documentation beforehand to speed up the funding process. Unlike many other forms of funding, equipment financing will often require contact information for your equipment vendor and potentially even a formal equipment quote. Because these might take longer to get your hands on, be sure to plan ahead.
After you’ve gone through all of those preemptive steps, all that’s left to do is apply.
Because you already have all of your documentation together, you could access financing for your equipment in as little as 24 hours.
There you have it—all you need to know about restaurant equipment financing.
Now that we’ve discussed the best lenders and the logistics of applying for this type of financing, you’re well-equipped to move forward in your search process.
Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide if restaurant equipment financing is right for your business—and if so, what lender will be the best for you to work with.
On the other hand, if you determine that this type of financing isn’t right for you, you can continue exploring alternative solutions like working capital loans or business lines of credit.