By: Robert Ingram, Senior Vice President Lakeland Bank Equipment Finance Division
Businesses that postponed equipment upgrades over the past few years due to economic uncertainty may now be looking to invest in equipment upgrades. Whether you are seeking to purchase construction, medical, printing and packaging, office, technology or manufacturing equipment, there are flexible financing solutions available to meet your needs.
Before seeking equipment financing for your business, determine if you are interested in new or used equipment and if you prefer to purchase or lease the equipment. Once you have made decisions on these important factors, follow these five simple steps to apply for financing for your business equipment needs:
1. Check your business credit report
– Lenders use this report to obtain a current picture of how a business manages its financial obligations. Business credit scores
range on a scale from 0 to 100 with 75 or more considered an excellent rating. You can get a copy of your business credit report from a business credit bureau, including Experian
, or Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)
2. Evaluate Short and Long-term Situation
– You should consider many factors when determining how to finance equipment purchases, such as your company’s current financial condition, the types of equipment needed, how long you plan to keep the equipment, and whether or not you can utilize tax benefits and your cash flow. Please consult your accountant as to any tax benefits you may take advantage of.
3. Research Lending Options
– Be knowledgeable of the different lending options. Prepare a summary of the loan terms you are looking for including, rate, projected monthly payment, and payment schedule. Some leasing programs have a Seasonal Payment Program that allows for partial, full, and zero payments during low season periods and a Step-Down Payment Program that allows businesses to pay down more of the equipment during the early revenue-producing period, when cash flow is consistent.
Investigate the loan approval time offered by lenders. This will likely vary based on the loan amount you are seeking. At Lakeland Bank, we guarantee same day turnaround on loan approval for applications up to $75,000 and for applications over $75,000 your loan can be approved in 48-72 hours.
4. Investigate Credit Parameters
– Make sure you ask lenders about their minimum credit requirements so that you can be prepared for the application process. At Lakeland Bank, our general credit parameters include the following:
- The customer must be located in the following states: NY, NJ, CT, MA, CT, NJ, PA, MD, ME, RI, IL, OH, GA, NC and VA.
- The collateral must be essential use equipment.
- The transaction must be a new purchase from an established vendor.
- Documentation must be a Loan, Conditional Sales Agreement or a Finance Lease.
- Finance terms from 12 to 72 months (depending on the collateral).
In addition, most banks have requirements that vary based on the type of loan and the amount you are seeking to borrow. These criteria can include providing how long you have been in business, a satisfactory bank reference, personal credit score and financial statements. You can find a full list of our credit requirements here
– Once you have narrowed down your list of financing options, meet with a lender to review and additional questions you may have and complete the loan application process.
At Lakeland Bank, our equipment financing options are backed by a team of industry experts with over 25 years of experience. If you’re interested in speaking with one of the members of our Equipment Financing Team or requesting a financing application, call (973) 882-1515 ext 818236, or click on a photo below and send an email.
Bob Ingram, Senior Vice President, Team Leader
Ken Markman, Vice President, Credit Manager
Bill Schachtel, Vice President, Business Development
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