Leasing equipment is a popular way for small businesses to acquire the assets they need to operate without purchasing these items upfront. While this can be a cost-effective strategy to foster growth, it’s important to understand all the details and options available before entering into a lease agreement.

The differences between capital and operating leases can be confusing but nonetheless it’s important to know the different nuances involved to help you make the right choice for your business.

Below, we’ll outline the differences between a capital and operating lease, along with the benefits associated with each. If you still aren’t sure if one of these options is best, you can consult with an experienced lender like Team Financial Group to help determine your next step.

Many Businesses Take Advantage of Both Types of Leases

There are a number of key differences to note if your business is trying to determine if it wants to use either an operating lease or a capital lease.

Operating leases

Operating leases are similar to renting, with lease payments treated as operating expenses. Lessees can obtain and use assets for a set period of time, but there is no transfer of ownership rights. Common assets for operating leases include technology, vehicles, and office equipment.

Capital leases

Compared to operating leases, a capital lease are treated more like a loan and would be considered debt. Assets are owned by the lessee rather than the lessor and typically are used for equipment that will be kept long term. To be classified as a capital lease, these conditions must be met:

The accounting treatment between an operating lease and capital lease is also handles differently. For operating leases:

For capital leases, which sometimes are referred to as “finance leases”:

Depending on your equipment requirements, your business may choose either an operating or a capital lease — or maybe even a combination, depending on the types of assets you need.

RELATED: Equipment Financing and Leasing Solutions

Which lease is right for your business? Well, it depends.

There are a number of benefits associated with both operating and capital leases that might influence the decision-making process for your business.

Here are some of the advantages of using an operating lease:

Meanwhile, the benefits of a capital lease include:

Here’s an example that might resonate: You could use an operating lease for a copier or other technology for your office, while a capital lease may make more sense for a bulldozer or telehandler if you are in the construction industry. Ultimately, the decision is very unique to your business and all considerations need to be taken into account when determining which is best for you.

Related: Purchasing Used Equipment? Use This Checklist Before You Buy

Contact Team Financial Group to Learn About Your Equipment Financing Options

Need assistance determining which type of financing lease option makes the most sense for your business? We can help you learn more about a capital vs. operating lease and determine if one is right for you. We also specialize in offering fast and flexible equipment financing for a wide range of small businesses.

Call Team Financial Group today at 616-735-2393 or fill out our contact form to talk with a financing expert. If you’re ready to apply for financing, fill out our short online application and we’ll get the process started.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

 

While the long-lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic will continue to be felt for months and years to come, there is reason for optimism as we head into the summer months. That is certainly true when it comes to commercial lending.

According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation (ELFA), COVID-19 may have “accelerated digital adoption by seven to 10 years.” The result? An estimated $1.8 trillion is expected to be spent on capital goods and fixed business investments this year, with many of those assets needing some sort of financing solution.

In this blog, we’ll outline how businesses have adjusted their operations due to the coronavirus and why they are re-examining their equipment needs. If you need help determining if your business needs to re-think its leasing and financing strategy, you may want to reach out to an experienced independent commercial lender like Team Financial Group to learn more about your options.

RELATED: We Make Equipment Financing Fast, Flexible, and Easy

Businesses Are Still Adjusting Their Equipment Needs Due to the Coronavirus

One of the biggest impacts that COVID-19 had on businesses of all sizes, was an increase in the mobile workforce and how operations subsequently reconfigured their technology equipment to continue running smoothly. With many employees forced to work out of their home for long stretches, businesses had to quickly adjust their resources so remote workers could continue to do their jobs.

As remote workers are starting to return to the workplace, businesses will need to determine if their technology equipment needs to be updated or expanded again. Even businesses that embrace a hybrid work model will need to evaluate if their equipment is flexible enough to allow workers to successfully operate both remotely and at the office.

And how are businesses going to acquire that technology equipment? The vast majority – nearly 8 in 10, according to the ELFA – will use some sort of equipment financing solution to modernize operations and boost growth.

4 Factors to Consider When You’re Exploring Commercial Lending Options

The coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to rethink their business operations. While things haven’t necessarily returned to normal just yet, more companies are beginning to invest in equipment and software to meet increased demand and build for the future.

As a result, here are four commercial lending trends that we’ll be keeping our eye on throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond:

RELATED: How to Choose the Right Commercial Lender For Your Business

Contact Team Financial Group to Learn About Your Equipment Financing Options

Need help determining how recent commercial lending trends might affect your business? We can help you stay ahead of the curve. We specialize in offering fast and flexible equipment financing for a wide range of small businesses.

Call Team Financial Group today at 616-735-2393 or fill out our contact form to talk with a financing expert. If you’re ready to apply for financing, fill out our short online application and we’ll get the process started.

References

For Construction Pros. (2021, January 25.) “Top 10 Trends That Will Influence Equipment Acquisition in 2021.” Retrieved from: https://www.forconstructionpros.com/business/business-services/financing-insurance-leasing/press-release/21244352/equipment-leasing-and-finance-association-top-10-trends-that-will-influence-equipment-acquisition-in-2021 

Vogt, A. (2020, November 18.) “5 Ways COVID-19 is Shaping the Equipment Finance Company of the Future.” Equipment Licensing and Finance Association. Retrieved from: https://www.elfaonline.org/news/industry-news/read/2020/11/18/5-ways-covid-19-is-shaping-the-equipment-finance-company-of-the-future

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

Equipment financing is often a complicated topic. You might have a lot of questions and waiting for the answers can be frustrating.

That’s why we’ve compiled 20 of the most common questions we hear from small business owners about how the equipment financing process works. Hopefully, this will help you understand all the leasing and loan options and benefits available to you. If you still have questions when you’re done reading, please reach out to us. You can use our online contact form to get in touch.

Equipment Financing 101: Answers to Your Most Frequent Questions

1. Why Would I Finance Used Equipment?

Regardless of whether you are buying used or new equipment, financing allows you to keep cash and working capital available for building inventory or managing receivables and payables. Many successful businesses like to follow the “long-term financing for long-term assets” rule. If the equipment you are acquiring has a useful life cycle of three years or greater, then conserve your cash as working capital for short-term business needs and use long-term financing for those long-term assets (like equipment).

RELATED: How Much Working Capital Do I Need for My Business?

2. How Is a Lease Different Than a Loan?

For tax, and accounting purposes, a $1 buyout lease is identical to a loan. You own the equipment, and it depreciates. Team Financial Group simply takes a lien, or security interest, in the piece of equipment as collateral. With a fair market value (FMV), or “true lease,” Team Financial Group owns and depreciates the equipment, and the client can expense the monthly payments for tax purposes.

RELATED: $1 Buyout Lease vs. FMV Lease: What’s the Difference?

3. Are There Any Tax Advantages Associated With Equipment Leasing?

You should consult your tax advisor for details about how the different types of equipment leases may affect your taxes. However, it is important to note that many of the “tax advantages” advertised by various lenders are more a matter of timing when your accountant will be expensing or writing off the equipment. With FMV leases, the expenses are in the lease payment itself.

On the other hand, $1 buyout lease expenses are tied to monthly interest AND depreciation. With depreciation, there is some flexibility with timing, so your tax liability often can be deferred. Again, consult your tax advisor to determine what is best for your company.

RELATED: Get These Tax Benefits With Commercial Equipment Financing

4. Is Collateral Necessary to Obtain a Loan or Lease?

Yes, it is. Your equipment will be used as collateral for your loan. There will be some differences depending on the type of lender (asset-based vs. credit risk, for example), but all will require some sort of collateral for your loan.

5. If I Apply for Financing, How Long Is the Approval Process?

Team Financial Group frequently can approve and fund loans in less than 24 hours. That being said, there are instances when we may need to wait for additional financial information from a customer or equipment information from the vendor and that may require additional time.

6. What Do I Need to Apply for Financing?

If you have been in business for several years, we generally will be looking for a short, one-page application for requests less than $150,000. For larger requests, we might also need copies of your tax return and financial data.

We may be able to take your application over the phone, which only takes arounds 5-10 minutes.

RELATED: What Do I Need to Prepare Before Applying for a Commercial Loan?

7. What Are Your Approval Requirements?

For small businesses, we typically look at the owner’s credit history as the basis for loan approval and financing terms. For larger deals, we may need financial statements or tax returns. However, compared a bank, we have more flexibility and will consider your business’ overall health rather than a single metric.

8. How Will My Interest Rate Be Determined?

Your interest rate will be finalized by your strength of credit (aka credit risk), loan or lease terms, and collateral valuation. Your strength of credit is determined by a combination of factors, including the age of your business, industry, cash flow, credit reports, annual revenue, and—with larger deals—an evaluation of financial statements.

RELATED: 5 Tips to Improve Your Personal Credit Score

9. Are There Any Application Fees?

Only when the deal closes. Typical “Origination/Documentation” fees are $200-$500, depending on the size and complexity of your transaction.

10. Do You Finance Vehicles?

Yes, when used for a commercial application. Below is a more in-depth list of business equipment we’ve financed:

11. Are There Any Requirements Related to Equipment Vendors?

We don’t have any specific requirements, and we work with many different vendors. We employ streamlined, standardized processes when working with our vendor partners, which helps us maximize efficiency. We try to balance this approach by offering as much flexibility as each vendor needs.

RELATED: 5 Reasons to Become a Vendor Partner for Equipment Financing

12. What Can I Do If I Have Bad Credit?

We do our best to approve deals even if your credit is not perfect. Sometimes, additional collateral or a significant down payment can help a deal get done.

That said, we do have to pass on deals at times. Even when that is the case, though, we will provide feedback and guidance to improve your credit so you can secure financing in the future. We want to provide resources and information to customers we haven’t worked with yet so that we can hopefully work with them in the future. We have compiled many of these resources on our blog and we are always open for a conversation.

RELATED: 5 Tips to Improve Your Personal Credit Score

13. What if We Want to Finance More Equipment in the Future?

The longer we have an established relationship and get to know your business, the easier the entire process will be. We strive to make every transaction smooth and easy. On a monthly basis, nearly 50% of our originations are repeat clients because they have found that it saves them time and money to work with Team Financial Group. A simple phone call or email can get things rolling.

When necessary, we can even get deals approved, documented, and closed within only a few hours.

RELATED: Equipment Financing FAQs

14. How Long Should I Finance My Equipment?

We suggest that you finance equipment over its “useful life,” which typically matches the depreciable life of the asset.

15. Do You Have Any Maximum or Minimum Leasing Amounts?

Generally, $5,000 is our minimum and $5,000,000 is our maximum for leasing and loan amounts. However, we have made exceptions.

16. Do You Lease Software or Maintenance?

Yes. However, software and maintenance leases provide no collateral value, so strong business credit is necessary in these situations.

17. Do I Need to Insure the Equipment?

Yes. Team Financial Group needs to be added as a loss payee in case of fire, theft, etc.

18. Can I Pay Off My Account Early?

Yes. Sometimes, paying off a loan or lease is a smart decision, especially if it reduces your debt-to-income ratio or reduces the amount of interest you’ll pay.

RELATED: Should I Pay Off My Equipment Loan Early?

19. What Happens at the End of a Lease?

After the final payment with a $1 buyout lease, Team Financial Group will release any liens on the equipment and you will own it, free and clear.

With a FMV or Fixed Purchase Option lease, you will need to inform Team Financial Group of your intentions 90 days before the end of the lease. This might include equipment purchases, equipment returns, or continuing to rent the equipment on a month-to-month basis.

20. What is a Sale-Leaseback?

A sale-leaseback is a means to acquire capital for your business by using equipment that is owned free and clear.

RELATED: What Is a Sale-Leaseback, and Why Would I Want One?

Contact Team Financial Group to Learn About Fast, Flexible Financing

Still have questions? Let us know. We’ll be happy to work with you to identify and customize business financing solutions that meet your unique needs. Team Financial Group’s commercial equipment financing options can improve your business’ cash flow and overall financial health.

To get fast, flexible financing today, please complete this brief online application.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

Applying for a small business loan is often a stressful process. It can be confusing to navigate the application process and the sheer volume of options available may feel overwhelming.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) was established to support owners and entrepreneurs with a variety of programs designed to help build and grow businesses. Two of the most popular are the SBA 504 and SBA 7(a) loan programs. But it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between the two programs, and an SBA loan isn’t right for everyone.

Here, we’ll outline the key differences between SBA 504 and 7(a) loans, the benefits your business may enjoy with a small business loan, and why partnering with an experienced lender like Team Financial Group for your equipment financing might be an even better option.

SBA 504 and 7(a) Loans: The Essentials

The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s most common loan program and is often used when commercial real estate is included in the purchase of a business. According to the SBA, it also is used to provide help with:

SBA 504 loans, meanwhile, are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), which are often nonprofit corporations that serve their local communities and are regulated by the SBA. SBA 504 loans are targeted at business growth and job creation. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including:

You should note that a 504 loan cannot be used for working capital, inventory, consolidating, repaying, or refinancing debt, or rental real estate.

It’s also important to point out that the SBA doesn’t lend directly to small business owners. Instead, the SBA helps businesses obtain both loan types by partnering with lenders and agrees to repay a portion of the loan if the business defaults. That means you’ll need to meet both the SBA’s eligibility criteria and the bank’s requirements to qualify for a loan.

RELATED: Business Health: How Equipment Financing Can Help Your Cash Flow

What Are the Differences Between 7(a) and 504 Loans?

The SBA sets guidelines that are intended to both reduce risk for lenders and make it easy for small businesses to access capital. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between 7(a) and 504 loans:

Maximum Loan Amounts

Eligibility Factors

To qualify for a 7(a) loan, your business must:

As a 504 loan borrower, your business must:

Interest Rates

Terms and Conditions

Alternatives to SBA Loans

SBA loans are a great option, but they aren’t right for every small business. The requirements for 7(a) and 504 loans can be hard to meet, especially if you don’t have collateral to secure your loan. We’ve seen businesses with strong revenue streams and business plans get denied by the banks. And some business owners are unwilling to put liens on their personal property (like their homes) in exchange for an SBA loan.

But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need financing for equipment and other improvements.

If you’re looking for flexible alternatives to a 7(a) or 504 loan, Team Financial can help. We offer fast, flexible options for equipment financing, including EFA/$1 buyout leases and FMV leases. And because we’re not a bank, we can take a more holistic approach when assessing your eligibility for financing.

When we evaluate a small business’ financing options, we look at many factors: your credit history, debt service coverage ratio, your business’ financial health, and industry conditions. Our goal is to help your business grow and thrive, so we will also provide you with feedback on your application quickly.

RELATED: A Handy Guide to Equipment Financing Language

Contact Team Financial Group to Learn About Your Equipment Financing Options

Need help figuring out which financing option makes sense for your business plan or whether you should apply for an SBA loan? We can help. We specialize in offering fast and flexible equipment financing for a wide range of small businesses.

Call Team Financial Group today at 616-735-2393 or fill out our contact form to talk with a financing expert. If you’re ready to apply for financing, fill out our short online application and we’ll get the process started.

References

7(a) loans. (n.d.) Small Business Administration. Retrieved from: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/7a-loans

504 loans (n.d.) Small Business Administration. Retrieved from: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/504-loans

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

 

 

 

As the world becomes a smarter, more environmentally conscious place, there are plenty of opportunities for individuals and business owners to minimize our footprint and help ensure a healthy planet for our children. Investing in energy efficiency can also save you money in the long term , so it’s a win-win situation.

That’s why Team Financial Group encourages businesses to apply for loans for energy efficiency improvements. We’ve also partnered with local nonprofit organization Michigan Saves to help Michigan businesses finance their energy efficiency projects.

The process is simple and can cover many potential updates, from LED lighting systems to HVAC systems and equipment. Please keep reading to learn more about loans for energy efficiency improvements and how you can work with a financing partner like Team Financial Group to get approved quickly.

What Energy Efficiency Improvements Are Available?

In Michigan, there are plenty of options when it comes to commercial energy efficiency. From demand control ventilation to lighting occupancy sensors to green roofing, there’s almost nothing you can’t make more environmentally-friendly — and more cost-efficient and effective.

By seeking out competitive financing from trusted lenders, you can overcome some of the most common barriers to improved energy efficiency, such as:

RELATED: Team Financial Group Finds Energy Savings Opportunities for LaLonde’s Market 

Are Energy Efficiency Loans or Leasing Right for Your Business?

There are a few things you’ll want to consider when exploring potential financing for commercial energy efficiency improvements.

 RELATED: How Much Working Capital Do I Need for My Business 

How to Get a Quote for Qualifying Commercial Energy Improvements

To apply for commercial energy efficiency financing, simply complete our secure, online form. From there, we will begin a pre-approval process by evaluating your business’ financial history, including your income and any existing debt. However, unlike banks, our financing team doesn’t use inflexible standards; we look at the full picture, not just a few metrics when evaluating your eligibility.

At the same time, we’ll ask you questions and learn about your business’ needs and the energy efficiency improvements you want to finance. Based on all this information, we’ll craft a customized financing solution for you. Depending on your business’ unique goals, it might involve a loan, lease, or equipment finance agreement.

Because we’re not a bank, our equipment leasing and energy efficiency financing processes are streamlined, fast, and flexible.

RELATED: What Is an Equipment Finance Agreement?

Contact Team Financial Group for All Your Commercial Financing Needs

At Team Financial Group, we offer custom leasing and financing options that meet your unique business needs. We are committed to your sustained success and are eager to help your organization thrive through flexible financing and personalized service.

Interested in learning more about how Team Financial Group can help you apply for and receive lucrative energy efficiency financing to accelerate your company’s growth? Simply call (616) 735-2393 today or complete this brief form to speak with one of our commercial financing experts!

Your business depends on equipment to function, but it might seem like you need a crystal ball to figure out what equipment to buy, when to buy it, how to buy it, how to maintain it, and when to dispose of it. Equipment and machinery won’t last forever, so it’s important to understand how to plan for choosing, purchasing, and discarding your business equipment.

That’s where the equipment life cycle comes in. It’s the process that manages the purchase and maintenance of equipment by implementing sound planning at all stages of the equipment lifetime — from acquisition to usage to disposal.

Read on to learn about the equipment life cycle and how to finance equipment purchases to get the best machinery for your business.

What Is an Equipment Life Cycle or Obsolescence Plan?

Equipment, whether it’s in a factory, office, or construction site, eventually wears out, becomes outdated, or is too costly to repair. Because equipment is a major investment, you should take a proactive approach, building the costs of preventive maintenance, repairs, and replacement into your business’ financial plan.

As part of your equipment life cycle plan, ask yourself the following questions:

Some businesses use IoT (Internet of Things), automation, software, and algorithms to monitor their equipment’s health and asset life cycle management plan. However, if you’re just beginning your life-cycle cost analysis, asking these questions and crunching the numbers is a good start.

Why Is the Equipment Life Cycle Important for Your Business?

There are several benefits to your business having a strong equipment life cycle management program. Here are some tips for implementing an equipment life cycle plan and an outline of the benefits:

Equipment life cycles play a huge role in your business’ operational efficiency and budget. Toward that end, it’s important to make sure that the equipment life cycle plan is communicated to key stakeholders throughout your organization.

Related: Get the Financing You Need to Improve Your Workplace Safety

What If You Don’t Have an Asset Management Plan?

It may seem to make sense to wait for equipment to break down before you decide to repair or replace it, but this mindset could be costly in the long run. If a vital piece of equipment goes down unexpectedly and you have unplanned repair or replacement costs, your business could suffer. Emergency maintenance costs, forced downtime, employee and/or customer dissatisfaction, and rental costs (depending on the equipment) are just some of the possible expenses and challenges that can result from a lack of planning.

Unplanned expenses can lead to lost revenue and may potentially damage your relationship with your employees and customers. Instead, you should be implementing a life cycle plan that plots the end-to-end stages of your business equipment and how you can incorporate financing into that plan.

Match Financing With Your Equipment’s Life Cycle

From photocopiers to heavy machinery, buying equipment outright can put a huge strain on cash flow. Equipment financing can be the ideal solution — whether you’re looking to keep your company functioning at optimal performance or expanding to meet increased demand. If you understand roughly how long each piece of equipment will last and how much it will cost to maintain and replace that machinery, you can make informed decisions about how to finance your equipment.

In some cases, depending on the equipment, leasing might make more sense than financing. Whether you decide to lease or finance a purchase, it’s important to understand all the implications of any transaction you are considering — including the true cost of financing and any special considerations for disposal when your machinery reaches the end of its equipment life cycle.

If you’re not sure which type of equipment financing is right for your business needs, get in touch with our experts. We’ll speak with you to learn more about your company and your business needs. Then we’ll develop a financing strategy that makes sense for you.

Partner With Team Financial Group for Fast, Flexible Financing

At Team Financial Group, we work with clients to identify and customize financing solutions that meet their unique needs. Our commercial equipment financing options can improve your business’ cash flow and overall financial health.

To get fast, flexible financing today, please complete this brief online application.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts

 

Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment for the current tax year — instead of writing off the purchase over the course of several years, which is called depreciation.

The equipment can be new or used, as long as it’s new to you. If you purchase some equipment for your business but don’t use it until the following year (say, you buy some equipment at the end of December but don’t use it until January), you’re only eligible to claim it for the first year you use it.

Section 179 can be confusing and intimidating for business owners seeking equipment financing, especially because the rules for how much business owners could claim as a deduction have fluctuated over the last few years.

This article will explain what when you can take Section 179 on used equipment and how it could positively impact your business.

What Type of Equipment Is Eligible Under Section 179?

To qualify for a Section 179 deduction, your equipment must be tangible property used more than 50% of the time for business use — and you can only deduct the percentage of the equal to the percentage of business use. So, if you buy a cell phone for your business and use it 75% of the time for business, you can claim 75% of the phone’s cost.

Items used for business purposes less than 50% of the time don’t qualify for a Section 179 deduction.

Examples of eligible equipment include:

For more information about which equipment is eligible for Section 179, the IRS has much more detail in its Instructions for Form 4562 — including tables outlining which vehicles qualify for a deduction.

What Vehicles Qualify for a Section 179 Deduction?

Section 179 is popularly used by businesses to purchase vehicles. In fact, this obscure bit of tax law became famous several years ago when it became known as the “Hummer deduction” or “the SUV tax loophole” because it was used to write off a significant portion of the cost of these vehicles. The regulation has been tightened in recent years.

As with other types of business property, vehicles can be new or used as long as they are new to you. Vehicles also need to be used for business purposes at least 50% of the time and must be registered to the business (not the business owner) to be eligible for the deduction.

There are some vehicles that will always qualify for a full Section 179 deduction because they aren’t likely going to be used for personal purposes. These include:

It gets a little more complicated for vehicles such as cars, trucks, and SUVs, since they’re more likely to be used for both business and personal needs. For tax purposes, they’re classified by vehicle weight:

Remember, you can only claim the Section 179 deduction in the first year you bought or financed the vehicle. Furthermore, a vehicle first purchased or financed for personal purposes doesn’t qualify in a later year if it becomes at least 50% used for business purposes.

Vehicles that are used less than 50% of the time for business purposes don’t qualify for the Section 179 deduction, but you may be able to depreciate the business-use percentage of the vehicle’s cost over a six-year period. Consult a financial professional for more information.

Related: Purchasing Used Equipment? Use This Checklist Before You Buy

What Equipment Is Ineligible for Section 179?

As with other types of tax deductions and expenses, not everything is eligible. Some ineligible items include the following:

Some property is disqualified from consideration for Section 179, including property that is:

Section 179 offers businesses a wonderful opportunity to leverage purchasing power. Team Financial Group can answer your questions about financing used equipment and help you secure the right kind of financing to qualify for this deduction.

Partner With Team Financial Group and Get Fast, Flexible Financing Today

At Team Financial Group, we work with clients to identify and customize financing solutions that meet their unique needs. Our commercial equipment financing options can improve your business’ cash flow and overall financial health.

To get fast, flexible financing today, fill out our simple online application.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts. 

 

Inflation happens when prices rise, which means the purchasing power of your dollar falls. Although that sounds bad, most economists agree that a moderate inflation rate is necessary for a healthy economy, because it encourages people to spend and invest their money rather than parking it in a savings account.

So, what does inflation mean for an equipment loan? In general, how inflation affects your equipment financing will depend on two factors: what inflation is doing (the inflation rate) and whether your loan has a fixed or variable interest rate.

Understanding Fixed Interest Rates

When you have a fixed-rate loan, you pay the same amount each period throughout the life of the loan, regardless of the inflation rate. The other option is a variable-rate loan, which has an interest rate that will move up or down based on changes in the market or fluctuations in the prime rate, which is a guiding interest rate that banks use. (The prime rate is partially based on the federal funds rate, set by the Federal Reserve.)

The predictability of fixed-rate loans is generally a good thing, especially in the world of commercial equipment financing. Most business owners know how much money they need, what equipment they need, and for how long they need it. Fixed interest rates are usually better for these borrowers since a fixed rate lets them accurately predict how much they’ll have to pay each period and how much the financing will cost over the life of the loan.

Because of this predictability, we’ve said in the past that fixed-rate financing is most often the best option for business owners who need to finance an equipment purchase. But with all the financial instability resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, is that preferred status still deserved?

The Good and the Bad of Fixed Interest Rates

When the rate of inflation goes up, the fixed-interest rate financing you took out costs you less than when you took out the loan since the dollar has lost some of its value. You’re essentially paying the lender back money that’s worth less than what it was when you took out the loan.

Not only that, but wages and revenues tend to rise during periods of high inflation. So, if you’re making more money but your monthly payments for your financing stay the same, then the payments take up a smaller percentage of your working capital.

On the other hand, the opposite is true: when inflation rates go down, your fixed-rate loan stays the same, but interest rates will generally go down. When this happens, the rate on your fixed-rate loan or lease may not look as favorable as it did when you secured the financing.

RELATED: Understanding Interest: Variable vs. Fixed Interest Rates for Equipment Financing

Is a Fixed Rate Still the Best Choice for Equipment Financing?

In general, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed our view that fixed-rate financing is the preferred method for borrowers utilizing equipment financing. While it’s possible that a period of low interest rates might take some of the shine off your fixed rate, you can also benefit if interest rates are high. Meanwhile, you get the peace of mind and planning ability that comes with knowing the exact amount of your monthly payments as well as how much your financing will cost you over the life of the loan.

Also, it’s usually not a good idea to base your financing decisions on inflation rates since future rates of inflation are hard to predict. Experts haven’t even come to a consensus yet on how the pandemic has affected inflation. The most recent government statistics say prices have risen by only 1 percent in the past year, but many economic analysts say that figure doesn’t accurately capture the cost of living during the pandemic, which may be rising much faster.

Even though we recommend fixed-rate loans to meet the needs of most of our clients, that doesn’t mean variable-rate loans don’t have their uses. The best way to figure out what makes sense for your business is to get in touch with a commercial financing expert who can learn about your unique situation and deliver a personalized recommendation.

Team Financial Group Offers A Variety of Equipment Financing Options to Fit Your Needs

At Team Financial Group, we offer leases and finance agreements that we can customize to fit your unique business needs. We’re dedicated to helping our clients grow and thrive by providing efficient and flexible financing options and personalized service.

Ready to get started? Applying is easy! Just visit our application page, fill out your contact information, and one of our commercial financing experts will get in touch to help walk you through the application process and determine which option is right for you. If you still have questions and you need answers before you’re ready to apply, you can use our online contact form to get in touch.

Reference

Wolfers, J. (2020, September 2). Inflation is higher than the numbers say. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/02/business/inflation-worse-pandemic-coronavirus.html

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

Starting a new business is a thrilling experience. After all these years, you’re finally ready to make your dreams a reality, and you’re poised for success. This new venture takes serious bravery, ambition, and finances, so you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to start on the right foot and outpace the competition.

Keep reading to learn how to get a credit card for your new business and get answers to the most common questions about credit cards for new businesses. We’ll also explore some other financing options that you might not have considered, but should.

3 Common Questions About Credit Cards for New Business

As you evaluate all of your new business’ financing options, you need to realistically assess your creditworthiness, your goals, and whether a credit card is your best financial option. However, most new business owners have fundamental questions about obtaining financing.

Do I Need an Established Credit History?

There’s no clear-cut answer to this question, but if you already have good credit (680+), you’re definitely in great shape for a new business credit card, even if your new business hasn’t yet turned a profit. The credit issuer will review your personal finances and your business plan to determine your eligibility, so be confident and honest in your answers to help ensure success.

However, many credit card companies and banks are overly reliant on business owners’ credit scores. At Team Financial Group, we know that there’s more to your business than a single number. While our financial professionals consider credit scores and your credit history, we take a more holistic, thoughtful approach.

What Are the New Business Credit Card Application Requirements?

The issuing institution will ask you for several key bits of personal and business information, including:

If you alone are running the business, you’ll declare your company a “sole proprietorship.” (Don’t worry, you’re still eligible for a new business credit card).

What Is a Personal Guarantee?

As the name implies, a personal guarantee is your guarantee that you will become personally responsible for any debt you incur if your business fails— even if your business is structured as a corporation or LLC. To be clear, if your business fails, the credit issuer can pursue repayment in the form of your personal assets. In most cases, you will be required to make a personal guarantee when applying for a new business credit card.

On the plus side, agreeing to a personal guarantee helps clear the path toward a line of credit even if you don’t have a lot of revenue. However, if you’re required to make a personal guarantee, you will be subject to a detailed credit check that will likely result in a slight temporary dip to your credit score. To complete the credit check, you will probably have to provide the following information:

To further discuss the responsibilities and potential consequences of a personal guarantee, please contact Team Financial Group today. We offer flexible equipment financing options that, unlike a credit card, might not involve a personal guarantee.

RELATED: Why Would I Personally Guarantee Financing if the Lease Is in My Business’ Name?

Tips for Small Businesses to Secure Credit Cards and Financing

New businesses come in all shapes and sizes, with different legal classifications, financial constraints, and competitive landscapes. So, it’s important that new business owners choose a new business credit card and financing options that align with their unique needs. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.

Choose Business Financing That Aligns With Your Needs

Some crucial considerations to keep in mind when researching new business credit cards are:

 

 

Explore All Possible Financing Options

New businesses often require fast (or even immediate) financing for big-ticket items, like machinery or vehicles. And since these purchases can mean the difference between failure and success, you want to choose financing options that are both practical and cost-effective.

Many of our clients receive same-day approval or even funding on request for small business financing. At Team Financial Group, we offer various options, including $1 buyout leases and fair market value (FMV) leases for equipment purchases. This helps new business owners avoid using up their company’s available credit and includes additional perks, including:

Whatever you decide, be sure to weigh all of your financing options with whatever time you have available before committing to a solution. Our clients believe that partnering with Team Financial Group has been fundamental to their long-term success—and we’d love to hear more about your business and its goals.

RELATED: Forklift Financing Turns Into a Long-Term Partnership: Duo Robotics

Contact Team Financial Group to Secure Financing for Your New Business

At Team Financial Group, we are committed to small business owners, which is why we offer diverse and flexible financing options to meet your unique needs. Our application process will not affect your credit score and takes only a few minutes to complete, so please click here to apply today!

Or, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your potential financing options further, please reach out by calling (616) 735-2393 or completing this brief form.

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

 

 

Small business owners frequently need to offer a personal guarantee to get commercial financing. Sometimes, these guarantees can cause anxiety for owners — it’s a little uncomfortable to put your personal assets on the line to secure the financing you need. So, why do lenders ask business owners for these personal guarantees?

In this article, we’ll talk about personal guarantees, including why lenders want them and how they work.

Why Lenders Want Personal Guarantees

Small businesses may have a limited credit history, which means they pose a fair amount of risk to a lender. Credit history is often the first thing a lender looks at when working to approve your loan. A lack of credit history can make it more difficult for a lender to understand how you’ve treated lending institutions in the past.

When a business owner provides a personal guarantee to secure a loan, they are promising to pay back the loan personally if their business defaults. Because of their flexibility, personal guarantees have become more common in recent years, especially since the 2008 financial crisis and recession.

Personal guarantees are often used as an alternative to loan covenants. A loan covenant is a clause in a loan where the borrower agrees to certain conditions and restrictions. Loan covenants can serve a purpose, but for most borrowers, a personal guarantee is simpler and more flexible. Some loan covenants can be overly restrictive and complicated, which may cause borrowers to violate the covenant on accident, possibly without even knowing it.

In general, there’s a strong relationship between personal credit and small business credit; if a small business owner has good personal credit, chances are their small business is creditworthy.

It can be intimidating for a business owner to put their personal assets on the line to get financing — but that’s also part of the reason why these guarantees are effective. The personal guarantee shows the financing partner that the business owner has “skin in the game” and is committed to repaying the credit.

RELATED: 5 Tips to Improve Your Personal Credit Score

Should I Sign a Personal Guarantee?

A personal guarantee is more of a safety net for a lender than anything else. If your business is able to meet its debt obligations, your personal assets won’t be at risk. Often, the most important function of a personal guarantee is to show the lender that you’re strongly motivated and serious about establishing a successful business.

Personal guarantees also offer some distinct advantages for borrowers. A guarantee can give you more financing options and help you secure a loan when you don’t have collateral that you want tied to a loan. And since a personal guarantee makes the transaction less risky for the lender, signing the guarantee may allow your lender to make your loan more affordable or otherwise offer more favorable financing terms.

However, it is important to remember that you take on responsibility when you sign a personal guarantee. Before you sign a guarantee, you should feel very confident about your ability to repay the loan.

Can I Negotiate My Personal Guarantee?

Even if a lender asks for a personal guarantee, you may have some room for negotiation and flexibility, especially if you work with an independent financing partner like Team Financial Group.

For example, you may want to ask if the lender will either put a time limit on the guarantee or agree to review the guarantee after a certain amount of time. Often, the lender is asking for the guarantee because your business hasn’t been around long enough to establish a track record of financial responsibility. After a couple of years, they may have a better understanding of your business’ current situation and history of profits, and they may be willing to remove the guarantee at that point.

Partner With Team Financial Group and Get Fast, Flexible Financing Today

At Team Financial Group, we offer flexible payment terms tailored to meet your business needs. Our application process is easy and won’t affect your credit score, so apply today to get started.

If you have any questions about the financing application process or which financing option is right for your business, fill out our online contact form or call us at 616-735-2393. We’d love to chat with you about your options.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only. For financial advice, please contact our commercial financing experts.

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