Essential business equipment is one of your most important but costly expenses. You need the equipment to do business, but paying out of pocket isn’t always possible.
Many lenders provide equipment financing. But traditional lenders like banks and credit unions have strict requirements and take a long time to approve and fund loan requests.
Alternative lenders like Crest Capital aim to help you get the equipment you need faster without all the hassles of a bank loan. However, the lender might not be suitable for every small business.
This review can help you decide if Crest Capital suits your equipment financing needs by covering the benefits, drawbacks, and application process. Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:
Crest Capital is an alternative lender specializing in equipment finance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The equipment financing company provides a simple online application for equipment financing up to $250,000. With extra documentation, it can finance equipment up to $500,000.
Crest Capital began in 1989 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Its flexible equipment financing options are available nationwide.
Small business owners can apply to finance equipment, some vehicles, or software. The company doesn’t offer any other small business loan options. Crest Capital also provides vendor financing, which allows equipment vendors (sellers) to offer loans and equipment leasing to their customers.
The types of business-related equipment you can finance are very flexible. The lender doesn’t limit equipment financing by industry. It allows for financing used equipment with no age or usage restrictions. You can also get financing for private party sales.
Here’s the breakdown of how financing works for each asset type.
Small business owners can finance most types of equipment. Examples include point-of-sale systems, manufacturing equipment, medical and dental equipment, etc.
The lender allows you to finance 100% of the equipment cost, meaning you don’t have to make a down payment. The equipment you’re financing is the collateral, and the lender doesn’t require additional capital.
Crest Capital allows businesses to finance various vehicles. Examples include limos, buses, vans, and work trucks. However, it doesn’t finance passenger vehicles. In addition, it only finances 18-wheelers for non-transportation companies. It cannot finance owner-operator trucks or fleets.
Companies can finance most business software, including custom software. The financing provides 100% of the costs, including installation, training, and support.
Crest offers various equipment loan and lease options so you can select what works best for your goals and cash flow.
Equipment Finance Agreement (EFA): A fixed-rate loan with fixed monthly payments. The business owns the equipment and holds the title, but the lender maintains security interest. Once the loan is paid off, Crest Capital releases its security interest.
Guaranteed Purchase Agreement (PUT): This option includes a guaranteed purchase price for the equipment at the end of the financing term. It can be a set price or range with a minimum and maximum amount. The larger the balloon payment at the end of the term, the lower the monthly payment.
$1 Purchase Agreement: This type of lease operates like a loan with a similar payment amount. You can purchase the equipment for $1 at the end of the lease term.
First Amendment Lease: This lets you purchase the equipment at defined points throughout the lease term. You must renew the lease if you don’t buy the equipment. The purchase price is either fixed or based on fair market value.
10% Purchase Option: This lease gives you multiple options at the end of the term. You can purchase the equipment for 10% of its original cost, renew the lease, or return it. The monthly payment is structured to account for the 10% purchase price. You can also apply to upgrade the equipment.
Fair Market Value (FMV): An FMV lease provides the lowest monthly payment amount, usually 100% tax deductible. At the end of the lease term, you can purchase the equipment at its fair market value, return it, renew the lease, or apply to upgrade it.
Operating Lease: This lease allows for off-balance sheet financing. It meets the Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) ‘s established criteria. Operating leases are available for equipment with a strong after-market value.
The lender doesn’t provide much upfront information on qualifications, but it does have a convenient tool to check your eligibility on its website. Checking won’t impact your credit score.
Crest Capital’s website does state it primarily works with established businesses. You’ll typically need at least two years in business to qualify.
It also states you should have good credit but doesn’t define what it considers “good.” Some online reviews suggest you need a minimum credit score of 650, but we couldn’t confirm that. There are no minimum annual revenue requirements listed.
The equipment financing loan provider focuses exclusively on financing equipment. It doesn’t provide any other form of business loans or funding.
There are no hard credit checks when you apply. The lender only conducts a soft credit pull, which won’t affect your credit.
While it doesn’t provide interest rates, the lender claims its rates are competitive with typical bank loans. The actual rate you receive depends on your loan or lease structure, credit score, terms, and the equipment you’re financing.
Many of the lender’s equipment finance programs are compatible with Section 179 Tax Deductions. Ask your accountant or tax professional how these deductions work for your business.
As mentioned, Crest Capital can finance soft costs associated with your equipment transaction. Those can include delivery, installation, taxes, training, etc. The lender states up to 25% of the loan amount can go towards soft costs.
The company provides vendor partnerships for equipment sellers but doesn’t provide information about any other business loan affiliate program. ISOs and business loan brokers should contact the lender to ask about offering its equipment financing products to their small business clients.
The application process is quick and simple. Follow these steps to apply.
The process starts when you select the equipment you want to finance. You’ll need an equipment invoice from the vendor or seller.
You can complete the application online or print it and send it in my mail or fax. For loans up to $250,000, you only need to complete the application form. Loans over $250k require additional documentation such as tax returns, financial statements, and more.
Crest Capital aims to return credit decisions on the same day you apply. You might get a decision as soon as four hours.
If the lender approves your application, you’ll send the equipment invoice by fax or email.
The lender will send you the finance agreement after you send the invoice. This can happen on the same day if everything goes smoothly. The finance agreement should include your rates, terms, and payment frequency. Ensure you fully understand the costs and your debt obligations before signing.
The final step is the lender paying the equipment vendor or seller. The payment includes taxes and delivery and installation fees. You can begin using the equipment immediately.
The repayment process depends on the loan and lease structure. Most loans and leases carry monthly payments, but Crest Capital can also structure quarterly or seasonal payments.
Regardless of your payment frequency, you’ll make the payments with automatic transfers from your business bank account. This prevents missing payments.
Crest Capital indicates early payoff is allowed. However, it depends on the specifics of your financing agreement. There may or may not be a benefit to early payoff, depending on how it’s structured. The website provides a section for requesting a payoff quote.
The lender also offers several flexible payment plans that can be combined with most of its loan and lease options. You’ll need to specify these plans during the financing agreement.
Master Agreement: This plan allows businesses to add equipment schedules in the future. It works similarly to a line of credit but specifically for equipment. This option comes in handy for companies whose initial equipment purchase meets revenue projections, leading to a desire to add more equipment.
Step-Up Plans: These payment structures allow for lower payments early in the financing term, gradually increasing over time. A step-up plan gives the business more time to generate revenue with the equipment, making the payment process easier.
Deferred Plans: Some customers can defer payments for up to six months. Like a step-up plan, this gives the business more time to generate revenue with the equipment before making payments. This increases your cash flow during the deferred period.
Seasonal Plans: Also known as “Skip-Payments,” seasonal plans allow businesses to make no payments during their off-season. Matching payments are due during peak season(s). Crest Capital provides the example of a Northeast golf course missing golf cart payments during the winter.
The lender facilitates various equipment loan and lease options for small business owners. It provides a convenient and straightforward online application with no documentation requirements for financing up to $250k.
Crest Capital has a fast turnaround time on credit decisions. It’s possible to get a decision within four hours of applying.
Many reviews suggest its rates are competitive with similar equipment financing providers. Small business owners get various flexible payment options to help afford the equipment.
The lender is well-established with a good online reputation. It aims to make the equipment financing process simpler and more convenient.
Businesses need at least two years in business and good credit to qualify. It doesn’t provide any startup or bad credit financing.
The lender also doesn’t define “good credit.” There’s no listed minimum credit score for eligibility.
Equipment financing caps out at $250k for application-only. It has extensive documentation requirements for financing up to $500k and doesn’t exceed that amount.
While rates are listed as “competitive,” it doesn’t provide sample rates or ranges. That makes it impossible to compare costs with other lenders.
The lender has a documentation fee of $250. However, that’s the only fee it charges.
Yes, Crest Capital is a legitimate and reputable lender. It’s been in operation since 1989. The alternative lender is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited with an A+ rating.
Despite over 30 years of business history, few customer reviews are available. Most of the available reviews are on its BBB page, where it has an average of 4.8 out of 5 on over 20 reviews. That’s impressive since most customers only go to the BBB to complain about a company.
The positive reviews talk about the ease of the process and speed of approval and receiving the equipment. Several positive reviews are from customers who have financed with the company multiple times.
Other positive reviews praised the customer service and how easy it was to work with the company. A few reviews mentioned the service representative by name. Several recommend Crest Capital.
The few negative reviews discussed confusion over the costs. One reviewer said the financing agreement didn’t list an APR. When the business owner converted the rate to an APR, it was a higher percentage than what they were quoted.
Reasons for denial could include not having enough business history to qualify or having a low credit score. Since the lender doesn’t publish a cutoff score, you must apply to see if you’re eligible.
If you apply and get declined, you should receive a denial letter explaining why. You can also contact the lender for more information.
You might also be interested in one of the following small business loan options:
Crest Capital is best suited for small business owners with good credit and at least two years in business. It’s especially convenient if your equipment financing needs are $250k or less.
Businesses with high annual revenue and excellent credit could likely qualify for equipment financing from a traditional lender. However, the lender could still be a good fit if you have an urgent need.
Business owners with less than two years or fair to poor credit must find a different lender. In addition, if you prefer to compare rates before applying, you would need a different finance provider.
Based on the available information and user reviews, we rate Crest Capital at 4.1 out of 5. It’s an excellent option for equipment financing, but its lack of other loans holds it back.
Disclaimer: The Crest Capital trademark is owned by Crest Capital, and its use herein is for reference purposes only, and it does not indicate sponsorship or endorsement from Crest Capital.