Technology is ever-changing and the equipment you’re using can quickly become obsolete. When this happens, your business may have to invest in new heavy equipment to keep itself going and remain competitive. However, large equipment purchases can put a dent in your cash flow, which could impact your operations.
Heavy equipment financing gives you the resources you need to purchase or lease much-needed heavy equipment without dipping into your cash reserves. But what exactly is heavy equipment financing? In this article, we’ll discuss its definition, the pros and cons of utilizing it, and the requirements for approval.
What Is Heavy Equipment Financing?
Heavy equipment financing is a business loan designed specifically for purchasing heavy-duty mowers, backhoes, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment. The loan is prevalent in manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and even the food industry.
Lenders give you the working capital needed to secure the necessary equipment. You can get up to 100% financing to cover the cost of the equipment depending on several factors, like your credit rating, type of equipment, and the industry you’re in.
Pros of Heavy Equipment Financing
Securing financing for your new heavy equipment provides you with several benefits you won’t enjoy from other options.
One is that a business owner has the potential to claim a full deduction on the amount of the purchase from yearly income tax. Under Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code, businesses that purchase new machinery this year may be able to claim tax deductions of up to $1.05 million. One of the key requirements, however, is that the equipment must be used in business operations in the tax year for which you’re claiming deductions in order to take advantage of this deduction.
Leasing offers a similar benefit, but you can only deduct the amount you’re paying every month from the lease. The deduction would be equal to the monthly amortization multiplied by 12 months. Leasing does guarantee yearly tax savings throughout the contract, but heavy equipment financing offers a higher lump-sum compensation immediately after purchasing the gear, aside from the annual deductions from the fees and interest incurred.
Another benefit of heavy equipment financing is flexibility. Armed with your financial statements, you have the opportunity to negotiate more comfortable terms. This means you can avoid breaking the bank and maintain good financial standing. You can also exert a degree of control over your cash flow and expenditures.
In all cases, financing is a method that helps businesses like yours build good credit records. You just need to make sure your lender reports your standing to business credit bureaus. It could be a pathway through which you get access to more business credit.
Cons of Heavy Equipment Financing
Like all available options for acquiring heavy equipment, financing also has its own set of disadvantages.
One disadvantage is that the significant amount of the loan and the extended terms can tie your finances down until it matures. It might be difficult for you to secure another loan when you need it, as some lenders are wary about granting loans when borrowers appear to be deep in debt already. This is beyond your control since lenders base decisions on your financial statements.
In addition, the ongoing loan could affect your financial health. Loan payments are accounted for as liabilities, so there’s a risk of your debt-to-asset ratio getting higher. In the eyes of creditors, a high ratio means that a borrower carries a high risk of not paying back a loan. As stated above, they may decline your application or, at the very least, attach high-interest rates to the money they will lend.
While this doesn’t happen often, another drawback is that the lender might require you to secure the loan using existing assets. Some creditors do not require any collateral, preferring instead to secure the loan with the equipment being purchased.
Unless expressly stated during the application process and in your contract, you can rest assured that your business and personal assets are safe even if you default on your obligation in heavy equipment financing.
Last but not least, an overly long repayment period could result in depreciation. In other words, your heavy equipment might become obsolete after it is fully paid off. Of course, this can be avoided by negotiating shorter yet still affordable repayment terms.
How to Apply for a Heavy Equipment Financing
The application process for heavy equipment financing is fast and straightforward. Many lenders, like Kapitus, offer an easy-to-use equipment financing application that should only take about five minutes to complete and requires minimal documentation.
One of the documents required is the vendor invoice. The invoice proves the value of the heavy equipment you’re looking to borrow money for. The lender needs this to know how much you need from them. Your vendor will send this invoice to you as part of your purchase agreement. You don’t have to pay for the invoice right away, which gives you more time to seek financing.
You also need to prepare your financial statements, which include documentation from your bank. It’s highly recommended to have at least six months’ worth of statements on hand when you are applying.
Once you’ve gathered all your documents, you just need to go to the issuer’s website and complete an application. The application covers information about your business, the type of equipment you’re looking to purchase, and some personal information.
Complete the application, attach the needed documents, and you’ve applied!. Make sure to free up some time because a consultant will call you to learn more about your business. After receiving confirmation of approval, you’ll also receive another call to discuss your payment terms just before the lender pays for the vendor invoice.
The payment and final delivery of the equipment then conclude the process. As mentioned earlier, all that’s left to do is to keep your end of the bargain by making payments as agreed upon.
Maximizing the Benefits of Heavy Equipment Financing
As a bonus, here are some tips that could help you maximize the benefits of a heavy equipment loan.
Many businesses choose to purchase new equipment as it’s less likely to break down from frequent use and is covered by warranty for the first few years. In other words, you can avoid expensive maintenance or repair fees that could affect your cash flow.
If you find yourself preferring used equipment, you should enlist a professional mechanic to inspect the equipment before you request an invoice. If there are defects, secure the seller’s commitment to fixing them before moving forward with a purchase. Again, the goal is to avoid spending money on repair and maintenance as much as possible.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to negotiate. There’s a reason why there are a couple of calls before you’re approved for your heavy equipment loan. This gives you time to understand your contract’s terms and allows you to discuss and negotiate those terms.
Your equipment is an integral and essential part of your business. You should not hesitate to invest in new equipment if the old ones in your inventory are way past their useful lives. Many creditors are ready to help you with this significant investment through heavy equipment financing.