Gym Equipment Financing and Leasing: Best 6 Options
To stand out in the competitive gym industry, you’ve got to have both low prices and the latest equipment. You need new treadmills to attract customers, but you need customers to pay for the equipment. A gym equipment loan helps you get the capital you need.
Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks, Personal Finance Writer and Editor
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may affect which companies we write about and where the company appears on a page. However, any analyses, or reviews expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been approved or endorsed by any partner.
The gym industry is an ever-changing one. It seems like every year, a new trendy workout or piece of equipment pops up, and as a gym owner, you want to stay relevant. That means constantly investing in your business and having the latest, greatest equipment.
Gym equipment, unfortunately, doesn’t come cheap. Sure, you can buy used equipment, but then you run the risk of faulty operation. You want the best equipment out there, and a small business loan can help.
There are many options when it comes to gym equipment financing, and it can be hard to know which is the best for you. How much should you borrow? Who is easy to work with? What’s a good interest rate, and how can you get one?
In this review, our team of expert reviewers has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the top lenders in the industry. We will share our findings and provide a rating methodology you can use to select the best option for your needs..
Gym Equipment Financing and Leasing: Best Options Overview
Let’s kick things off by looking at some of the online lenders who offer financing you can use to purchase gym equipment like treadmills, bikes, weight machines, and even computers.
American Express Business Blueprint™ - Best for Gyms with Fair Monthly Revenue
Monthly fee: 3-9% for 6 month loans, 6-18% for 12-month loans, 9-27% for 18-month loans
Loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $250,000
No prepayment penalties and no origination fees
Convenient application process
Pros & Cons
Straightforward application process
No prepayment penalties
Excellent customer service
Rates can be high
Requires personal guarantee
Short repayment terms
American Express Business Blueprint™ program hosts the American Express® Business Line of Credit product. The lender offers business lines of credit ranging from $2,000 to $250,000. American Express Business Blueprint allows you to fill out an application in a timely manner and receive a decision in real-time.
Main Features American Express Business Line of Credit range from $2,000 to $250,000 and instead of an interest rate, they charge a monthly fee on the amount you use. For 6-month terms, fees range from 3-9%; for 12-month terms, fees range from 6-18%; and for 18-month terms, fees range from 9-27%. Rates are determined by your credit score, time in business, and annual revenue. To qualify for an equipment line of credit from American Express, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 640. However, all businesses are unique and are subject to approval and review. You’ll also need to have been in business for a minimum of 12 months, and show at least $3,000 in average monthly revenue.
An American Express Business Line of Credit may work well for small gym owners with fair monthly revenues, but the fees the lender charges can be high when you calculate their comparable APR.
When it comes to gym equipment, sometimes leasing is the best option. A lease allows you to borrow the equipment for a set period of time, and then replace it when newer models are released. With National Funding, you can choose to lease your equipment or purchase it, so no matter the path you choose, there’s a way to get what you need.
Main Features With its equipment loans and leases, you can finance gym equipment up to $150,000. National Funding also offers small business loans, working capital loans, and short-term business loans. To qualify for equipment leasing or financing, you need a credit score of 575 or greater and you need to be in business for at least six months. You also need an equipment quote from a vendor. There are no published requirements for annual revenue, which is rare!
If you feel that leasing equipment is a better fit for your gym, National Funding offers flexible options, including leases on used equipment. This can save you money and let you stay on top of the latest trends in fitness.
Industry best factor rate for MCA - as low as 1.10
APR for the Line of credit product starts at 35%
Flexible repayment terms up to 16 months
Get funding in as little as 24 hours
Check your rate with a soft credit pull
Pros & Cons
Fast lending decision and funding times
No collateral required
Large loan amounts up to $2 million
Flexible payment options
Fees not disclosed on website
Startups will not qualify
Not all industries will qualify
Running a gym can be costly, especially if you need to renovate your gym, purchase all new equipment, or expand to another location. Backd can help with all of the above and more. Founded in 2018, their mission is to provide customized loans to fit the needs of each unique business. The company has since funded more than $1 billion to 10,000+ small businesses and counting.
Main Features Backd offers gym owners two products: Working capital loans and business lines of credit. Working capital loans range from $10,000 to $2 million with terms up to 16 months. Payments are made daily, weekly, or semi-monthly. Business lines of credit range from $10,000 to $750,000 with unlimited terms. Neither option requires collateral. To qualify, you need to be in business for at least one year and have $100,000 in annual revenues.
Backd is best for gym owners looking for a large loan amount or for those that need their funds quickly. The application takes just a few minutes and a decision is given instantly. If you decide to move forward, funds can be dispersed within 24-48 hours of loan approval.
GoKapital offers six different types of small business loans, including equipment financing and leasing options. Founded in 2013, GoKapital strives to make financing available for more entrepreneurs, regardless of credit score. The company offers an easy, online application, fast decision and funding times, competitive interest rates, and high borrowing amounts.
Main Features If you need new equipment for your gym business, GoKapital offers equipment financing and leasing ranging from $20,000 to $5 million. Terms range from one to five years and rates start at just 6%, some of the lowest that we’ve seen. The reason GoKapital is able to charge a lower rate is because the equipment acts as collateral. When you apply, you’ll need to submit the online application, 4-6 months of business bank statements, and a copy of your equipment invoice. To qualify, you need to have a credit score of 580, be in business for at least one year, and have $360,000 or more in annual revenue. If your revenue isn’t quite that high, GoKapital offers other types of loan products with a lower annual revenue requirement.
GoKapital offers some of the lowest rates and highest loan amounts available. If you’re in need of new gym equipment and are looking for the best rate, we recommend giving GoKapital a try. When you apply, only a soft pull is done on your credit, meaning it will not affect your score. It’s no risk to you to apply and make a decision from there.
Bluevine offers lines of credit up to $250,000 for qualified borrowers. The application takes just a few minutes and funds can be in your account within 24 hours from approval. In addition to their line of credit, Bluevine also offers business checking accounts, making them a one-stop shop for all your gym financing needs.
Main Features With Bluevine’s line of credit, you can access $2,000 to $250,000 to purchase gym equipment. As you repay what you borrow, you can borrow more. Repayments must be made over six or 12 months from each draw. Interest rates start at just 4.8%. To be approved for the line of credit, your business must be U.S.-based and in operation for at least six months. You need a credit score of 625 or more and at least $10k in monthly revenue.
If you need access to capital quickly, a line of credit from Bluevine is a great option. With their fast application process and quick funding time, you’ll have the funds you need to purchase equipment or make necessary gym improvements anytime you please.
You know you need to buy a treadmill today, but you’d like to add an extra three in a few months when business picks up. Rather than taking out two separate loans, you can open a line of credit with Fundbox and have access to capital when you need it. A line of credit is similar to a credit card where you use the funds you need up to a maximum amount, pay them back, and then can use them again.
Main Features Fundbox offers lines of credit up to $150,000 with a 12 or 24 week repayment schedule. Interest rates begin at 4.66% for 12 week terms and 8.99% for 24 week terms. Fundbox also offers term loans up to $150,000 in addition to their line of credit. To qualify for a line of credit or term loan from Fundbox, your business must be based in the U.S. and be six months or older. You must have annual revenues of $100,000 or more and a credit score of at least 600. Additionally, you need a business checking account.
A line of credit from Fundbox gives you access to cash when you need it, rather than getting all the money at one time with a loan. This gives you the flexibility to purchase new gym equipment, update your gym space, or handle an emergency that may come your way.
Not sure what you might need to pay for gym equipment? Here’s a quick guide to average costs for gym equipment.
Depending on the size of your gym, you may need to purchase dozens of these items. And keep in mind, there may be a discrepancy in quality from the low end of these ranges to the high end. You want to buy or lease gym equipment that will be durable and keep your members safe over the long-haul.
How Much Money Do You Need to Open a Gym?
It’s important to get an idea of how much it costs to open a gym and make sure you can cover your expenses. These will not only include the cost for the equipment, but also costs for remodeling, commercial rent, payroll, marketing, supplies, and any business licenses you will need to get started.
Here’s what you need to consider:
Monthly rent ($5,000-$8,000/month): You can, of course, choose to purchase your space. If you choose to rent, though, expect to pay between $5,000 and $8,000 per month at a minimum.
Equipment ($10,000-$50,000): Equipment costs will vary depending on the types of equipment you buy and how much you need, but expect to spend $10,000 at the very least.
Permits and certifications ($2,000): Your state or local government may require you to have certain business permits, and you may also want fitness certifications if you offer personal training. These costs will vary, but expect to spend $2,000 or more.
Insurance ($12,000 per year): This includes workers compensation and liability insurance.
Miscellaneous (varies): Miscellaneous expenses for your gym may include office supplies, utility bills, marketing and advertising, taxes, payroll, and more.
In total, it may cost $50,000 or more to start a gym business and keep it operating.
Gym Equipment Leasing vs. Loans
Equipment loan, you are purchasing the equipment. Once you pay the loan in full, you own the equipment outright. You can keep it or sell it. Often, though, the equipment has depreciated in value and you won’t be able to sell it for more than a fraction of the cost you paid.
Equipment lease, you are paying to have the equipment for a specified period of time. Once that lease period is over, you give the equipment back to the company. You may also have the option to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease.
The Pros and Cons of Gym Equipment Financing
Before taking on gym equipment financing, understand the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.
Don’t need cash up front to get the equipment
Can pay for the equipment over months or years
Allows you to get the best equipment available
Helps you pay for other expenses that come with running your gym
You’ll pay interest and potential fees on top of the loan
Some loans may be difficult to qualify for
Some lenders limit how much you can borrow to purchase equipment
Alternative Gym Financing Options
If you don’t want to take out a gym equipment loan, or if you don’t qualify, there are alternative options for financing. They include:
Peer-to-peer lending is similar to online lending, except there is no middleman. Rather than going through a small business loan company, you go directly to the individual lending the money. This can cut costs; but peer-to-peer lending still can be an expensive form of borrowing.
A personal loan is another alternative to traditional gym financing. To qualify for a personal loan, lenders will look at your personal credit history and your annual income. Loan amounts are typically less than business loans, but the requirements aren’t as strict.
Home equity loan
A home equity loan will come with the lowest interest rate compared to small business loans and personal loans. This is because your house is used as collateral. If you can’t pay back your loan, the lender can seek foreclosure.
Crowdfunding is getting online donations for your business from a large number of people. If 10,000 people contribute $5 each to your gym, for example, you’ll have $50,000. Popular crowdfunding websites include GoFundMe, Patreon, SeedInvest Technology, and Indiegogo.
Get a business partner
Another alternative to gym financing is seeking out a business partner. Your partner may be able to cover more of the costs upfront in exchange for more profits down the line. Or, if your partner has more solid credit, they may get a better rate on a loan or qualify for a larger amount. Having a business partner isn’t for everyone, so you’ll need to weigh the risks and benefits to see if it’s worth exploring.
Additional Gym Equipment Leasing Options
If you opt to lease your gym equipment, there are several companies that specialize in gym equipment leasing. Let’s look at a few:
Life Fitness offers a wide range of gym equipment for cardio, strength training, group fitness, accessories, and more. Life Fitness offers both leasing and financing options.
Fitness equipment brand, Expert Fitness Supply, has partnered with leasing company Katapult to offer customers the option to lease or lease-to-buy equipment. You don’t need good credit to qualify, and even if you have a bankruptcy on your record, you can still apply. Expert Fitness Supply offers products like saunas, ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes, free weights, and more.
ELEASE offers both leases and financing for gym equipment, including free weights, exercise benches, aerobic equipment, Nautilus equipment, universal gyms, mats, and training equipment. ELEASE offers financing from $10,000 up to $5 million, and can customize your payment schedule to make large payments during high-revenue periods and smaller ones when revenues aren’t as high.
The Bottom Line
Gym equipment financing can help you start or grow your gym business faster than bootstrapping those costs. Having the capital available to buy the latest technology and equipment can help you stay competitive in what can be a crowded market.
Whether you lease equipment or buy it outright, using a gym equipment loan can help you get the financing you need to start and operate your gym business.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Should you buy or lease gym equipment?
Both buying and leasing gym equipment have pros and cons.
Buying lets you own the equipment outright, though the value will depreciate
over time. Leasing may be more affordable and allow you to change out equipment
as it ages, though you will not own the equipment.
How much money do you need to open a gym?
Costs will vary depending on how big your space is and local
real estate costs, but you can expect to have startup costs of around $50,000
at a minimum. You may want to start small and upgrade as your profits increase.
Do I need a license to open a gym?
Many state and local governments have requirements for new
businesses to have certain permits and licenses. Check with your Secretary of
State and your city’s business licensing department to see if there are
requirements for gym businesses in your area.
Is it possible to qualify for gym equipment financing with bad credit?
Yes, you can qualify for equipment financing with poor
credit. Because the equipment acts as collateral for the loan, and therefore
lowers the lender’s risk, you may be able to qualify for financing with bad
credit. Keep in mind, though, that you will pay higher rates than if your
credit was good to excellent.