Finimpact

Gym Equipment Financing

To stand out in the competitive gym industry, you’ve got to have low prices and the latest equipment. You need new treadmills to attract customers, but you need customers to pay for the equipment. It’s a Catch-22. A gym equipment loan helps you get the capital you need to upgrade your gym and...

Gym Equipment Financing
Susan Guillory
Written by:Susan Guillory
Intuitive Business Coach and Content Magic Maker

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 it second-hand, but then you run the risk of faulty operation, which could injure a customer. You want the best equipment out there, and gym equipment financing can help.

This article will teach you what you need to know to find the best financing for your gym.

Our Top Picks for Best Gym Equipment Financing

credibly
  • Simple application process
  • As soon as same day funding
  • Open to high-risk industries
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 500+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K-$400K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 6-18 months
Fundbox review
  • No monthly fees or prepayment penalties
  • Same-day or next-day funding
  • Best for business lines of credit
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K - $150K
repayment
Loan Repayment 6-12 months
nationalfunding
  • Fast funding
  • Early payment discounts
  • Best for bad credit loans
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 500+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $250K-$500K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 2-5 years

How to Choose the Best Gym Equipment Financing Option?

There are many options when it comes to gym equipment financing, and it can be hard to know which is the best for you, especially if you’ve never taken out a business loan before. How much should you borrow? Who is easy to work with? What’s a good interest rate, and how can you get one?

Fortunately, you don’t have to do the work because we’ve done it for you! Our experts have ranked lenders based on the following factors.

  • Loan Features: Some lenders offer small loans, while others specialize in large ones.
  • Application process: Does the lender do a hard or soft pull on your credit? Is the application short or cumbersome?
  • Interest rates and fees: Some lenders charge fees on top of interest rates, which can add up. The better your qualifications as a gym owner, the lower the interest rate you’ll qualify for.
  • Qualification process: Some lenders put more weight on your credit score, while others look at other factors like time in business and annual revenues.
  • Customer support: We look for lenders who are easy to contact if you have a question.
  • Online user reviews: We also look at reviews on sites like Trustpilot.
  • Perks and Bonuses: Some lenders offer other benefits, like early payment discounts.

Best Small Business Loans for Gym Equipment

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.

1. Credibly - Best For Different Finance Options

While Credibly offers equipment financing, it also offers a full spectrum of other financing solutions you can use to buy equipment for your gym, as well as hire staff, invest in marketing, and even buy commercial property for your gym.

Pros
Wide variety of financing options
Fast loan funding
Flexible loan terms
Cons
Interest may be high for some
Daily or weekly payments
May include origination fees


In addition to equipment financing, Credibly offers working capital loans, lines of credit, long-term loans for business expansion, SBA loans, and merchant cash advances.

If you don’t have great credit, you likely may qualify for financing with Credibly. You only need a personal credit score of 500, annual revenues of $50k or more, and a business history of six months or more.

Credibly Features Table

Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue
Loan Amount Interest Rate
500+
6+ months $50K+ Up to $400k Starting at 6.99%

The Bottom Line

Equipment financing from Credibly is great because the equipment you’re buying acts as the collateral to secure the loan. You won’t have to worry about finding other assets to act as collateral if you take out an equipment loan with Credibly for your gym.

2. Fundbox - Best for SBA CDC/504

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.

Pros
Access to cash when you need it
No additional fees
Flexible payment options
Cons
Lower limits than with term loans
Interest may be high for some


With a line of credit from Fundbox, you can use the cash to buy equipment now, and more later. Once you pay back what you borrowed, you can borrow it again and again.

To qualify for a line of credit, your business must be based in the U.S. and be six months old or older. Your business must have annual revenues of $100,000 or more, and you must have a credit score of at least 600. Additionally, you need a business checking account.

Fundbox Features Table

Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
600 6 months $100k Up to $150k Starting at 4.66%

The Bottom Line

Having access to cash when you need it, rather than getting all the money at one time with a loan, gives you the flexibility to buy gym equipment when you need it most. As your business expands, you can buy more to attract more customers.

Try Fundbox

3. National Funding - Best For Equipment Leasing

Sometimes you want to buy gym equipment, and sometimes it’s better to lease it, especially because its value deteriorates so rapidly. National Funding provides both equipment financing and leasing, so no matter the path you choose, there’s a way to get what you need.

Pros
Equipment leasing is an option
Lowest payment guarantee
Easy to qualify
Cons
Leases are capped at $150k
Payments are daily or weekly


In addition to its equipment financing and leasing, National Funding offers small business loans, working capital loans, and short-term loans. With its equipment loans and leases, you can finance gym equipment up to $150,000.

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!



National Funding Features Table

Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
575
6 months n/a Up to $150k Starting at 4.66%

The Bottom Line

SmartBiz is an approved SBA loan provider that also specializes in construction and equipment. It has very few application requirements, making it appealing to new businesses. Clients also praise SmartBiz for approving loans quickly.

4. BlueVine - Best For an Easy Application

If you’re looking for gym equipment financing, you don’t want to spend hours applying for a loan. BlueVine has a quick application process, and you can get a decision on your application within minutes. BlueVine offers a line of credit you can use to purchase whatever equipment your gym needs. It also offers a checking account with interest, as well as bill pay services.

Pros
Easy application
Line of credit option
No monthly or prepayment fees
Cons
Can have high monthly payment
Short repayment period
Credit score requirement may be high


With BlueVine’s line of credit, you can access up 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.

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 600 or more and at least $10k in monthly revenue.

BlueVine Features Table

Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
600
6 months $10k a month Up to $250k

Starting at 4.8%

The Bottom Line

You don’t have time to spend on a complex loan application, nor is it necessary to fill one out if you have such an easy option as BlueVine. Getting access to a line of credit with BlueVine means you never have to worry about having the cash you need to upgrade your gym.

Try BlueVine

5. Fora Financial - Best For High Loan Amounts

You might only need $100,000 to outfit your gym…but if you own a franchise, the amount you need might be much, much higher. Not every lender specializes in high loan amounts, but Fora Financial does. Its small business loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including buying gym equipment, and you’ll even get a discount if you pay your loan off early!

Pros
High loan amounts
Early payoff discounts
No required credit score
Cons
Rates may be high
Short repayment period


Fora Financial offers both small business loans and merchant cash advances. With the loans, you can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $750,000. The loan must be repaid over 15 months.

Borrowers must have $12,000 or more in monthly gross sales and be in operation for at least six months.

Fora Financial Features Table

Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
n/a 6 months
$12k monthly $5k to $750k 10-30%

The Bottom Line

If your aim is to borrow a large amount of money, Fora Financial can meet that need. This investment, however, needs to be repaid within 15 months, so make sure you can afford the monthly payments.

Best Gym Equipment Financing - Features Comparisons

Company
Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business
Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount Interest Rate
Credibly
600
6 months $10k monthly Up to $250k Starting at
4.8%
Fundbox 600 6 months
$100k
Up to $150k
Starting at 4.66%
National Funding575
6 months n/a
Up to $150k Starting at 4.66%
BlueVine 600 6 months $10k monthly Up to $250k Starting at
4.8%
Fora Financial n/a 6 months $12k monthly
$5k to $750k 10-30%

Using Small Business Investors for Gym Equipment Financing

These are individuals, who may be with a professional investment firm or simply private investors who want to help you succeed, who put money into your gym in exchange for a percentage of the profits later.

You don’t pay investors back with interest the way you do a small business loan. Instead, you agree upon what percentage of your business they will own in equity. They provide funds you use to grow your business, maybe by buying cutting-edge equipment. In a few years, they have the option to take their equity out of the business. By then, it should be worth far more than what they initially invested.

A benefit of working with an investor is that they may have experience in the gym industry and may be able to help you make strategic decisions to help your business succeed. They may have contacts they can introduce you to that you can partner with. If you are considering investors, be aware that they may want to have a say in the decisions for your gym, and make sure you’re comfortable with sharing that power.

Gym Equipment Leasing vs. Loans

With a 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.

With an 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.

Best Gym Equipment Leasing Options

To summarize: you can buy gym equipment…or you can lease it. Some companies also allow you to lease to own, which means you are leasing the equipment but at the end of the lease, you have the option to buy the equipment outright. This gives you a chance to try it out with no obligation to buy, and then decide to keep the equipment if you like it.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you as to whether to buy or lease your gym equipment. If you opt for leasing, there are several companies that specialize in gym equipment leasing. Let’s look at a few.

Life Fitness

Life Fitness offers a wide range of gym equipment for cardio, strength training, group fitness, and accessories, and offers leasing and financing options.

Katapult

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 for credit up to $3,500, and even if you have a bankruptcy on your record, you can qualify.

Leases are available for 10 to 18 months, and can be autorenewed. Expert Fitness Supply offers products like saunas, ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes, free weights, and more.

ELEASE

ELEASE offers both leases and financing for gym equipment, including free weights, exercise benches, aerobic equipment, Nautilus equipment, universal gyms, and mats and training equipment.

You may qualify for leasing finance of between $10,000 and $5 million, which should be plenty to outfit a gym or two! ELEASE will work with you to create a lease agreement that meets your needs. You can even customize your payment schedule to make larger payments during high-revenue periods and smaller ones when revenues aren’t as high.

How Much Does Gym Equipment Cost?

Not sure what you might need to pay for gym equipment? Here’s a quick guide to average costs for gym equipment.

Training Bench $180-600
Dumbbell Set $200-2,000
Barbell Set $2,000-4,000
Weight Machine $1,200-3,000
Treadmill $1,800-6,500
Elliptical $400-6,000
Rowing Machine $800-1,800
Stationary Bike $400-2,000

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.

How Much Money Do You Need to Open a Gym?

If you’re opening a gym, it’s important to get an idea of how much money you will need to cover all your expenses. Those 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: $5k-8k
  • Equipment: $10k-50k
  • Permits/certifications: $2k
  • Insurance: $12k/year
  • Miscellaneous: varies

If you choose to purchase your gym space, it will, of course, cost you much more than renting it. Rents will vary from one market to another, but expect to pay between $5,000 and $8,000 a month.

What you spend on gym equipment will depend on what equipment you have, the quality, and how many pieces of equipment you need. This may range from $10,000 to $50,000 per location.

Your state or local government may require you to have certain business permits, and you may also want to have fitness certifications if you offer personal training. These costs can be up to $2,000. You’ll also need insurance, including workers’ comp and liability. Rates will vary, but average about $12,000 a year.

You’ll have other startup costs, including computers and printers, a point-of-sale system to take payments, and other office equipment. These will vary depending on your needs. You’ll also need a website, which can cost a few thousand dollars.

In total, it may cost $50,000 or more to start a gym business.

Pros and Cons of Gym Equipment Financing

Before taking on gym equipment financing, understand the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

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, companies like the ones we’ve covered here can help you get the equipment you need to succeed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should you buy or lease gym equipment?
Both buying and leasing gym equipment have their own 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 $50k at a minimum. You may want to start small and upgrade as you make more money.
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 as well as 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?
Some lenders may have certain credit score requirements to qualify for financing, while others are willing to lend even if you have bad credit or a bankruptcy on your record. 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.

Related Loan Picks

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Intuitive Business Coach and Content Magic Maker

Susan Guillory is an intuitive business coach and content magic maker. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi. She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards.

More about me