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Equipment Leasing and Financing Association (ELFA) is a member-based trade organization founded in 1961 in Washington, DC. It represents more than 550 financial services companies and manufacturers that provide financing for any size company for the purpose of purchasing equipment. Member companies through ELFA offer up to $1 million in financing based on the borrower's income statements and credit history. Borrowers must also have a minimum 500 credit score and be in business for at least a year in order to qualify for equipment financing. The nonprofit organization does not disclose details regarding rates, fees, and terms. There is no consumer feedback regarding the association online.

Typical Borrowers

Only members through the organization can apply for equipment financing. Business owners must be in operation for at least a year and have a minimum credit score of 500. Business and personal collateral are necessary for approval. Annual business income requirements vary from lender to lender, as well as interest rates terms, and other fees.

Best Uses

Loans can be obtained from lenders for the purpose of purchasing business equipment.

Minimum Qualifications

  • One year in business
  • Minimum 500 credit score
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The Good

  • Membership benefits
  • Educational resources

Pros of ELFA Small Business Loans

  • Up to $1 Million Loan Amount
  • Discounts on Banking Services
  • Business Development Resources
  • Short and Long Term Loan Options
  • Loans Available For All Credit Types

Membership Benefits

Members are able to deal directly with manufacturers and other lenders to negotiate and acquire equipment financing for their small businesses. Numerous loan options are available from these lenders ranging from $5,000 to $1 million. Small business owners are also able to gain numerous other resources for business growth plus tax incentives and discounts on banking and other services.

Educational Resources

The organization features numerous educational resources to its members on lease financing, accounting, and legal matters. The company also works as an advocate for industry businesses in the United States on the state and federal levels and delivers the latest industry market research and statistics to its members. The company also helps members network with equipment financing members to help develop long-term business relationships.

The Bad

  • Lack of transparency
  • Only for members

Lack of Transparency

The company does not disclose any details regarding the funding process of the lenders it works with. Loan approval times vary from lender to lender. No details are offered regarding interest rates or other fees involved in obtaining a business loan. Members only have access to equipment funding and nothing else.

Only for Members

Unless a small business owner is a member of the organization, that individual cannot apply for a small business loan from ELFA. Annual membership fees approximately range from $3,000 to $72,000, depending on the size and type of business. These fees may be too expensive for some small businesses and these business owners may choose to opt for alternative options from online competitors offering easier access to lending.
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The Bottom Line

ELFA is a trade association that helps small business owners acquire equipment financing from its wide range of members. The organization offers numerous educational resources and business networking opportunities; however, membership may be too expensive for some business types and there is no customer feedback regarding the offered lending options available through the organization.
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