Whether you’re opening a new beauty salon or looking to grow your business by upgrading your salon equipment, interest rates are at an all-time low this year, so it could be the best time to take out a loan or other financing.
While there are several small business loan options to consider, there are some specifically geared toward beauty salons and spas looking to buy equipment. We’ll cover all your financing options here and help you determine which is the best fit for your business.
How to apply for salon equipment financing
Because there’s such a wide range of options when it comes to getting a loan for beauty salon equipment, there’s truly something for every business, regardless of credit scores, revenue, or time in business.
Financing salon furniture or equipment directly from a supplier may not even require a credit check, which is great if you haven’t yet built up your business credit. (Get your free business credit scores to see where yours stands.)
If you opt for an equipment loan, you may be required to have credit scores of 650 or more, depending on the size of the loan. The good news is that the equipment you’re buying will serve as your collateral.
3 Options for Salon Equipment Financing
Now let’s dive into your business loan and financing options for your hair salon or spa.
Benefits of salon equipment financing
Many salon equipment retailers will sell you stylist chairs, stations, hair dryers, spa equipment, and other supplies directly and will even offer their own financing options.
- Rates: Rates will vary depending on the vendor’s financing terms. Many offer 0% APR for the first 6-12 months, so if you can pay off the loan, you won’t pay anything in interest. Others offer on average 9.99-19.99% rates.
- Requirements: Requirements to qualify for financing with a vendor will be different than with a traditional bank. The vendor may not require a credit check…then again, it might. Generally, we’ve seen vendors who accept applications from businesses with bad credit history up to those with stellar credit. Ultimately, your credit score may help you get a better rate. Most salon equipment lines of credit and loans through vendors have terms of 12-60 months.
- Amounts: Whether you need a $1,000 barber chair or a full $100,000 build-out for your entire salon, you can find financing. Some applications have a minimum purchase requirement of $1,000-5,000.
- The benefit of financing equipment directly from a wholesaler is that you’re paying less than you would with retail. If you’re able to pay back the financial loan quickly, you won’t incur interest charges.
- On the other hand, if you can’t pay it off before interest rates kick in, you’ll pay more over time for your equipment.
Lease and Lease-to-Own
Another option is to lease equipment, with the option to purchase. If you know you’ll need this equipment long-term, you can conserve cash up front and then have the benefit of owning equipment you can later sell for a profit.
- Rates: Leasing salon equipment usually involves a set monthly rate for as long as 60 months.
- Requirements: For financial leases under $75,000, you may not be asked to provide financial statements for your business, but if you want more than that, you may be required to provide statements for your last two years in business. You generally do not need a down payment.
- Amounts: Lease-to-own options can go as high as $500,000 in most cases.
- Leasing equipment you can eventually own gets you the latest technology without a huge upfront payment. You can get approved for a lease even if you have a bankruptcy on your record, which isn’t always the case with business loans.
- The drawback is that by the time you have paid off the lease, the equipment might be outdated.
You can also take out an equipment loan, specifically designed to provide you capital to purchase equipment to run your business.
- Rates: Rates can range from 2% (usually an introductory rate or for very high credit scores) up to 20%.
- Requirements: Typically, lenders want you to have been in business at least two years, with revenues of $50k or more. You may also need a credit score of 650+.
- Amounts: You can secure anywhere from $5,000 to $5 million with an equipment loan.
- Because your equipment serves as your collateral, you don’t need a cash down payment for an equipment loan. It can be a great tool for building your credit if you pay your installment on time.
- On the other hand, you may need a higher credit score than with other options mentioned above.
Check out our equipment financing partners below.
How to Qualify for Salon Equipment Financing
While lenders will have their own requirements for financing and leasing programs, you can start with the following.
-Make sure you have an active business license or permit with your state’s Secretary of State. Salons are required to have specific licenses, so make sure you’re compliant.
-Stay on top of both your business and personal credit scores, as they both matter. You’ll need a minimum of 600-650 credit score to qualify.
-Make sure your credit history is spotless. If you have a bankruptcy in the past seven years or unresolved tax liens, you may not qualify for some financing programs.
Is it Possible to Qualify for Salon Equipment Financing with Bad Credit?
It is possible to be approved for a salon equipment small business loan with less than stellar business or personal credit, but know that it may limit your options and get you a higher interest rate.
Generally, it’s better to clean up your credit history or even build it from the start by opening a few business credit cards and paying your bill in full or opening a line of credit with a vendor who will report to credit bureaus before applying for a loan.
Are There Salon Equipment Financing Options for Bad Credit?
OnDeck, an online lender, provides short-term loans and credit cards for entrepreneurs with bad credit. You’ll just need a personal credit score of at least 500, $100,000 in yearly income, and at least a year in the company to qualify for a short-term loan. A personal credit score of at least 600, a net worth of at least $100,000, and a minimum of one year in the company are all required for a short-term line of credit.
How Many Years Can You Finance Salon Equipment?
Again, this will vary from one lending institution to another, but many equipment financing options will let you finance spa, salon, and barber equipment for up to 60 months.
Should You Buy or Lease Salon Equipment?
As mentioned above, leasing spa or hair salon equipment is a great way to get what you need to run your business without a large upfront expense. But weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a lease versus purchase carefully.
Pros of Buying Salon Equipment
Buying equipment means it’s yours to do what you want with. You can sell the equipment and recoup some of your business expenses. Equipment and beauty salon loans make it easy to get what you need even if you don’t have the cash flow to pay for it.
Cons of Buying Salon Equipment
If you’re just starting out, you may not qualify for spa financing. If you have any negative marks on your credit, you may find it hard to get a term loan that doesn’t have astronomical interest rates.
Pros of Renting Salon Equipment
Leasing equipment may not require a cash down payment, which is great on your budget. With leased equipment, you can surrender the equipment when you’ve paid off the equipment lease, or buy it for a low price based on the lease terms.
Cons of Renting Salon Equipment
A salon equipment lease may not help you build your credit scores the way beauty salon loans might. If building your credit is important, this may not be the best small business funding option.
Are there salon equipment financing options with no credit check?
Although there may be suppliers that will approve your equipment purchase without a formal credit check, lenders generally want to know that you will be able to make the periodic payments associated with a salon equipment loans so in most cases you should expect there to be a credit check when you apply. That being said, depending on the lender there is financing available even if you don’t have a perfect credit profile.
There are a number of lenders that will offer financing based upon cash flow or other metrics, but you should expect that financing to be more expensive than traditional options. They will include some of the alternative options listed below.
Alternative Financing Options for Salon Equipment
If none of the above equipment financing and leasing options appeal, or if you don’t qualify for them, here are some other traditional and online lenders to consider.
Nav’s Final Word: Salon Equipment Financing
You want to offer your customers the latest salon technology so they can look and feel their best. For salon owners, this may include everything from styling chairs, shampoo bowls, and steamers to massage beds, manicure tables, and dryer chairs that’ll give customers a first-class experience. Thankfully, Nav offers a comprehensive list of small business loans while also providing an individualized matching tool to get you the best financing possible.
Taking out a business loan or leasing salon equipment can help you maximize your working capital and keep your business growing. In addition, it’s always good to check your business credit scores to see if you can apply for additional salon financing sources such as business credit cards or look into the options mentioned above if you don’t have the best credit scores.
This article was originally written on June 29, 2020 and updated on June 6, 2022.