Fitness Equipment Financing

Few people know that fitness equipment financing is available to individuals and companies who wish to purchase machines for personal, employee, or business use. Whether a person prefers to workout in his or her own home, an employers hopes to set up a work-out facility for its employees or an entrepreneur dreams of establishing a fitness facility, sticker-shock at the retail stores is almost inevitable. Basic machines cost several hundred dollars while high-end, commercial machines may run up into the thousands. That's just per machine. The value of fitness machines drop quickly. Some people simply turn their heads and walk away, leaving the dream behind them. Others look for alternative solutions. Fitness equipment financing is a viable solution.

Many individuals wish to exercise in the privacy of their own homes. Stair masters or treadmills are the most popular machines for these situations. Traveling back and forth to a gym every day or several times a week is tedious. Bad weather, traffic or simple fatigue is often used as an excuse not to go. Plus, monthly fees to many fitness facilities are expensive. Some simply can't afford the payments. Having a home exercise machines increases the odds that a person will in fact exercise whenever is convenient, not just during gym operating hours. Many retailers now offer fitness equipment financing to individuals who want to purchase or lease machines. Lease arrangements are usually more negotiable than lease-to-own options. Terms can be shortened or extended to meet the person's financial needs. Longer terms offer lower interest rates, but may result in a larger payout in the end. Larger down payments always lower monthly payments, but it's not always an option. Whichever route chosen, monthly payments could actually motivate them to exercise more. The ultimate goal is to get healthier. God commands us to take care of ourselves. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)

For companies, fitness equipment financing falls under the category of general equipment financing and may be used as a tax write-off in certain situations. These loans generally come with low interest rates and are great for owners to start or grow new business. For entrepreneurs opening up or remodeling a current fitness center, up-to-date machines are essential. Today, people are willing to spend more money for access to a variety of exercise machines and fitness routines. A center that doesn't have the latest equipment will lose customers. Financing generally comes from the distributor, but owners can also receive loans through banks and financial institutions to cover operating costs. Money will cover just about any type of fitness equipment from bikes, rowing machines, treadmills, and weights to heart monitors, jumping ropes, uneven bars and yoga mats. Start up companies simply cannot afford to pay full price for all these machines while paying for new buildings, hiring employees, and advertising. Financing allows these entrepreneurs to make money from their machines while paying it off.

Leasing is an alternative to paying off loans than buying the machines straight out. Purchasing usually requires more money down and the machine is usually obsolete by the time the loan is paid off. Used machines are also hard to sell and if sold, are bought at a small fraction of the original price. Leasing is more flexible and convenient especially for start up gyms and facilities. This types of fitness equipment financing includes the full cost of machines, service agreements, shipping, installation and maintenance spread out throughout the term of the contract. Since exercise machines are not considered long-term investments like homes, leasing enables business owners to upgrade easily and regularly to keep business competitive and customers happy. And since investors are not needed to supply capital, cash remains flowing throughout the company. Fixed payment terms are easily incorporated into a business budget so owners can plan ahead.

Most fitness equipment financing companies are very flexible with leases and can tailor them to specific lengths and payment structures that will meet clients' needs. True leases, often called operating leases, offer low payments and are very tax friendly. With this agreement, the equipment remains the property of the leasing company through the whole term of the contract with no pre-determined buy-outs; however, the fitness center has the option to purchase or renew at the end of the term. In a finance or capital lease, the center agrees to purchase the machine at the end of the term for a fraction of the amount, usually 10% of the original cost, or simply $1.00. Step up leases are very popular with new start-up companies. Beginning with low payments, installments increase over time as business increases. Skip leases are great for seasonal businesses, schools, recreational or agricultural companies whose income and use fluctuates throughout the year. Under this agreement, payments are restricted to certain months. Deferred payment leases incorporate a 60 to 90 day grace period before payments begin to allow companies time to generate revenue. Fitness equipment financing may also include master leases which allows clients to add more leases and purchase more machines. Each lease carries their own terms and schedules but are included under the same financial umbrella. A final option is for customers who purchased equipment and changed their minds within 90 days of the original purchase. These customers have the option to sell the machine to a leasing company and lease it back in a lease back option.

There is an array of machine options to choose from. Some opt for lower cost machines that may seem great a purchase, but break down easily later. State-of-the-art machines may seem to have a lot of extra options, but also have a higher quality overall. In short, customers get what they pay for. Fitness equipment financing can be an option. Check reviews with Consumer Reports before purchasing. Make sure the machine has a solid service agreement. For customers who want to stay out of debt can simply save up for the equipment they need as an option. Whatever the situation, financing exercise equipment is a major decision that should be taken with great care and consideration.







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