Questions & Answers

As a vendor how do I get started?

21st Century Leasing® has provided businesses with professional equipment lease financing since 1989. 21st Century Leasing® is your “one-stop shop” and has become the “finance department” for many small to midsize equipment sellers, without the employee / office overhead! Instead of dealing with a half of dozen lease sources, let 21st Century Leasing® fund your “Good Credit”, “Poor Credit”, “Start-up Businesses” and “Government” transactions. We offer generic and custom label forms with your logo presenting the professional image you desire. Our people are friendly, efficient and help you close more sales!

21st Century Leasing® offers a variety of tax friendly equipment lease and financing programs tailored to your customer’s specific needs.

  • Expand your market place.
  • With Leasing more customers can afford your product or service.
  • Generate larger sales.
  • With Leasing customers can order larger models with additional features.
  • Sell more supplies and service contracts.
  • Lease Bundle—finance the cost of the equipment and include service and supplies, all in one payment.
  • No collection worries —No delinquent accounts.
  • Vendor paid in full upon delivery and acceptance of equipment.
  • Ensure that your competition doesn’t win a transaction because they offer leasing.
  • Give your customer a choice between leasing and purchasing your product, as opposed to choosing between you and your competitor.
  • Increased profit margins.
  • Leasing reduces price discounting and improves your profit margins.

Do Leases contain “Interest Rates”?

  • Loans differ from leases as they contain an “interest rate” that may be a “fixed rate” over the term of the loan or a “variable rate” at which the amount of interest can vary over the life of the loan depending on the index used. (Example: Prime rate is popular index).
  • Loan payments are comprised of 2 components, principal (ownership interest in equipment) and interest (cost of the borrowed funds). Generally the initial loan payments are mostly interest charges, until the later part of the loan term where as the payments reflect a larger principal contribution. With each loan payment, the borrower makes a principal reduction payment and as a result gains an increasing ownership interest in the equipment.
  • Lease payments, on the other hand, do not contain either interest or principal and are instead “rental payments”. A lease is a rental contract for a fixed term of rental payments. The lessee may exercise a purchase option, if the lease is current and not in default, at the end of the rental contract. No principal payments (ownership) occur for the entire rental term with the lease company owning 100% of the equipment. In fact some leases allow the lessee to return the equipment in lieu of exercising an end of lease purchase option.
  • Leases, being rental contracts containing various purchase options, are treated as a monthly business expense and can be fully tax deductible. Loans containing interest payments are generally “interest deductible only” with the equipment cost having to be amortized and depreciated over the life of the equipment.
  • In summary, there is no “interest” in a lease contract. To determine the cost to lease compared to the full cash purchase of the equipment one can do the following calculation: Add total of rental payments, subtract the purchase price, divide by the lease term in months and this gives you your monthly (pre-tax) cost to lease. Now reduce the monthly cost by 30% (combined state & federal tax rate deduction), which gives you an actual cost to lease. (Note, the time value of money was not calculated, meaning today’s dollars are more valuable than paying over time further enhancing leasing’s benefits).
  • Always consult your tax adviser for your particular needs.


  • A successful business operator (You) requires additional capital to grow and prosper.
  • You evaluate alternatives to depleting your working capital and/or impacting your existing lines of credit.
  • You submit a commercial lease application to 21st Century Leasing® for credit approval.
  • Credit approval is obtained and Lease documents are forwarded to you for signature.
  • You return signed Lease documents and any applicable rental payments.
  • The equipment supplier delivers and installs equipment at your location.
  • Upon your acceptance of delivery and satisfaction with your equipment, the equipment supplier is paid.
  • Your business grows and prospers, while you maintain a healthy cash flow!

Leasing vs. Bank

Understand the “total cost” of borrowing money from your bank. Consider the following advantages of lease financing with 21st Century Leasing® vs. your bank.

Did you know that banks often require a 10-25% down payment on equipment loans?

Leasing offers 100% financing and only requires one or two rental payments at lease signing.

Did you know that banks often place a “blanket lien” on your bank accounts as security towards your loan repayment?

Leasing does not require any “liens” on your bank accounts.

Did you know that bank equipment loans increase your exposure to your bank and reduces your ability to borrow funds for future cash needs?

Leasing provides an entirely new source of funds outside your bank.

Did you know that many bank credit lines are based on variable interest rates and that interest charges can increase over the life of your loan?

Leases are fixed-payment, financing tools and the rental payments remains fixed for the life of the lease, even as volatile interest rates increase over time.

Did you know banks often charge an annual “service fee” to maintain your credit line?

Leases include no annual service fees.

Did you know banks review credit lines annually and reserve the right to cancel, reduce or charge more for the privilege of using your credit line?

Leases require only one credit review (initial credit application) and payment terms remain constant for the entire lease period.

Benefits of Lease Financing

Almost every business must acquire equipment and other items to expand and prosper. Two traditional methods of funding such acquisitions is using money from business checking accounts (working capital) or borrowing the money from your bank.

Unfortunately, these methods are not always feasible or desirable.

Leasing provides a practical method of acquisition without having to pay for it all at once. Many experts recommend purchasing items that appreciate in value and leasing items that depreciate as they are utilized.

Review these practical advantages to Lease Financing:

  • Leases do not appear on your personal credit report.
  • The equipment user avoids depleting daily working capital.
  • The equipment user avoids depleting or exhausting bank lines of credit.
  • The leased equipment pays for itself as it is utilized.
  • The costs associated with a business lease are treated as a business expense.
  • Tax leases can be fully tax deductible.
  • Leasing protects against equipment obsolescence.
  • Lease financing applies to most every capital acquisition.
  • Installation, service, maintenance, supplies, software & other “soft costs” may be included into a single, low monthly payment.
  • Lease payments treated as an off balance sheet item, strengthens the appearance of your company’s net worth.

Who can lease equipment?

  • We lease only to businesses, nonprofits and municipalities (government). We do not lease directly to consumers (consumer financing).
  • Typically we look for (but not limited to) a business that has a business license and is not home based, is listed in good standing with the secretary of state (if a corporation), can be found in directory assistance, has a business checking account.
  • To qualify for a standard, application only, equipment lease (under $75,000) we look for (but not limited to) the owner(s) good personal credit (FICO score(s) 625+ with no current late pays, no bankruptcies, tax liens or outstanding civil judgments), 2+ years in business under the same ownership, last 3 months 4+ figure checking account balance with no NSF’s or overdrafts and an acceptable paydex score (Dunn & Bradstreet rating trade repayments).
  • On transactions over $100,000 we require full financial disclosure (contact us for more information).
  • 21st Century Leasing® also offers lease programs for Start-Up businesses (under 2 years in business), “B – C” credits and Municipalities.
  • Leasing – Enjoy the flexibility and benefits of fixed rate lease payments, one time credit approval (initial credit application), no annual fees and not impacting current credit lines with your financial institution.