Customer applying for commercial financing at a Cat dealership
Customer applying for commercial financing at a Cat dealership

6 Helpful Tips When Applying for Cat® Equipment Financing

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

As a business owner, you can obtain financing to grow your business. When financing heavy equipment, it's essential to find a lender that understands your industry, equipment, and business needs. Cat® equipment financing with Cat Financial can provide equipment funding, support and protection.

To capitalize on the many benefits of financing, it's essential to ensure you're prepared for the equipment financing and application process, especially if this is your first time. Approaching the application process blindly — without any research and preparation — may complicate or slow down the process. Consider these six tips when applying for equipment financing to ensure the process goes quickly and you can get the heavy equipment you need fast:


Before you apply for equipment financing, you should develop a business plan. A solid business plan can help you gain a better understanding of your business needs and how much you can afford, which can then be used to determine how you acquire equipment. Equipment lenders like to know how you'll use the money, make payments and cover operational costs.

For example, it would take you six months to reach a production level that allows you to make payments without breaking your budget. Your business plan should outline how you'll cover your payments and budget your costs in those first six months and beyond.

Providing your lender with a solid business plan shows you understand your financial responsibility, which helps the lender feel confident about lending you money. Plus, you'll be prepared to make payments rather than scrambling for cash before payment due dates. 

First, you need to determine what you need and can afford — they may be different amounts, so you need to strategize and plan. For example, you may need a specific amount of money to purchase the necessary machinery to get the job done, plus ownership costs like extended protection and maintenance and repairs. While this is valuable information, what's more crucial is planning how you'll make your payments for the terms and length of your loan.

6 tips for equipment financing


When applying for Cat equipment financing, you must meet the Cat Financial financing requirements to receive attractive rates and financing terms. For example, we will review your credit rating, equipment financing history, overall credit history and the work you have on hand. Equipment financing qualifications are in place to determine how risky it is to provide financing to your business.

Our team will review your credit history and whether you have previously financed other heavy equipment. We look for good financial standing with any other loans you may have and good payment records — even on rentals.

When filling out your application, be sure to complete the form thoroughly. The application may ask for documents or statements, which means you should include them in the application. Leaving out information or failing to have necessary documents can slow down the financing process.


Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions can offer many benefits for your business. But it’s important to find the right lender that understands your business.

As Caterpillar’s financial arm, Cat Financial knows your equipment and the industries you work in. Our financial solutions are developed specifically for Cat® customers like you and the unique needs of your business. Plus, our team is available to offer support through the good times and the bad. Whether you’re in a tough spot financially or need assistance after a natural disaster, we’re here to help you through it. 


We know no two businesses are the same, which is why there is more than one way to acquire heavy equipment. Every option offers benefits, but not all options suit your business. Compare the options below based on your business and equipment needs:

  • Finance lease: Finance leases give you the option to own the equipment as well as the opportunity to return it at the end of your lease. Monthly payments are generally low, and there is some contract flexibility. *
  • Operating lease: When you lease equipment from Cat Financial for a specific amount of time (typically three years), qualified customers can purchase the machine at the end of the lease at a fair market value, extend your lease, or return it. Operating leases typically offer the lowest monthly payment, though some restrictions exist.*
  • Loan: A loan is your most straightforward option for heavy equipment financing. Despite having a higher monthly payment than leasing equipment, you will own the equipment at the end of your contract and can build equity while making payments. Plus, equipment ownership can offer many benefits for your business.*
  • Working capital: A working capital loan provides immediate access to funds for business needs, and typically, there is more flexibility regarding how you can use the money.*

*Terms and conditions apply. Not all customers will qualify.

We build flexibility into equipment financing options, which enables us to modify terms, create custom payment schedules, and restructure debt for our qualified customers. Flexibility allows you to find the perfect fit for your company's needs.


Most companies experience business cycles like busy and slow seasons, which is an important consideration when applying for equipment financing. Incorporating financing options into your annual budgeting allocations can help ensure you have available cash to complete payments during slow business cycles.

Another advantage of working with Cat Financial is our understanding and accommodations for flexible payment schedules. We understand the cycles of your business and can recommend the right financing solutions to make payment management easier for qualified customers.


Managing technological obsolescence within your company ensures you can handle out-of-date equipment. Leveraging the latest equipment technology can enable your business to work more efficiently, ultimately impacting your bottom line. Failing to keep your equipment technology current effectively can also present competitive advantages. Implement a financing strategy to help you plan for updated needed to machines.

Cat Financial will structure a solution to help you right-size your business. We have options that offer facilitate equipment trade-ups that allow your business to utilize the technology necessary to remain competitive.

Explore Your Financing Options With Cat Financial

At Cat® Financial, we develop products and services specifically for Cat customers. When you purchase Cat equipment, we're here to support your success for the life of your equipment and your business. 

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