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Industry Overview

Most businesses require equipment in order to operate and make a profit. Equipment leasing and financing help all types and sizes of commercial businesses in the United States to acquire the equipment they need to conduct their business operations. Each business has to make the best procurement choice based on numerous factors such as cash flow, balance sheet impact and available credit lines. Equipment finance offers flexible choices that can work with the diverse objectives of most businesses.

Equipment finance companies are responsible for financing a substantial portion of the nation's capital expenditure budget through a multitude of financial products and strategies and are engaged in originations and primary and secondary market financing activities.

Learn more about the equipment finance industry on ELFA's Equipment Finance Advantage website.

Economic Contribution of the Equipment Finance Industry

Equipment finance not only contributes to businesses’ success, but to U.S. economic growth, manufacturing and jobs. Seventy-two percent of U.S. companies use some form of financing when acquiring equipment, including loans, leases and lines of credit (excluding credit cards). Each year American businesses, nonprofits and government agencies invest $1.454 trillion in plant, equipment and software annually. Some 62%, or$903 billion, is financed through loans, leases and lines of credit. America's equipment finance companies are the source of such financing, providing access to capital. Equipment finance companies also finance the export of U.S. manufactured products abroad.

ELFA members finance the acquisition of all types of capital equipment and software including:

  • Manufacturing and mining machinery
  • Vessels and containers
  • Construction and off-road equipment
  • Medical technology and equipment
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Aircraft
  • Rail cars and rolling stock
  • Trucks and transportation equipment
  • Business, retail and office equipment
  • IT equipment and software

MLFI-25: Monthly Leasing and Finance Index

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25) reports on activity in the $903 billion equipment finance industry, such as New Business Volume, Aging of Receivables, Net Investment at Risk, Average Losses, Credit Approval Ratios, and Total Number of Employees.

Industry History

Learn more about the history of ELFA and the equipment finance industry on the history page.

Ask An Expert

Want to know more? Ask an Expert:
Bill Choi bchoi@elfaonline.org 202.238.3413 or
Ralph Petta rpetta@elfaonline.org 202.238.3430