Semi-trucks are expensive, and before you can profit from operating a truck or creating a fleet, you need to first finance the vehicles. Your eligibility for guaranteed semi-truck financing will depend on several factors, including your credit score, business history, and the specific type of truck you want to finance.
Depending on your situation, it might be tricky for you to secure the loan you need. But today, we’ll examine the ins and outs of semi truck financing and give you five simple steps to secure your own guaranteed semi truck financing.
What is Semi Truck Financing?
Essentially, semi truck financing is the process of securing leases or truck loans. Like other small business loans, commercial truck financing allows you access to vehicles that are necessary to your business without requiring you to pay for them in full upfront.
There are two basic types of semi-truck financing: leasing and buying. While you have to make monthly payments for both types of financing, they each have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Leasing is generally cheaper than buying, and the requirements for securing a lease are easier to meet than those associated with buying a truck. However, since you are renting vehicle time, you will continue to pay to use the semi-trucks when leasing.
Loans that let you buy a semi-truck, on the other hand, allow you to make payments that will eventually allow you to own the vehicles. As a result, monthly payments for buying a semi-truck are usually higher, and you will need to meet certain credit and business history standards.
If possible, it usually makes sense to buy your semi-trucks instead of leasing them. This way, you can use the profits from your business to pay for the trucks over a longer period of time in a way that will eventually let you own your own fleet!
How Does Semi Truck Financing Work?
Essentially, semi-truck financing involves a vehicle operator or small business owner using the truck title as collateral for a commercial vehicle loan or lease arrangement. This means that if the business owner or operator is unable to meet the monthly payment requirements, the semi-truck can be repossessed.
Therefore, it’s important to know that you can make your monthly payments based on the profits earned by operating the vehicle. That said, it is possible to finance a semi-truck with bad credit, especially if your small business has a solid history. Financing makes the dream of semi-truck ownership more accessible to people who can’t buy a semi-truck outright.
Pros & Cons of Semi Truck Financing
Overall, whether you seek out a loan or choose to lease, you will pay more to finance a semi-truck than the upfront cost. The benefit is that this cost is spread out over a longer period of time in manageable monthly payments.
- Don’t need to pay the total sum up front
- Smaller monthly payments over time
- Relatively simple application process
- Truck is used as collateral
- Will be repossessed if loan defaults
- Must meet credit requirements among others
- Total cost higher than outright purchase
For a small business owner without the capital to purchase a truck out of pocket or who has poor credit, financing is a great option. Even still, it’s critical to be informed about what you are agreeing to when buying a semi truck with bad credit.
5 Steps for Finding Guaranteed Semi Truck Financing
Following these simple steps will help you secure the financing you need for your semi-truck. If you’re concerned about how to buy a semi-truck with bad credit, this is the best place to start.
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
As with any financial decision, research is the most important part. You’ll need to consider the type of semi-truck you want and the number of trucks you need, as well as your credit score and business history, to identify the best options for you when it comes to funding. Determine whether any past repossessions or bankruptcy filings will impact your eligibility for certain loan or lease applications.
You should also calculate how much you can afford to spend on a down payment. Better credit scores will improve your eligibility for zero-down payment loans. Find a lender who can accommodate your credit and business requirements.
Step 2: Gather Documentation
Lenders will request specific documents as part of the application process, so prepare these documents in advance. Though specific loan requirements vary, documents will include:
- Copy of business registration
- Current business balance sheets
- Current business licenses and certifications
- Proof of commercial driver’s license for vehicle operators
- Bank statements for the past year
- Tax documents for the past three years
- FMCSA motor carrier number
Keep in mind that you might need to request proof of your information and wait for certain documentation to arrive before you can apply.
Step 3: Choose Your Semi Trucks
Though brand new trucks are often very expensive, the newer the truck, the lower the maintenance fees. In general, it’s smart to select vehicles that are no older than ten years.
Step 4: Get Vehicle Insurance
Commercial vehicle insurance is critical, especially for semi trucks logging hundreds or even thousands of miles per week. You can always consider liability insurance options, too. Though insurance premiums are often pricey, you can deduct them from your business taxes at the end of the fiscal year.
Step 5: Submit Application
Once you submit your application, your prospective lender will contact you to let you know whether you need to provide any other further documentation as well as inform you of the next steps. If you want guaranteed semi truck financing, you simply need to match your eligibility to the demands of specific lenders.
Start Financing Your Future Fleet
Following the steps listed above will give you the confidence you need to secure guaranteed semi truck financing, no matter your credit. Keep in mind that, even if loan eligibility requirements are out of reach, leasing is another great financing option to get your business on the road!
Now that you’ve secured your fleet, look into options to help improve your cash flow, like those available through TAFS to take your business to the next level!
In general, a credit score of 600 or greater is required before you can secure commercial vehicle financing. However, this value also depends on other factors, like your specific business and your personal financial history.
Required down payments on semi-trucks vary as they will depend on your credit score and similar factors. You should expect to pay around 20% of the total cost for most commercial vehicle loans, though people with exceptionally good credit scores might earn you zero down payment.
Loan terms can be anywhere from 12 to 84 months, depending on your credit score and payment history.