The Best Ways to get a Commercial Truck Loan
Get Behind The Wheel - Now!
Obtaining a truck loan as a new start-up business or with credit issues can be difficult, but it can be done if you learn the process and work with the right company. You can get commercial truck financing even if you have had past bankruptcies, or you are a new owner-operator. It is all about finding the right financing option for you and making the best deal you can.
Pay close attention to any and all loan terms and don't be fooled by phrases like "we'll work that out later" or "we'll treat you right". A few percentage points here or there on your interest rate, down payment, or loan term can end up costing you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over the length of loan. This can make the difference between you making your loan payments and even staying in business. The commercial truck financing terms that make the most difference are the following:
- Interest rate - lower rate with better credit, higher with poorer credit
- Down payment required - little if great credit or new truck- a lot more if not
- Length of loan - how many months/years you'll be paying
There is a financing option or company for almost every buyer and vehicle. You just need to find the right match. If you have great credit and are buying a new semi-truck or dump truck, you can have your pick of lending options. However, if you are not so lucky, you will need to work a bit harder and smarter to find the right lender. Specialized commercial truck financing companies are generally the best option if you have credit issues. Truck financing experts understand the commercial trucking business and will put more weight on your knowledge and expertise as an experienced driver and on a good, serviceable truck instead of just looking at your credit score.
Improve Your Odds
While you are working on finding the right truck and financing company, there are some steps you can take now to increases your chances of getting a loan. These steps will help lower the interest rate you'll get and save you a lot of money.
Pay off small debts, work with current lenders to reduce your rates to make your payments go further. Every little bit can add points to your credit score. If your credit history is poor or you have a prior bankruptcy or vehicle repossession, you may want to find a business partner with better credit to help you increase your likelihood of obtaining financing. Another option for those with serious credit issues is to locate someone to co-sign on the loan. Save towards down payment and operating expenses and business reserves.
Get more experience. The more driving and trucking business experience you have, the more financing options will be available to you. Companies will view you as a more stable business enterprise when they know you know what you are doing. Most businesses fail in the start-up years, so the more experienced you are, the better. And even if you are a new owner-operator, you can sell your years of experience in driving for others - industry knowledge is important.
Work on pre-qualifying for commercial truck financing while you are looking for your new vehicle or vehicles. Even without having a truck ready for purchase, you can work on a ballpark price and truck age, mileage, and condition numbers. This will help you figure out what you can really afford. There is no sense in spending a lot of time searching for the perfect truck and then finding out you can't afford it or get fair financing. The newer, lower mileage of the vehicle, the easier it will be to find a lender.
Think Like A Banker
When selecting a vehicle, remember to view the vehicle and also the seller like a banker will view them. It is hard not to just look for the cheapest deal, older trucks will look good to you as they'll be less expensive but again, the older the truck, the harder it will be to get it financed. Lenders know that older vehicles break down more which can ruin a small business. Also if you do not pay on your loan and they have to repossess the vehicle, older trucks are much harder for them to resell.
Get On Track
Follow these steps and you will soon be behind the wheel of your new truck and working for yourself. Working with a commercial truck financing team will get you on the road to financial success.