Financing Your First Big Rig

You’re probably familiar with the process: you walk into your local car dealership, peruse the lot, and are pounced on by an eager salesperson.  After a bit of chit-chat, you take the car out for a test drive, pop the hood, and you might even do some quick research online on your phone to see if you’re getting a deal, or the right packages with the car.  A bit of haggling later, you shake hands and start signing papers.  If you’re financing the car, you can use the in-house lender or go back to your bank and get a loan for the balance less deposit and/or trade-in.  Easy, right?

Semi truck purchases are quite different from buying a sedan from your local dealer, most definitely when it comes to financing the purchase.  Big rig financing falls somewhere between a business loan and vehicle loan, and most banks don’t deal with truck loans, or aren’t equipped to appropriately determine terms and payments.  Many semi truck dealers have preferred vendors in-house who can provide funding, however you want to be sure you’re signing up with a financing company (and payment terms) that work for your business.

Choose a Truck Financing Specialist

It’s true, not every big bank in town will fund semi truck purchases, however there are a number of commercial finance companies who specialize in funding truck loans and leases.  A trucking industry loan specialist understands more about your industry than simply a credit score and asset depreciation (which are certainly important), but also is familiar with the type of equipment you’re purchases, load types, certain restrictions, and seasonal and economic influences that will impact your ability to pay.  You’re not simply choosing a truck finance company—you’re choosing a strategic financing partner for your business.

Understand Your Creditworthiness

Just like any other loan, a truck financier will look at the purchaser’s credit history and score, which will influence borrowing limit, rate, and terms on a repayment schedule.  If you walk into the lending office (or phone call) with this information, you’ll be prepared to have a more direct conversation with your potential lender, often leading to either better rates, more tailored payment schedule, or possibly both.  At the end of the day, you’re looking to be behind the wheel, hauling loads and earning money.  Picking a strategic lending partner up front can put you in the cab faster and keep you there for the road ahead.