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6 min read

Commercial Truck Financing Fast: No Fluff, Just Facts

Are you looking for commercial truck financing?

It's become harder to come by in 2024. 


Banks are tightening up credit requirements

Oh... and rates have gone up too. 

So... financing a commercial truck for your business is now harder and costs more. 

So... what should you do? 

Let's dive in...

Why Loans for Commercial Vehicles are getting tougher

We just talked about how banks have tightened credit requirements. 

Do you want to know what else happened?

Remember 2021?

When word on the street was all about supply chain issues?

Those supply chain issues made truck prices skyrocket.

Now that prices have come back down to earth...

...when someone doesn't pay for their truck...

The lender gets hurt way more than normal. 

Some industries are getting hit harder than others. 

Let's talk about that... 

SLeeper Trucks: harder to finance than other commercial vehicles

Did you know... 

...most commercial truck lenders have two different sets of requirements?

One for sleeper trucks and one for "everything else"

That's because the transportation business is riskier than some others.

When business is good... 

... trucking companies can charge more for loads and have more business than they can handle... 

... until the economy changes and the opposite is true.

Lenders incorporate risk into their models. It's all math. 

WhO Is the Best Company for financing a commercial truck


We finance commercial trucks. 

(Sleeper trucks and also "everything else"). 

We might be the best choice for you. 

It really depends on your situation. 

Some people just go to their bank... but that's getting harder

If you're buy a new (or almost new) truck from a big dealer like Peterbilt and you have good credit... some dealers have better deals on financing than we can give you. 


Be careful

Make sure you get the cash price too.

Many "free" or "almost-free" financing deals from dealerships are too good to be true. 

Some dealers mark up the sale price when they give free financing... a zero percent interest rate doesn't mean anything if they add $25,000 to the sale price of the truck when financing. 


Commercial Truck Financing With Bad Credit - FAQs


What are the negatives to financing a commercial truck with bad credit?


The biggest challenge with bad credit truck financing?

You may not like the terms very much.

The important thing is to compare those payments to the expected profit from use of the truck and ensure the transaction makes good business sense. 


Is it harder to finance a sleeper truck than other trucks if you have bad credit?


In general, yes.

Many lenders have cancelled their long haul/ OTR (over-the-road) programs entirely, which means there are less choices available.

However, there are still many programs available to finance sleeper trucks. 

Click here to speak to someone and learn what programs may fit for you. 

Can you offer collateral to make it easier to qualify with bad credit?


Sometimes, if you have paid off trucks, trailers, or equipment, offering that equipment as collateral can help you qualify. 

Most programs require any collateral to be less than 10 years old, and worth at least $10,000.

Note that lenders will use the "liquidation value" to evaluate your equipment. That means doing a search of what similar equipment sold for at auctions - which is usually very different than the asking price at a retail lot. 

Are down payments higher to finance a commercial truck with bad credit?


When you have bad credit, you may have to come up with a higher down payment than if you had good credit. 

This isn't always true. 

Established business with good credit sometimes have zero down payment (other than a $999 documentation fee).

With poor credit (and... it depends how poor) you may qualify for programs with minimal down (first and last payment). 

It's also possible that you only qualify for a program with very high down payment options (25% and up).

We have access to over 75 different commercial truck financing programs - so the easiest way to find out what your down payment would be is to talk to a representative


What are the deal killers when you apply for business truck financing?


Three things will keep you from financing a truck. 

  1. Overdue child support
  2. Tax liens over $10,000 
  3. Recent repossessions (<24 months) 


Commercial Truck Financing for Startups


Is it harder for startups to finance a commercial truck than established businesses?

Startup businesses are much riskier to lend to than an established company. 

Some studies suggest that 80% of startup businesses fail within a year


If your business is a startup (less than two years in business) - it's going to be more difficult to secure financing for a commercial truck.

That means: 

  • Potentially higher rates
  • Potentially higher down payments 
  • Potentially harder to secure approval

There are options available for startup businesses to secure truck financing, though. It just may take a little bit more effort and/or a less attractive approval.  

Is it harder for a new business to get an OTR/ Sleeper Truck approved than other types of trucks?

Sleeper trucks are harder for a startup to finance than non-sleeper or "vocational" trucks. 

There are less lenders willing to finance a sleeper than other types of trucks, and the risk profile is higher. 

Higher risk means its going to be harder for a startup OTR deal to be approved - and you may see higher down payments and payment options with OTR versus vocational trucking. 


What down payment is needed for a startup to get commercial truck financing?

There is a wide range of down payment requirements for startup businesses financing a truck. 

In some (very rare) cases, a startup can get a truck with no down payment. 

Let's talk about OTR first, and then cover vocational trucking. 

OTR trucks are very rarely no/ low down payment. In the vast majority of cases you can expect to be asked for 10-20% down as a startup buying a sleeper. Lower credit scores could potentially mean higher down. 

Vocational trucks are similar, but tend to have lower down payments and can often see approvals asking for only first and last payment (3-5%) upfront, plus documentation fees.  


What are commercial truck financing rates for startups?

New businesses are risky.

Lenders have to price that risk in for businesses less than 24 months old. 

In some cases, a startup business where the owner has excellent credit may expect to pay more than an established business with decent credit. 

That's not always the cases though. 

Below is a calculator that shows estimated payments bases on different times in business and credit scores. 

Caution though - these are only estimates, meant to give you a general idea. Your actual approval may be better - or worse - than the numbers this calculator spits out. 




Financing Older and High Mileage Commercial Trucks


Why is is so hard to finance older or high mileage trucks?

Did you know...

... roughly 40% of truck loan defaults are due to equipment breakdowns?

(Meaning... someone stops making their payments because their truck broke and they can't afford to fix it...)


...in many cases it can be difficult to secure financing for older or high mileage trucks

(But not impossible...) 

We work with more than 20 lenders and have over 75 credit lines available - and have financed many older/ higher mileage vehicles. 

Find out if you qualify to finance an older or higher mileage vehicle. 


Is it harder to finance a sleeper truck with high age or mileage vs. other trucks?

OTR trucks are harder to finance across the board than other types of commercial trucks. 

That's especially true when the truck is older or has high miles. 

Startup businesses will have a particularly hard time financing sleeper trucks older than 10 years or with over 700,000 miles. 

There are definitely ways to get financed though. 

For sleeper trucks, age and miles can often be overcome if you have 3 or more power units (or 2 and buying a 3rd). Also if you've got 2+ years in business and solid bank statements. 

Non-sleeper trucks are easier. If you've got decent credit and time in business, there are multiple programs to take advantage of that have no age or mileage restrictions. 




Commercial Truck Financing Rates


What are the rates to finance a commercial truck?

Rates to finance a commercial truck vary tremendously. 

Things that make a difference:

  • Long haul/ OTR versus other trucks 
  • How long you've been in business
  • Your personal and business credit
  • The age and mileage of the truck(s)
  • How many trucks you already own

With that said, it's very difficult to give a real answer (regardless of how many liars claim truck financing rates at 5% online...) 

Below is a calculator that can give you some idea - but it's nowhere near perfect.

The best way to determine what you would pay is to talk to us



What if I can't get a good rate?

Do you want to know one of the biggest challenges business owners face when financing a commercial truck?

Commercial financing rates are very different than consumer financing rates, which can create "sticker shock" when learning the payment terms on an approval. 

But... lenders have to incorporate the real risks of truck financing into the cost of financing a truck.

So... a "good" rate is a rate that makes good business sense. Will you make enough profit from the truck to justify the payment? 

If not, regardless of the rate, it's a bad business move. 


Commercial Truck Down Payments


How much down payment do you need for a commercial truck?

With numerous products to choose from, the range of possible down payments varies widely.

In some instances there is no down payment needed (other than documentation fees, which are usually $999), while in extreme cases down payments may be 30% or higher. 

For most transactions, 2 advance payments and documentation fees is what you can expect. 

Down payment will depend on truck age, mileage and valuation, as well as your time in business and credit profile.

Are down payments higher for a long haul/ OTR truck than other types of commercial vehicles?

Down payments are sometimes higher for long haul trucking, but not always. It just depends on the programs. 

Startup businesses (anything under two years) can generally expect higher down payment requirements for OTR trucks than other types of assets. 

Is there any way to lower the down payment required?

In some cases, if you are presented with a high down payment, that can be overcome with collateral. 

If you own other trucks or business equipment (and don't owe any money on them) they can sometimes be pledged as collateral in lieu of a down payment. 


In conclusion, navigating commercial truck financing in 2024 is challenging due to stricter credit requirements and higher rates.

Understanding the complexities of financing sleeper trucks, options for those with bad credit or startups, and being cautious of inflated prices and high down payments is crucial.

Educate yourself, ask the right questions, and make informed decisions.

Reach out for guidance to find the best financing solution for your commercial truck needs.

To get started, give us a call at (866) 631-9996 or click the picture below. 


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