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Smarter Finance USA Blog

First Time Commercial Truck Financing 2018: (5 Best Programs)

Posted by Rob Misheloff

As a husband and father, the best example I can set in the world is by helping others. That’s why I’ve built my career around helping my fellow business owners grow their companies. My hope is that this website and my company help you to grow your business and achieve your goals.
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You’re trying to finance a commercial truck as a first time buyer. 

It’s a bitch, right?


Finding the information you need to make a decision online?

Good luck with that.

I know what you’re thinking too…

“Are these guys going to screw me on the rates?”

Check this out…

Special Note: There are dozens of programs available for owner operators. Some may be a better fit for you than others. To learn about more programs than are covered in this article, click here 

 PS - Don't feel like reading?

You may also listen to this article by clicking the "play" button below. To download it to your phone, find the Smarter Business Finance Podcast in Itunes, Stitcher or Google Play. 


Will You Qualify for Owner Operator Financing as a Startup?

We get calls all the time from frustrated shoppers.

You see, many people get told that financing isn’t available for startup owner operators.

The truth is…

…most financing sources won’t consider deals for new businesses…

...and they *double* won’t do a new owner-operator business.

That doesn’t mean the deal can’t get done though. It just means you've been 'lookin for loans in all the wrong places'...

Here’s what’s important:

  • Do you have a down payment?
  • Is your credit good, bad or ugly?
  • How long have you had your CDL for?
  • How old is the truck you want, and how many miles does it have?

There are programs for *most* profiles.


If your credit report makes a lender’s eyes bleed…

… and you have no down payment…

Let’s be serious.

You’re unlikely to get approved.

But… for anything reasonable… there’s a way to get you in to your truck.

(Whether it’s a sleeper, dump truck, vocational truck, day cab, or even a trailer).

Here are some of the best programs out there:

 1. The Best Lease to Own Program for New Owner Operators (With Good Credit)


Here’s a program that some truckers have been pleased with.

It’s not the easiest program to be approved for... but it rocks.

You’ll need:

  • Good credit (minimum 700 FICO)
  • 5+ years CDL experience
  • Either be a homeowner or have lived where you live for at least 5 years

This program is available for trucks less than 10 years old with less than 1 million miles.

You’ll usually need 10% down.

Now, here are the payments.

Imagine a $40,000 truck financed for 48 months.

After 10% down, you’ll pay $1,000 a month.

*** Super special note***

There is currently a program available (as of December 11, 2018) that is crazy good.

This program considers pre-emissions and pre-electronic logging device trucks and has super low rates.

You need a 700 credit score and 20% down for startups.

There are no age or mileage restrictions. (Seriously)

However... this program is limited in the case of any sleeper trucks - the fund will close after $50 million has been funded.

(This investor has a virtually unlimited appetite for non-interstate trucking though...)


Find out if you qualify for this program here

That’s the best rate I’ve seen for startups, period.

(Other than your bank...)

If your bank will loan you the money cheaper... go do that.

Of course, maybe you’ll win at Powerball…

…banks don’t really approve many startup anythings, particularly owner operator businesses.

2. Just OK Credit? Here’s a Truck Lease Program That’s Good


So… we often get asked about no money down financing for startup truckers.

Sorry... but the only program we see with no money down is for FICO scores well above 700.

Without perfect credit, you’ll usually need 20% or more down for long haul (apportioned plates).

For anything else… you’ll often only need 1 or 2 payments upfront.

Here’s what you’d need to qualify:

  • 625+ FICO
  • 2001 or newer truck with under 600,000 miles (long haulers). Less age/ mileage restrictions are needed for local trucking.
  • At least 10 tradelines on your credit (5 current)

A “tradeline” simply means an account on your credit report.

Each credit card, car loan, personal loan is counted as a tradeline.

Let’s go back to that $40,000 truck…

You’re looking at $1,200 to $1,900 in monthly truck payments on this program…

(For 48 months)

PS… I know… that’s a wide range, right? Depending on factors like your credit, the age and mileage of the truck you're buying, and what your financial situation looks like, you could be anywhere within that range. A quick consult will show you what your payments might be

3. Becoming an Owner Operator with Bad Credit (#1)


What if your credit isn’t so good?

There are programs out there with rates near 100%...

…but let’s be serious.

We’re here to talk about good programs, not garbage.


…with 25% down…

…you can get into a truck, even with bad credit and no time in business.

Here’s the program:

  • Max funding amount $40,000 (So, with 25% down, you could buy a $53,333 truck)
  • Truck must be 8 years old or newer, with less than 700,000 miles
  • You must not have tax liens above $10,000, and no child support issues

Let’s go back to our $40,000 truck.

Remember, you’d need $10,000 down.

Payments would be between $1,125 and $1,400 monthly on this program.

Becoming an Owner Operator with Bad Credit (#2) 


Let’s say you aren’t buying a newish truck.

(Less than 8 years old).

Did you know…

…with 50% down…

You can finance (almost) anything?

Almost the only thing that will keep you out of a truck is child support issues or an open bankruptcy.

Get Approved for Your First Truck Here

For apples-to-apples

Imagine that $40,000 truck again.

Remember, you’ll need to come up with $20,000 down.

Payments range from $700 to $1,050 assuming 48 months.

5. Using Collateral to Get Approved for Truck Leasing


Let’s say your credit isn’t perfect.

Let’s also imagine you don’t have a lot of money down.

Do you own other vehicles?

Sometimes, we’ll run into folks who own one or more business vehicles already.

Do you own those vehicles outright (no loans against them)? If so, you can often use that/those vehicles as collateral.

With collateral, sometimes you can get into your truck with no down payment requirement. It just depends how much your collateral is worth. We can usually give you a quick estimate

(Occasionally, you can even get some cash back out of the deal for operating expenses…)

Payments on this program are higher than the others we’ve mentioned since you don’t use any down payment…

But back to that $40,000 truck…

Typical payments over 4 years will be $1,745 or so.

What Now?

There are dozens of programs out there for new owner operators.

The ones we just showed you are, in our opinion, the *best* programs in the marketplace.

You may be a great fit for one of the programs we just went over…

… or we may have to show you something else.

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

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Topics: Leasing

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