Easy Steps To Financing A Semi Truck With Bad Credit

A semi truck is a worthwhile investment that has the potential to bring in lots of income. But how can one even think of purchasing a semi truck when they have bad credit?

One thing we must first acknowledge is that the credit climate in the semi truck financing world has gotten very tight. It’s a totally different ball game from what it was before 2009. But there are still four options that truck drivers can use to help lenders look past their credit history and allow them to purchase a truck.

Here’s how to finance your semi truck when you have bad credit.

  1. Put more money down on the truck you’re buying when you apply for a Commercial Truck Loan. Every dollar you can pay up front brings you that much closer to getting approval from a lender. Besides good credit, lenders like to see equity. More money down means more equity on the truck.
  2. Find a co-signer with impeccable credit and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The reason for the CDL is that lenders will no longer accept borrowers to use just anyone as a co-signer. For instance, a grandmother who lives in an assisted living home is not a suitable co-signer. The good news is that a co-signer with a CDL and good credit almost guarantees acceptance from most lenders.
  3. Buy from a dealer who carries their own papers. That is, you pay as much of a down payment as you can and then make monthly payments to the dealer in a sort of lease-to-own agreement. Yes, this means that you will have to buy from their inventory, which means limited options. The upside is that this financing option is open to just about anyone regardless of their credit history.
  4. Put up additional collateral. Some lenders who specialize in semi truck loans will accept additional collateral in lieu of equity. This is the most flexible option and will show you which lenders are will work with you to devise a custom solution to your bad credit problem.

Don’t get caught unawares just because you had to take an alternative route to financing your semi truck. Make your purchase smooth and legal with these tips from semi truck financing pros.

  1. Put at least 10% down before you’re able to drive the semi truck off the lot. This is true whether you are getting a loan or buying direct from the dealer.
  2. Read the fine print when it comes to exactly who is holding the title to the semi truck while you are paying it off. Don’t leave any stone unturned or you could end up with a nasty surprise when it’s discovered that you never really owned the truck in the first place.
  3. Work with a dealer who has a dealer’s license. A registered dealer is accountable for their sales and financing deals, don’t settle for anything less.

Owner Operator Financing Options When You Have Bad Credit

Owner OperatorBad credit – it’s the iron bars on your gateway for freedom. Bad credit prevents you from opening credit cards, getting a good deal on your mortgage, and more importantly – bad credit prevents you from securing the loans necessary to fund your business. Whether you’re operating an entire fleet or just have your own semi truck that needs substantial repairs, a bad credit rating can completely derail your plans – and your business. Fortunately, there are financing options for owner operators with bad credit.

Take Stock of Your Assets

If you have bad credit, there’s a chance you may need to put up some collateral in order to secure a loan. That means your first step should be to take stock of any assets you have. Make a list of any property, vehicles, or businesses you own. After you’ve made a list, determine how much money you can pull from each. This will give you a rough idea of how valuable those assets are as collateral in the eyes of a lender.

Use Collateral to Secure a Loan

Next, you’ll want to meet with someone that specializes in lending to those with bad credit. They’ll know how severe your situation is, and what options are available to help you secure financing for your semi truck or business. They will want to know what sort of collateral you have – as it can be used to secure a more favorable loan. Ideally, you should strive to work with someone who’s familiar with your business, as they’ll have a better understanding of what type of financing you will need in order to thrive.

Consider Grants

Of course, loans aren’t the only way to secure financing for those with bad credit – you can also look for state or federal government grants. Different grants are targeted at different types of businesses – if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to look at start-up grants, for example.

Bad Credit Financing

While bad credit may seem to block you from developing your business, remember that there’s always a way to figure things out – and there’s always a way for people to help you through. Don’t let bad credit stop you from building your business. Many commercial lenders have financing options available for owner operators with bad credit and can help you navigate the process to secure the money you need for repairs and upgrades.

Lease Purchase Vs Owner Operator

Many of us either have our names on a lease or on a mortgage and which one we choose will depend on a number of circumstances and considerations. Owner operator commercial truck drivers have similar factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase or lease their commercial vehicle. A few things to consider when deciding whether to lease or purchase a commercial truck are:

  • How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?
  • What financing options are available for purchasing vs. leasing?
  • What are the tax implications or benefits?

Leasing a Commercial Vehicle: Pros and Cons

Leasing a commercial vehicle is much like paying monthly rent. The money that is paid on a monthly basis is for the use of commercial vehicle, but no ownership equity is ever realized. The leased vehicle remains the property of the company issuing the lease and they will continue to profit from your use of the vehicle. Rules and restrictions may be assigned to the lease, allowing for less control on behalf of the driver. Leases are typically structured for a set time period, ranging from one to three years and payments are required, without fail, for the complete term of the contract. If, at any point, you decide that you are no longer interested in continuing use of the semi truck, and early termination fee will be assessed and the security deposit will be forfeited.

The benefit of leasing is having increased flexibility and less commitment. Leasing commercial vehicles requires less upfront cash and monthly lease payments are usually less than finance payments. When the lease period has expired, the lessee can simply turn in the vehicle. Drivers may be able to claim tax deductions that are available for the use of leased vehicles as well. If you are not confident that you will be driving the commercial vehicle for a minimum of three years, leasing may be the best option for you.

Purchasing a Commercial Vehicle: Pros and Cons

A person who purchases a commercial truck has the assurances of ownership. From the time of the purchase, the truck is considered an asset that may be sold at any time. With each month’s payment, the vehicle gains equity. And, when the truck has been paid off, the driver may drive it indefinitely with no monthly payment. The truck may also be used as a valuable trade in when the driver decides to purchase a new commercial vehicle. Many truck drivers notice that insurance rates for commercial truck loans are often less than insurance for truck leases, which is another savings benefit.

Although commercial truck loan rules can vary among the types of commercial vehicles, there are some general financing details to consider. If you have been operating your business for a while and can demonstrate good cash flows, you are purchasing a newer truck, and you have reasonable credit, many times a down payment will not be required. As additional risk factors increase, the amount of a down payment needed for the semi truck loan may go up.

The industry trend has shown that serious, career truck drivers experience many benefits from owning their own vehicles. Ownership of a commercial vehicle is much like ownership of a home and the long term equity and freedom outweigh the short term benefits that may be experienced through leasing.

September 2015 Newsletter

XPO to Buy Con-way for $3 Billion
XPO Logistics said it has agreed to acquire Con-way Inc. for $3 billion to broaden its supply chain offerings into less-than-truckload and U.S. truckload freight and create a company with annual revenue of $15 billion.

Spot Van, Refrigerated Rates Rebound Slightly
Spot truckload van and refrigerated freight rates finally recovered a little last week after a period of higher demand and declining fuel surcharges, while flatbeds continued to lose ground, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Secretary Foxx: Congress ‘Can Achieve a Bipartisan Bill’ (with video) 
WASHINGTON – With about a week to go before a House transportation panel takes up a multiyear highway bill, the country’s top transportation officer said the timing is right for both chambers of Congress to finally approve such legislation.

TCA Seeks Best Fleets to Drive For Nominations 
The Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge are seeking nominations from professional truck drivers for the annual Best Fleets to Drive For contest.

How Startups are Using Big Data to Manage the Holiday Cargo Rush 
Several startups have sprung up to help manage the complicated flow of data involved with the movement of goods.

FHWA Seeking Comment on Truck Size and Weight Study
The Federal Highway Administration is seeking comments through Oct. 13 on its June technical report on the agency’s congressionally mandated Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study.

Dicom Acquires Eastern Connection
Private-equity investment firm Wind Point Partners said its Dicom Transportation Group, a business-to-business expedited transportation service based in Montreal, acquired Eastern Connection, a regional overnight parcel business that operates in the northeastern United States.

US Diesel Average Increases for 1st Time in 14 Weeks
Labor Day marked the end of the 14-week price holiday for diesel, as the U.S. average retail price rose by 2 cents a gallon to $2.534, the first such increase since Memorial Day.

Ryder Destroys Volvo Truck in Demo, Challenges Technicians to Fix in 24 Hours
Ryder challenged a team of its technicians to repair a tractor that had run over a spike strip, drove through an exploding debris field and was hit with a 2-ton wrecking ball as part of its “Project Rebirth.”

Ryder Is Hiring Truck Drivers NATIONWIDE!
We are currently seeking drivers in your area. If you are ready to take the next step in your career, we invite you to apply today!

UPS Adds 125 Hybrid Step Vans
UPS has purchased 125 Workhorse E-Gen gasoline-electric hybrid step vans to reduce operating costs and save fuel, the Atlanta-based parcel delivery company announced. The E-Gen trucks will be replacing gasoline-powered vehicles.

18 Ways to Improve the Upfit Planning Process
A “dream team” of 18 fleet truck experts was assembled to discuss ways to optimize the upfitting process. These subject-matter experts reveal how to avoid common upfitting mistakes. It all starts with proper planning.

Commercial Truck Registrations Rise 12 Percent
Commercial and government fleets added 350,837 trucks in classes 3-8 through the first half of 2015 for a 12.1 percent increase from the comparable period a year ago, according to IHS Automotive’s second quarter commercial vehicle report.

Truck Fleets Support Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards
A high percentage of fleet operators recently surveyed by the California clean transportation consortium CALSTART generally support higher national fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, reported Natural Gas Intelligence.

Good News on Trust Fund Is Not Necessarily Good News for Highway Bill
Transportation-policy consultant Ken Orski argues in his latest Innovation NewsBrief update that the urgency to pass a long-term highway bill has “largely vanished” thanks to the Dept. of Transportation revealing that the Highway Trust Fund isn’t in imminent danger of running dry.


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This Webinar Will Cover:

  • Fully-Formulated Heavy-Duty Antifreeze/Coolants
  • Cooling System Cleaners
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How Much Money Can I Make As An Owner Operator


Average Per Mile For Independent Truck Drivers

Owner Operator

Finally being able to buy your own truck and become an owner-operator rather than working for someone else is a dream come true for most people in the transportation industry. However, with being your own boss, setting your own hours and making your own business decisions comes the responsibility for making your business profitable. After all, it you don’t cover your expenses, you don’t get paid yourself.

Commercial truck loans

Since the price of most semis and other commercial trucks is usually too steep to be able to afford with just one’s savings, most owner-operators will need to take out a semi truck loan to make their dream possible. That brings the added pressure to make enough money each month to be able to make that payment to the commercial truck lender and still have money left over for your other business expenses and for you and your family.

Income per mile and your loan payment

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you’re earning enough each month to comfortably make that truck loan payment is to compare how much you earn per mile to your loan payment. That way you know can quickly calculate how many miles you’ll need to drive just to have the money for your loan. Of course, different sector of the transportation industry have different average incomes per mile. Below is a brief overview of what owner/operators in different parts of the industry can expect to earn per mile and the average monthly payment for a good truck to work in that sector:

Flat bed trucks

  • Average income per mile: $1.75 to $1.95 per mile
  • Average truck payment:

Waste disposal trucks

  • Average income per mile: $.85 to $1 per mile
  • Average truck payment:

General goods truck

  • Average income per mile: $2 to $2.24 per mile
  • Average truck payment:

Container truck

  • Average income per mile: $2.50 to $3 per mile
  • Average truck payment:

Of course, the amount you ultimately earn will depend on your part of the country, the competition and the demand for your services. However, this figures will give you an idea of how much and how hard you’ll have to work to make your trucking business a success. While being your own boss can be a great way to create financial security for you and your family, it requires a day-to-day commitment to selling your services, doing the work and providing superior customer service.

August 2015 Newsletter

Truck Tonnage Jumps 3.7% in July, Hits Second Best-Level Ever
Truck tonnage rose 3.7% last month, rebounding to the second-highest level ever with help from improved retail sales, housing starts and factory output, American Trucking Associations reported.

National Diesel Average Dips 0.2¢ in 12th Consecutive Decline
The average price of diesel fuel in the United States declined 0.2 cent a gallon to $2.615, the 12th straight weekly decline, the Department of Energy reported Aug. 17.

New Nonprofit Pursues Autonomous Collision Avoidance for Trucks
The Center for Automated Road Transportation Safety, based in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, which began operation last month as a nonprofit, said it will focus on the research, development, certification, and commercialization of autonomous collision-avoidance technology for autos, buses, and, especially, trucks.

Traffic Deaths Rise 14% for First Half of the Year
Traffic deaths increased 14% in the first six months of the year according to data by the National Safety Council, the Associated Press reported.

Study Shows Low-Rolling-Resistance Tires Aid Fuel Efficiency, Reduce Cost
A new study finds that tires designed with low rolling resistance are a worthwhile investment because they save a significant amount of fuel and cost about the same as tires that are not designed for low rolling resistance.

First 2016 F-650/750 Built at Ohio Plant
Ford and United Auto Workers officials Wednesday morning drove the symbolic first unit of the new F-650/750 series off the line at its Ohio Assembly Plant near Avon Lake amid cheers that followed congratulatory speeches.

Volvo, Mack Offer Pre-Paid Maintenance Plans
Volvo and Mack are offering pre-paid preventative maintenance plans as an option for fleets looking to reduce operating costs.

Peterbilt’s New Vocational Model 567 Enters Production
Peterbilt Motors Company has started production of its new vocational Model 567 with a set-forward front axle configuration.

ATA Senior Vice President Prasad Sharma to Join Transportation Law Firm 
American Trucking Associations Senior Vice President and General Counsel Prasad Sharma is leaving ATA to join the Washington, D.C., office of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, company officials announced Aug. 13.