semi truck financing requirements

#1 Guide To Semi Truck Financing Requirements

semi truck financing requirements

When looking to finance a semi-truck, know that you must meet specific requirements. This guide will look at the main semi-truck financing requirements and explain them simply. No complexity here!

Are you a first-time buyer, or someone with bad credit? We’ll help you navigate the financing process and understand what you need to qualify for a loan.

Semi-Truck Financing Requirements

To qualify for a loan, you must meet standard semi-truck financing requirements. These requirements can include a down payment, a specific time in business, a commercial driver license (CDL), semi truck information, and truck history. Let’s take a closer look at each of these requirements below.

Down Payment

Most semi-truck financing requirements include a down payment. The down payment can range from 2.5% to 10% of the whole cost on average. Some options even allow borrowers to save money on fees and interest by making a larger down payment of 40% to 50%.

It’s important to note that the larger the down payment, the more favorable the semi-truck loan terms will be in the long run. You can still apply for financing even if you can’t make a sizable down payment.

Time In Business

Having experience in owning a business is not necessarily a semi-truck financing requirement. Still, it can significantly benefit you when applying for semi-truck financing. Having a couple of years of operating experience can make the semi-truck loan application process faster and easier.

truck in warehouse

It shows lenders that you are experienced in running a business and have a good understanding of the industry.

Lenders may also see your experience as an indicator of your ability to manage and repay a loan. This can make you a more favorable candidate for semi-truck loan approval and potentially secure better loan terms.

Having experience in owning a business also means you already have a revenue stream and a history of paying bills on time, which is a positive factor for lenders to consider.

Overall, having experience owning a business can make the process of obtaining semi-truck financing smooth.

Commercial Driver’s License

If you’re an owner-operator, you’ll need to provide a copy of your commercial driver’s license for the commercial vehicle loan process.

However, this is not set in stone. What if you won’t actually be driving the trucks? If this is the case for you, read this article: “Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL?

Lease Or Purchase

Lenders will also consider your choice of leasing or buying when evaluating your loan application. Leasing a semi-truck means lower starting cash, and lower monthly payments. But, the term is shorter, and you won’t own the truck at the end of the lease.

On the other hand, buying a semi-truck requires a larger down payment and higher monthly payments. You will own the truck at the end of the loan term. So, leasing a semi-truck may be a better option if you have a limited budget and prefer lower monthly payments.


However, buying a semi-truck may be a better choice if you have the financial means and plan to keep the truck for an extended period.

It’s essential to consider your financial situation and long-term goals when making this decision.

Semi-Truck Information

One of the main semi-truck financing requirements is providing detailed information about the semi-truck you wish to purchase. This information is used as collateral for the loan and helps determine how much capital can be lent to you.

You’ll need to provide information such as the type of truck, year, make, model, vehicle identification number, and any accessories. Providing an invoice or the listing web link for the semi-truck can also help speed up the semi-truck loan approval process.

Truck History

When purchasing a used semi-truck, it’s crucial to ask the vendor for documents related to any repair work done on the truck. You should also obtain the number of miles it’s driven. This information is vital in determining the truck value and loan amount.

For example, if a truck has a high number of miles and has had a lot of repairs, it’s likely to have a lower value, which can affect the loan amount you can secure. On the other hand, if the truck has a low number of miles and hasn’t had any major repairs, it’s likely to have a higher value.

A higher value can result in a more considerable loan amount. Knowing a truck’s history can also help you identify potential issues that may arise in the future and help you negotiate a better price with the vendor.

Man repairing truck

Remember that a truck’s history can also be an indicator of its reliability. This can help you make a more informed decision.

What Isn’t Required To Finance A Semi Truck?

When financing a semi-truck, there are a few things that are not typically required:

  • Cash flow statement: Financial reports for your business are not typically required. This is because market conditions can change quickly in the trucking industry, and cash flow may slow for months.
  • Tax returns: Personal or business tax documentation is not a semi-truck financing requirement.
  • Driving experience: A minimum number of years with a CDL or a spotless driving record is not typically required. Although, this may depend.
  • Financial history: Many small businesses have their ups and downs financially. You can still qualify for commercial truck financing with unstable financial history.

It’s worth noting that some lenders may require a specific number of years of experience, but most of the time, it’s not needed. The most important thing is that you have the capital to make a down payment.

Lenders may focus on your ability to make payments on time and the overall condition of the truck you want to buy. This information is more important than your credit score.

Can You Finance A Semi Truck With Bad Credit?

Your credit score is important but doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to qualify for commercial truck financing. Even if you have bad credit or have gone through bankruptcy, you can still get a loan or lease for your transportation business.

shaking hands

A low credit score is not an obstacle for startups to get financing. While a fair credit score (around 600) can be beneficial, it’s only necessary for certain lenders.

How To Finance A Semi Truck With Bad Credit

Mission Financial Services specializes in helping people apply for semi truck financing, even if they have no or bad credit.

We understand that only some have perfect credit, and that’s why we are a common-sense lender. We consider your current life situation, not just your credit score. We have been able to help owner-operators get semi-truck loans regardless of their credit history.

The loan application steps with Mission Financial Services are as follows:

  • Credit Application: To apply for a loan, you must complete a credit application. We will require certain documents to complete the loan process, such as vehicle pictures, proof of insurance, and potentially a current driver’s license or CDL.
  • Spec Sheet: Provide a spec sheet for the semi-truck you wish to purchase. This should include the year, make, model, vehicle identification number, actual mileage, engine, transmission type, and any accessories.
  • Purchase Order: Provide a purchase order for the semi-truck, including the cash sales price and applicable fees, such as sales tax, DMV, and dealer fees.
  • Truck History: If you are interested in buying a used semi-truck, ask the vendor for documents related to any repair work done on the truck and the number of miles.


  • Additional documents: In some cases, we may require other documents to process your loan application. These could include two months of bank statements and a complete telephone bill.

Mission Financial Services can process your loan application quickly by providing all the necessary documents. The truck loan process doesn’t need to be tricky!

Keep in mind that even if you have bad credit, we can help you with a bad credit loan. If you can demonstrate the ability to make payments on time and have a stable business, you can secure semi-truck financing.

Final Thoughts

Semi-truck financing requirements may vary depending on the lender. However, these requirements generally include a down payment, time in business, a CDL, semi-truck information, and truck history.

It’s important to note that even if you have bad credit, there are still options for financing a semi-truck. Mission Financial Services can help guide you through the process and determine the best loan option for you. Contact us today!

how to become a semi truck driver

How To Become A Semi Truck Driver (Top Insights)

how to become a semi truck driver

Have you been wondering how to become a semi-truck driver? Well, you’re in luck. This guide is here to break down all the important information you’ll need on your journey.

You must follow all the initial steps correctly to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s regulations. Failing to do so might cause inconveniences later on and prevent you from getting your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

How To Become A Semi Truck Driver

Truck driving is a rewarding career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can earn a decent annual salary as a new driver. Your pay will increase as you gain more experience in the trucking industry.
To start your new career as a semi-truck driver on the right foot, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before you get on the path to becoming a semi-truck driver, you must first ensure that you meet all the minimum requirements. Some of these requirements include those listed below.


By law, you must be at least 18 years old to become a truck driver. But, you’ll be under strict restrictions regarding the type of trips you can make at this age. In most states, young drivers between 18 and 21 years can only make local trips within their home state.

You’ll qualify to ride across state lines at 21 years. Most truck companies prefer working with drivers 21 years and above.

Regular Driver’s License

You cannot get a CDL without having a current driver’s license.

So, if you do not have a regular license, get one first. Ensure you pass your home state’s standard driver’s license exam and spend some time behind the wheel of a non-commercial vehicle.

It’ll help you build the courage and confidence you need to drive tractor-trailers when the time comes.

Clean Driving Record

Your chances of joining the trucking industry as a truck driver are higher when you have a clean driving record.

Most companies and driving schools may overlook minor traffic violations like wrong parking. But a history of reckless driving, or driving under the influence (DUI), minimizes your chances of getting trucking jobs.

That’s because driving a combination vehicle, such as a semi-truck, requires responsibility. All stakeholders in transportation, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), must ensure commercial drivers are competent to keep all road users safe.

High School Education

Most truck companies, especially those that employ long-haul truck drivers, require applicants to have a high school diploma.

A GED equivalent works well too. Some driving schools also request these documents for you to join.

It might be a good idea to get your GED if you don’t have a high school diploma. It’ll keep your driving school options open and help you qualify for more employment opportunities.

Drug And Alcohol Tests

Drug testing isn’t necessary for getting a CDL, but it is for being employed as a truck driver.

You should know from the start that drugs and alcohol testing will be frequent throughout your career as a truck driver.

Most employers perform random drug tests from time to time to ensure their drivers are always fit to drive.

drug test

In addition to the above, there are some factors you should take keen note of if you want to become a truck driver. These issues can prevent you from obtaining your CDL in most states. We’ve outlined some below.

  • Medical conditions, like sleep apnea or high blood pressure.
  • Certain prescription medications.
  • Felony convictions for extortion, arson, and kidnapping.

Address these issues before you start your journey to becoming a truck driver. For example, you could get a written waiver from your physician to show the medical conditions won’t interfere with your ability to drive safely.

Once you’ve met all the requirements for becoming a semi-truck driver, you’re ready to begin training.

Step 2: Attend A Professional Truck Driving Program

Finding a high-quality truck driving school or program is essential for your career.

You want to find FMCSA-accredited truck driver training programs to go through your training. This is required by law.

There are several truck driving training options you can choose from to get your CDL training. Some take a few weeks to complete, while others may take a few months.

Different options also charge different amounts to go through their courses. But there are FMCSA-approved programs that offer financial aid to reduce your costs.

The most common types of CDL training you can go through include:

Private Schools

Although tuition costs vary from one school to another, private CDL schools are generally the most expensive CDL training option.

You may have to pay thousands of dollars upfront to complete the training in a few weeks or months. But this depends on the specific school you attend.


Private driving schools are also one of the most flexible options because they run all year round. You can attend and finish your CDL training anytime.

Some reputable private driving schools have partnered with truck companies to offer students a truck driving job placement once they finish training.

Community College Training Programs

Community colleges take longer than private CDL training. They’re also less flexible since they only run a few times annually.

Consider this option if you’d like to get your CDL part-time. It’s the best option if you’re in no hurry to get behind the wheel of any commercial vehicle.

You may have to pay tuition fees for most programs. But there are several funding options to help with the costs, like the federal Pell Grant.

Paid CDL Training Program

If you wish to pay the least money for your CDL training, choose this training option. It’s also known as company-sponsored CDL training or free CDL truck training.

In this program, large trucking companies sponsor students to get their CDL. In turn, students commit to work for the sponsoring company for a while (approximately one year) once they complete their training.

The vast majority of potential truck drivers go for this option for two reasons:

  • There are no upfront costs.
  • It guarantees a truck driving job right after training.

If you choose this option, do your research! Ensure you commit to a company you genuinely want to work for in your career.

truck driving

Paid CDL training is always ongoing. They also take the shortest time. You can have your CDL and start working within a few weeks (around 4 to 6 weeks).

Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a training program:

  • How much money do you wish to spend on training?
  • How much time do you have to spend in training or driving school?
  • How fast would you like to start working as a truck driver?

Step 3: Get Your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

CDLs come in different classes. You get class A, B, and C licenses.

Each CDL class allows you to drive a specific type of commercial vehicle, depending on its weight and size.

The more the weight limit you can drive, the more commercial vehicles you’ll be in a position to drive. In addition, the more career options you’ll be able to explore.

For a commercial truck driver, the class A CDL license might be the best option for you. It has minimum restrictions and allows you to drive large trucks internationally. This gives you more versatility in your career.

How To Get A CDL

There are a few steps that all potential semi-truck drivers must follow to get a CDL license. We’ve outlined these steps below.

Submit Your CDL application

Whether you want a class A or class B license, you must fill in and submit your application. You’ll need to provide a few personal documents, such as identification, proof of address, social security number, and a utility bill.


Pass Various Tests

Next up, you’ll need to pass physical, hearing, and sight CDL tests from a certified Department of Transportation (DOT) physician. You’ll get a DOT medical card indicating that you’re medically fit to be a long-distance driver.

The knowledge test is also important. This includes a written CDL exam that may cover the technicalities of driving a truck and road regulations. Once you’ve passed all the tests, you’ll get your commercial learner’s permit (CLP).

With your learner’s permit, you can practice driving a semi-truck while waiting for your final road test. A qualified commercial driver’s license holder must be with you when doing this.

Ace Your Road Test

Lastly, you’ll need to pass your road skills test. This will test your road skills with a qualified test evaluator. You may have to go through several tests to demonstrate that you can drive large commercial vehicles, like tractor-trailers.

Some tests may include handling common mechanical issues and a basic controls test.

After completing all these steps successfully, you’ll get your CDL. You can then get hired and become a truck driver on the road!

Double Check CDL Requirements

It’s worth noting that CDL requirements vary from one state to another. In most cases, you’ll need further endorsements to drive certain special vehicles like school buses or vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

Always check your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulations to ensure you meet all the requirements.

driving truck

You may also learn more about endorsements and restrictions from the FMCSA to ensure you’re always on the safe side.

Step 4: Get Hired

Once you have your CDL, you can become a truck driver in any trucking company. If you selected the paid training option, which offers CDL training and a truck driving job in step two, you might skip the job search!

Most schools have truck driving job placement programs. Many trucking companies hire their drivers directly from driving schools.

Step 5: Complete Employee Training And Orientation

Once recruited, you’ll need to complete the in-house training for the recruiting trucking company before you go out on the road.

The goal of such sessions, often known as driver finishing programs, is to introduce you to the company’s vehicles and equipment.

Such programs also cover the truck company’s mode of operation. They may last approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

How To Get Your Own Semi Truck

Because trucks are expensive, the best way to get your own is by getting a loan. There are two main types of loans you can apply for to get enough funds to buy your truck.

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans

The government helps finance small businesses so that they can grow. You can use an SBA- backed loan to get your truck.

These loans have lower rates and longer terms compared to conventional loans. If you’re an experienced owner-operator, they’re a good option.

To apply for an SBA loan:

  • Visit the SBA loans page.
  • Navigate to the ‘find lenders’ section and provide the necessary details to get connected to potential lenders. You’ll see a list of lenders interested in financing your loan.
  • Talk to the lenders to find the best one for you.
  • Apply for the loan, get approved, and buy your truck!

shaking hands

Company lenders

Many companies offer loans for purchasing commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks.

Most of them are flexible and can give you a loan tailored to your needs. Mission Financial Services is the perfect example.

You can get different types of owner-operator loans from company lenders. You can finance your semi-truck if you are a:

  • Driver with limited experience.
  • First-time owner-operator.
  • Owner-operator with bankruptcies or bad credit.
  • Small fleet owner.

Read this guide on commercial vehicle financing to learn more about your financing options.

You might also want to follow this step-by-step guide on how to get a loan for a semi-truck to apply for one today!

Final Thoughts

Becoming a truck driver is straightforward if you follow the steps we’ve laid out.

Once you pass the background check and meet all the initial legal requirements, you’ll get your CDL and can start your semi-truck driving journey.

If you’re interested in financing your semi-truck dreams, contact Mission Financial Services today. This lender can help you to realize your goals, and kickstart your trucking business.

credit score needed to buy semi truck

Credit Score Needed To Buy Semi Truck | All You Need To Know

credit score needed to buy semi truck

So, what is the credit score needed to buy semi trucks?

Your score can play an important role in obtaining financing for your business. However, as we will discuss, this is not always the case. Often, the credit score required will depend on the lender.

Let’s discuss the typical credit score needed to buy semi trucks. We’re also going to look into other factors that can influence your loan approval, such as cash flow and monthly payments.

Read on to equip yourself with all of the credit score information you’ll need on your financing journey.

Credit Score Needed To Buy A Semi Truck

Typically, the credit score needed to buy semi trucks is around 650. Any lender will likely approve your commercial truck loan if your score is 650 or above.

But, what if your credit score is lower? In this case, you’ll be considered a high-risk borrower. You may be required to pay a higher interest rate. You also might have a less favorable commercial vehicle loan.

Some lenders don’t take credit scores into account, although they will almost certainly ask to look at them before approving your loan.

Understanding FICO Scores

To understand the credit score needed to buy semi trucks, you must understand FICO scores. FICO score ranges are a way to categorize credit scores into different levels.

credit card

The FICO score is the most widely used credit score, ranging from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the better your credit history and creditworthiness.

Here is a breakdown of the FICO score ranges in simple terms:

  • 300 – 579: A score in this range is considered ‘very poor’.
  • 580 – 669: A score in this range is considered ‘fair’.
  • 670 – 739: A score in this range is considered ‘good’.
  • 740 – 799: A score in this range is considered ‘very good’.
  • 800 – 850: A score in this range is considered ‘exceptional’.

Statistically speaking, most people tend to score between 600 and 720. This means that most credit applicants fall in the fair to good range. Sometimes, a good credit score is needed to finance a semi-truck.

Semi Truck Financing With Bad Credit

At Mission Financial Services, we understand that not everyone has perfect credit.

For this reason, we don’t consider the credit score needed to buy semi trucks. Having a history of bad credit or bankruptcy does not impact our decision to approve your loan.

If you have poor credit, options like a bad credit loan are available to you. Let’s discuss the steps you can take to finance your semi truck with an imperfect credit score.

1. Complete The Credit Application

The first step in the semi-truck financing process is to complete a credit application. You’ll need to include certain documents in your application. These include pictures of the vehicle you wish to purchase, proof of truck insurance, and potentially a valid driver’s license or commercial driver’s license.


These documents help lenders to better understand your current situation. From here, they can make an informed decision regarding your loan application.

2. Provide A Spec Sheet

Next up, you’ll need to provide a spec sheet for the semi-truck you wish to purchase. If you’re looking to finance a lease agreement, rather than purchase a semi-truck, you’ll also need to provide a spec sheet.

Spec sheets document detailed information about the vehicle you want to buy, such as the motor carrier number. You can expect to include the following information in your spec sheet:

  • Year: The year the truck was manufactured.
  • Make: The manufacturer of the truck.
  • Model: The specific model of the truck.
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): This is a unique 17-digit number that identifies specific vehicles.
  • Mileage: The current mileage of the commercial vehicle.
  • Engine: The type of engine in the semi-truck.
  • Transmission Type: The type of transmission in the semi-truck.
  • Accessories: Any additional features or equipment on the semi-truck, such as an auxiliary power unit, refrigerated trailer, or GPS.

Providing a detailed spec sheet will help lenders to understand the value of the semi-truck you’re interested in financing. The information on the spec sheet must be accurate and verifiable to help determine your eligibility.

3. Secure A Purchase Order

The final step in the semi-truck financing application process is to provide a purchase order for the new truck.


A purchase order is an agreement between a buyer and a seller. It outlines the details of the sale, including the cash sales price or purchase price and any applicable fees such as sales tax, DMV fees, and dealer fees.

Assessing a purchase order allows the lender to understand the total cost of the new truck. It also helps them ensure that the loan amount is sufficient to cover the purchase.

Other Factors Influencing Semi-Truck Loans

While the credit score needed to buy semi trucks can be important, depending on the lender you choose, other factors can also influence your financing eligibility. Understanding these factors will ensure a smooth and favorable loan application.

1. Driving Experience

Lenders want to ensure that you have the necessary skills and experience to operate a semi-truck safely and efficiently. A proven driving experience record can help boost your case for semi-truck financing.

For example, if you’ve been driving for 10 years, have a clean driving record, and have completed a commercial driver’s training program, this will be viewed favorably by a lender. This is applicable if you will be driving the truck.

2. Annual Revenue Stream

Lenders want to see that you have a stable source of income to make monthly payments. A steady annual revenue stream is important for self-employed individuals or small trucking business owners.

For example, can you demonstrate that your business has been profitable and that have enough cash flow to cover monthly payments? You can do this by providing bank statements. In this case, you’ll probably be viewed favorably by a lender.


3. Different Types Of Credit

Different types of credit, such as installment credit, can also help you to look favorable.

Examples of installment credit include a mortgage or business auto loan. Having a mix of different credit types, such as revolving credit and installment credit, shows lenders that you can handle different types of credit responsibly.

4. Co-signer

If the credit score needed to buy semi trucks from your chosen lender is a touch too high, the lender may require a co-signer on your commercial truck loan. A co-signer is someone willing to take on the legal responsibility of repaying the business auto loan if you cannot make the payments. The co-signer can be a family member or friend with a good credit score. Of course, they must be willing to co-sign the loan!

5. Down Payment

A down payment can make you more attractive to lenders. The down payment shows that you have skin in the game and are invested in the purchase. A larger down payment can also help you secure a lower interest rate and better loan terms on your semi-truck financing journey.

It’s important to note that different financing companies may have other requirements and may weigh these factors differently. However, by understanding these factors, you can better prepare yourself for the loan application process and increase your chances of getting commercial fleet financing.

Man in truck

Final Thoughts

The credit score needed to buy semi trucks varies depending on the lender.

If your chosen lender takes credit scores into account, a score of 650 and above is considered suitable for semi-truck financing. Other factors, such as driving experience and an established revenue stream, can boost your loan eligibility.

If you have an imperfect credit score, consider financing your semi truck through Mission Financial Services. We take your current situation into account, rather than your history. Contact us today to kickstart your semi-truck loan process!

Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL

Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL? (And Other FAQs)

Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL

We’ve put together this article to answer some of the most common questions we get from first-time semi-truck buyers.

Most of the inquiries are about commercial truck financing. These include:

  • Can I buy a semi-truck without CDL?
  • Can I own a trucking company without CDL?
  • How to buy a semi-truck without CDL?
  • How does semi-truck financing work?

Let’s discuss these FAQs in detail. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get into the transportation business.

1. Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL?

The short answer is yes. This is because the person buying the truck can be different from the one who’ll do the driving.

In the trucking industry, we refer to individuals considering buying a commercial truck without a Commercial Driving License (CDL) as investor buyers. Say you’re looking to start a trucking business with a partner. You can be the investor buyer and your partner will be the driver. In such cases, a commercial driver’s license will be a requirement for the driver.

It is worth noting that there are several restrictions on, and fewer programs for, financing truck business owners without a CDL. That’s because most lenders in the transportation business review the asset you want to finance.

If the product requires a special license to operate, they’ll be interested to know whether you hold the required license. You’ll need a CDL to get funds from these lenders. Some semi-trailer financing lenders might request to know the years of experience with the CDL.

piggy bank

Generally, CDL drivers with more years of experience are lower-risk borrowers than those with less driving experience. Mission Financial Services is more forgiving, especially for first-time buyers. We finance drivers with limited CDL driving experience, including new owner-operators. Learn more about accessing commercial vehicle loans for first-time buyers.

2. Can I Own A Trucking Company Without A CDL?

Yes, you can. However, you’ll have to employ commercial vehicle drivers with a CDL to help you operate the company.

Hiring competent drivers might seem like a daunting task, and it can be. But it’s worth every effort because starting your own trucking company is a good investment.

The trucking industry is one of the most profitable industries in the U.S. It is worth over $700 billion and moves more than 70% of the total freight in the U.S.

That said, there are some things you need to know before you start your trucking business without a driver’s license.

What To Know Before Starting A Trucking Company Without A CDL

We’ve listed them below to help you see whether becoming a semi-truck business owner without a CDL is the right option for you.

1. Start-up costs: Starting small businesses requires money. It’s more costly if you don’t have a license. You’ll need enough funds to get a qualified driver and cover their pay until your business picks up.


Remember, you must hire a truck driver with the right qualifications. For instance, if you transport hazardous materials, you’ll need a driver with a class c CDL.

They have the driving experience to drive semis with dangerous materials across state lines. This is in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

2. Insurance: There are different types of insurance needed to start and operate your own trucking company. Some examples include:

  • Insurance for commercial vehicles.
  • Insurance to cover the goods you transport.
  • General liability insurance to cover the entire business.

3. Trucking authority: You must provide proof of complying with all federal and state laws to get paid to haul cargo. Essentially, this is what the trucking authority helps you to do.

Getting a trucking authority involves filling in paperwork from the USA Department of Transportation (USDOT). You’ll be issued a USDOT number, and an MC number, among others.

Check out this article on getting your trucking authority to learn more about how this works.

3. How To Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL?

If you want to purchase semi-trucks for commercial use, the most affordable way is to get a loan. This is because commercial semi-trucks are pricey. A new truck costs about $80,000, but factors like fuel efficiency, horsepower, and cargo capacity can increase their prices to around $200,000.

Apart from the government’s SBA loan, several companies can finance your purchase. But, as we mentioned earlier, very few are willing to help you buy a semi-truck without a CDL.

Still, you can find different financing options to get a truck for commercial purposes without a CDL. It all depends on the in-house financing programs of lending trucking companies. Often, you’ll have to make a significant down payment and have some experience in the trucking business.

Man showing man documents

Some of the most common options you have to buy a truck without a CDL include the following:

CDL Driver Guarantee

CDL driver guarantee is the most popular option for first-time buyers, although it involves a trucking partnership. Meaning you have to apply for funding as a team.

One team member, the designated driver, must have a commercial driver’s license. They then guarantee the person without a CDL. It’s critical to note that both team members have to sign a finance agreement. So, choose the right partner if you take this option.

Minimum Three Years Of Experience Within The Trucking Industry

Another great financing option lenders provide for drivers without a CDL includes a minimum of three years of experience in the trucking business.

This is the best semi-truck financing option for individuals active in the transport business, who are now looking to become business owners.

You might have experience in dispatching or the freight brokering industry. You’ll require a down payment starting from 35% for this option.

4. How Does Semi-Truck Financing Work?

Most semi-truck financing programs offer you cash as a loan to buy different types of semi-trucks for commercial purposes. However, others provide an equipment lease instead.

Choosing the equipment lease option means making payments for using the truck for a specific period, known as a lease term. When this term expires, you can either walk away or buy out the truck’s remaining value and own it.

On the other hand, getting a loan guarantees ownership of the truck when you finish repaying the loan. The terms of the loans depend on the type of truck you’re looking to buy and other factors.

You can get loans for small trucks, big rigs or semi-trailers, warehouse trucks, delivery trucks, and more. These loans are known as secured loans because the vehicle acts as the collateral for the loan.

loan agreement

At Mission Financial Services, we offer both types of commercial truck financing – loans and leases. Our financing programs are flexible. We take into account different types of buyers and their specific credit situations.

With us, you can access various direct or dealership lending options even if you have bad credit. Read our comprehensive step-by-step guide on commercial vehicle financing to learn more.

5. What Are The Financing Requirements For A Semi-Truck?

Lenders look at several factors to determine your eligibility for truck financing. Some include:

  • Business owner or driver’s CDL experience.
  • Down payments.
  • Credit score.
  • The specs of the truck you want to purchase, such as model, year, make, and overall condition.
  • Several documents, including those from the US department of transportation.


Final Thoughts

If you’ve been wondering, “Can I buy a semi-truck without CDL?”, we hope you have the answer!

Becoming a trucking business owner is a gateway to financial independence, especially if you have the right financing partner. Mission Financial Services takes pride in being a commonsense lender and offers various affordable loan options.

Our loan approvals come as simple interest contracts that have limited terms. This helps you to quickly build equity in the loan you’re financing and to avoid additional charges. We also work with all major credit bureaus. So, you can have a chance to turn your credit around if you’ve been struggling with bad credit. Start your credit application with us today!

documents required for commercial vehicle loan

Documents Required For A Commercial Vehicle Loan (The Ultimate Guide)

documents required for commercial vehicle loan

Are you wondering about the documents required for commercial vehicle loan applications?

With the trucking industry valued at $800 billion in the US, you might want to hop on board! To kickstart your new venture, you may need to take out a commercial vehicle loan. You’ll need to gather and submit certain documents for your loan to be approved.

In this article, we’ll look at the documents required for a commercial vehicle loan and what you can expect when applying for your commercial vehicle loan. Your commercial vehicles are right around the corner!

Documents Required For A Commercial Vehicle Loan

Most documents required for commercial vehicle loans are fairly standard. However, there are extra documents you’ll need to provide that are specific to a commercial loan. The following list includes documents required for a commercial vehicle loan. Each lender has different requirements, so it’s essential to consult them.

Let’s take a look. Your vehicle finance journey starts here!

Personal Details

  • Personal identity: Your identity document is a requirement by law. You can use your driver’s license, passport, or another government-issued identity document. Your document needs to show your photograph and your name.
  • Proof of residence: This is to verify and prove your residency address. It’s also used for security purposes to prevent fraud. You can include your rental agreement or your utility bill as proof.


  • Commercial driver’s license: To finance commercial vehicles, you might need to provide your CDL. This proves that you (or your partner) can drive the vehicle.

Income And Business Details

Proof of income and employment: Your lender will want to see that you can repay your loan. You might need to provide your payslips for three months, six-month bank statements, and an employment contract to prove your income.

  • Proof of business ownership or a business plan: Showing business ownership or a business plan when starting your own trucking business will indicate how the vehicle will benefit you.
  • Down payment: Providing proof of your down payment to your lender is crucial. Some lenders have a minimum amount that you’ll need to provide. How much you put down also determines your repayments.
  • ITR proof: You may need to provide an updated ITR document alongside the documents required for commercial vehicle loans.
  • Loan repayment track: If you have any existing loans, it is a good idea to provide evidence of your repayments.
    Extra Documentation
  • Application form: Each lender has its own loan application form to fill out. Find out from them which document applies to your commercial truck loan application. You’ll probably need to provide two passport-size photographs with your application to finance commercial vehicles.
  • Proof of experience: If you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll need to provide evidence of your experience with commercial vehicles.
  • Vehicle details: If applicable, and you have a vehicle you’d like to buy, providing valuation documents and vehicle details is important.
  • Vehicle insurance: If you have an existing fleet, you can provide details of your insurance to cover accidents and repairs.


Do You Need A Lawyer To Review The Documents?

While having a lawyer review the documents required for a commercial vehicle loan is not always necessary, it can be helpful.

A lawyer can help you to ensure that all the documents are prepared correctly and meet all the legal requirements. They can also help ensure that the loan is structured in a way that will benefit you. It will be helpful to have a lawyer review documents required for a commercial vehicle loan if the loan is complex.

However, as much as having a lawyer can be beneficial to your loan application, it’s an extra expense on top of the loan. So, there’s a tradeoff. Make sure you vet the lender you choose to go to, to ensure they are trustworthy. A company like Mision Financial Services wants the best outcome for both parties and will work to ensure you understand the entire loan process.

Commercial Truck Financing

Commercial truck financing will allow you to purchase trucks for business purposes. These vehicles include semi-trucks, box trucks, and flatbed trucks.

It’s a great option if you’re looking to buy your first vehicle, or add to your fleet. A loan term typically ranges from 24 to 72 months. The interest rates you’re offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the value of the truck, and your lender’s policies.

If you’re looking for commercial truck financing, keep reading to determine if you’re eligible for a loan.

Requirements For A Commercial Truck Loan

To qualify for a commercial vehicle loan, you’ll need to meet specific criteria set out by your lender. Each lender will indicate the documents required for commercial vehicle finance. Typically, lenders consider the following:

  • Creditworthiness: Lenders will check your credit score. A good credit history can improve your chances of getting a loan. Many companies are willing to help those with subpar credit scores.
  • Financial income: Your business or individual finances need to be in check. Lenders want to see if you’ll be able to repay the loan.
  • Experience: The more experience you have in driving a commercial vehicle, the better your chances are. If you own a business – the longer it’s been around, the better!
  • Permanent residence: You’ll need to show permanent residence status in your country of application.
  • Down payment: Every company has a different percentage required for a down payment for your vehicle loan. What you can provide determines your eligibility. Your credit rating may also affect this.
    Understanding loan eligibility requirements with your lender is crucial. The company you choose may require additional information and documentation.

How To Qualify For A Loan

We’ve discussed all of the important information you need to know about requirements. So, how do you qualify for a loan?

Shaking hands

Depending on your credit score, it may take longer to qualify. Below are some factors that you’ll need to take into consideration.

  • Credit score: Try to increase your credit score by paying accounts on time and not missing payments. Luckily, some companies can assist you even if your credit score is low.
  • Business plan: This step is similar to a business loan! If you’re starting your own company, have an effective business plan to help you secure your first commercial truck loan.
  • Income: If your income doesn’t meet your specific loan requirement criteria, you’ll need to increase it to be able to afford loan repayments. You’ll need to show a stable income through six months of bank statements.
  • Experience: If you’re relatively new to the trucking scene, you may need more experience before getting approved for a loan. If this is the case, gaining more experience as a commercial vehicle driver will help.
  • Down payment: Every company has its requirements for a down payment. Having the necessary funds is crucial to getting your loan approved.

Ultimately, you will have to ensure that you meet all the requirements above to qualify for your commercial truck loan. Some cases require extra time, effort, and savings before you can be approved.

How To Apply For A Loan

The application process may differ from company to company. The circumstances surrounding the loan may also impact the time to approval. For example, if the lender requires additional information to process your loan application.

In a nutshell, the application process can be simplified as follows:

  • Choose your lender: Research what each option offers. Choosing a lender specializing in commercial vehicle financing is crucial. These companies are usually more flexible in their terms and will understand your business needs better.

Golden piggy bank

  • Gather your documents: Once you’ve found your ideal lender, it’s time to gather all the documentation required for the application process.
  • Complete the application form: When you’ve gathered all your documents, you can fill out and hand in the application form.
  • Wait for approval: Your lender will review your application and the supporting documents and decide whether to approve the loan. They may also ask for any additional information.
  • Sign the loan contract: Once approved, your lender will provide you with a loan agreement to review and sign. This document will detail the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, the loan amount, and the schedule for monthly repayments.
  • Provide collateral (if required): Some lenders may require collateral, such as a lien on the vehicle, or a personal guarantee, to secure the loan.
  • Receive the loan: Once all the paperwork is complete, the loan will be granted, and you’ll receive the money to purchase your commercial vehicle!

When applying for a commercial vehicle loan, it’s crucial to get as much information as possible from the lender regarding requirements and eligibility. The more you can find out and get done, the smoother the loan application will go.

Final Thoughts

Commercial truck financing is a top choice for those buying their first vehicle or adding to their existing fleet. Ensure that you understand the documents required for commercial vehicle loans. These may be specific to each lender, so do your research!

Gathering these documents will ensure a smooth and quick application process. If you prepare in advance, you’ll be in your new vehicle in no time!

How to start a semi truck business

How To Start A Semi Truck Business | 8 Steps

How to start a semi truck business

The commercial trucking industry is a vital part of the US economy. Trucks move around 72% of all goods in the country. Starting a semi-truck business can be an excellent opportunity!
With the proper preparation and planning, a semi-truck business can be a successful and rewarding venture.

Let’s talk about how to start a semi-truck business.

Semi Truck Business Success | 8 Steps

Step 1: Research The Semi Truck Industry

Before you start a trucking company, it’s crucial to research the industry and understand the market. Look at the trends, the competition, and the potential customers. Understanding the industry will help you make informed decisions and ensure your business is booming.

For example, when researching the industry, you can start by looking at the current market trends. This can include investigating the demand for trucking services in different regions, the commonly transported goods, and the current rates for trucking services.

By conducting this research, you can better understand the industry and the market. You will be able to identify potential opportunities and challenges and make informed decisions about your business strategy.

Step 2: Create a Semi Truck Business Plan

Once you understand the industry well, the next step is to create a business plan. A business plan should outline your goals and strategies, and the steps you need to take to achieve them. It will also help you secure funding and attract investors.

business plan

A trucking company business plan should include the following key elements:

  • Executive Summary: A summary of the main points of the business plan, including the purpose of the business, the target market, and the critical strategies for achieving success.
  • Company Description: A description of the company, including the legal structure, ownership, and management team.
  • Market Analysis: An analysis of the industry, including the current market trends, the competition, and the potential customers.
  • Services: A description of the services that the business offers, including the types of goods that will be transported and the routes that will be covered.
  • Marketing and Sales: A description of the marketing and sales strategies, including the target market, pricing strategy, and promotional activities.
  • Operations: A description of the day-to-day operations of the business, including the logistics of transporting goods, the maintenance of the vehicles, and the management of the drivers.
  • Financial Projections: Financial projections for the business, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements from your business bank account.

Step 3: Obtain The Necessary Licenses And Permits

Starting your own trucking business requires obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. These include a commercial driver’s license and the authority to operate as a motor carrier.

For example, you will need to obtain several licenses and permits to operate a semi-truck business. These may include:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Operating Authority: This is also known as an MC number. This is required for any company that operates commercial vehicles transporting goods in interstate commerce.
  • USDOT Number: This is a unique number assigned by the FMCSA to identify commercial motor carriers.

Man in truck

  • State Operating Permits: Some states also require a separate permit to operate within their borders.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): Drivers operating commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks, must have a CDL.
  • Vehicle Registration: Each vehicle used in the business must be registered with the state and have proper business insurance.

It’s important to note that the requirements for obtaining licenses and permits may vary depending on the state. It’s also crucial to comply with federal and state regulations regarding safety, insurance, and other operational standards.

Step 4: Secure Funding

Starting a semi truck business requires a significant financial investment, and securing funding is crucial.

Consider options such as traditional bank loans, equipment financing, or working with a lender specializing in the trucking industry.

Mission Financial Services is a preferred loan process agent for national and regional dealership chains and family-owned, independent, and franchised dealerships. They also offer loans to first-time buyers and loans to those with bad credit scores.

For example, if you want to start a semi-truck business with five trucks, you will need to purchase or lease the trucks, trailers, and other equipment. Additionally, you will need to pay for insurance, maintenance, and other expenses.

Starting the business may cost a significant amount, which may not be feasible to cover with personal savings or credit cards. In this case, you’ll need to secure funding through a loan or other financing options.


Working with a lender specializing in the trucking industry, such as Mission Financial Services, can be helpful. They understand the specific needs and challenges of the trucking industry.

They may also offer financing options tailored to the needs of trucking businesses, such as loans for purchasing or leasing trucks and trailers or loans for covering operating expenses.

Step 5: Purchase Or Lease Trucks And Trailers

Once you have secured funding, focus on purchasing or leasing trucks and trailers. When it comes to purchasing or leasing trucks and trailers, there are pros and cons to each option.


  • Ownership: When you purchase a truck or trailer, you own it outright and have the flexibility to customize it to your business’s specific needs.
  • Equity: As you pay for a purchased truck or trailer, you build equity in the equipment.
  • Tax deductions: You can take advantage of tax deductions for the equipment, such as depreciation.
  • Upfront cost: Purchasing trucks and trailers requires a significant upfront investment, and it may not be feasible for businesses with limited capital.
  • Maintenance costs: As the trucking business owner, you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs, which can be expensive.
  • Depreciation: The value of the equipment will depreciate over time, which can impact the resale value.


  • Lower upfront cost: Leasing requires a smaller upfront investment than purchasing, making it more accessible for businesses with limited capital.
  • Lower maintenance costs: Maintenance and repairs are often included in the lease agreement, saving money on maintenance costs.

  • Flexibility: Leasing allows you to upgrade to newer equipment more frequently, which can benefit businesses that need to keep up with new technology or regulations.


  • Lack of ownership: When you lease equipment, you don’t own it outright and may not have the flexibility to customize it to your business’s specific needs.
  • Limited equity: As you make payments on a leased truck or trailer, you don’t build equity in the equipment.
  • Higher costs in the long run: Leasing equipment over an extended period can cost more in the long run than purchasing it outright.

Consult with a transportation consultant or financial advisor to help evaluate your options and make the best decision for your business.

Step 6: Hire Drivers

Even as an owner-operator, a semi-truck business relies heavily on its drivers. Hiring qualified, professional drivers who can ensure the safe and efficient transportation of goods is essential. When hiring drivers, consider the following qualities:

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL): Drivers operating commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks, must have a CDL.
  • Driving experience: Look for drivers with experience driving semi-trucks and a good driving record.
  • Knowledge of federal and state regulations: Drivers must be familiar with federal and state laws regarding transportation, including hours of service, inspection, and maintenance requirements.
  • Communication skills: Drivers must communicate effectively with dispatchers, customers, and other drivers.
  • Problem-solving skills: Drivers must be able to handle unexpected situations and make quick decisions.

Woman truck driver

  • Physical stamina: Driving a semi-truck can be physically demanding, and drivers must be able to handle the job’s demands.
  • Professionalism: Drivers and owner-operators must professionally conduct themselves and be able to represent the company in a positive light.
  • Safety-minded: Drivers must prioritize safety and follow safety protocols and regulations.

Step 7: Build A Strong Network

Building a solid network of contacts and relationships can benefit your business in the trucking industry.

Here are a few ways to build a strong network:

  • Join industry associations: Joining industry associations such as the American Trucking Association (ATA) can provide opportunities to connect with other trucking professionals and stay informed about industry trends and regulations.
  • Partner with other trucking companies: Consider partnering with other trucking companies to share resources and pool expertise.
  • Develop a good relationship with suppliers: Building a strong relationship with suppliers will help you keep costs down and deliver the goods on time.
  • Provide excellent customer service: Building a solid relationship with customers can lead to repeat business, positive word-of-mouth, and new business opportunities.

Connecting with other trucking companies, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and customers can help you gain new business, improve logistics, and stay informed about industry trends and regulations.

Step 8: Keep Accurate Records

Keeping accurate records is essential for the success of a semi-truck business. Here are a few benefits of keeping accurate records:

book keeping

  • Financial tracking: Accurate record-keeping can help you track your income and expenses and monitor the financial performance of your business. You can use this information to make informed decisions about your business and plan for future growth.
  • Compliance with regulations: Keeping accurate records can help you ensure compliance with federal and state laws. This includes keeping track of service hours, vehicle maintenance and inspection records, and driver qualifications.
  • Taxes: Accurate record-keeping can help you file taxes correctly and take advantage of tax deductions.
  • Auditing: Accurate record-keeping is essential. You may be subject to an audit by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or other regulatory bodies.
  • Efficiency: Accurate records can help you improve the efficiency of your business. It does this by allowing you to track inventory and deliveries and manage staff and vehicles more effectively.

Final Thoughts

Starting a trucking company requires significant time, money, and effort. Still, it can be a successful and rewarding venture with the proper preparation and planning.

By following these steps and making informed decisions, you can start a semi-truck business that will thrive in the competitive commercial trucking industry in the US.

If you want to start your own trucking company, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mission Financial Services for loans and financing options.


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