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.
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