Bad Credit: How to Finance a Semi-Truck

Financing options for owner-operators of semi-trucks can seem overwhelming. No startups. Good credit only. Monthly revenue minimums. Years in business…It can start to make your head spin 

With trucks costing anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 depending on age, size, style, engine, and more, there are many advantages to financing one. As our name implies, we’re here to get you in your FIRST truck. And we want you to get your business started right. You can start with our easy application (soft pulls and we’ll work with bad credit too) or keep reading to see what you need to know about financing a semi-truck with a low credit score.  

How Your Credit Score May Affect Your Financing 

Although a perfect credit score isn’t necessary to qualify for a commercial truck lease, you typically need a score of at least 600. A lower credit score can affect your down payment, minimum payment, and interest rate.  

A lot of these truck dealerships will RUIN your credit pulling checks for new trucks, but we can take your down payment and maximize it! 

I want to become an owner-operator, but have bad credit. What can I do? 

Well… before we tell you what works, let’s discuss what doesn’t.  

 1. Get a Co-Signer with Good Credit:  DON’T. If your dad has good credit, he can co-sign for your house or your car, but a co-signer doesn’t help much in commercial financing.  Your truck loan is a business loan, and the courts don’t like to enforce any co-signing on a business loan.  For that reason, most lenders will not care if you have a co-signer. 

2. Get a Business Partner with Good Credit:  DON’T. It only takes one bad partner to bankrupt a business.  For that reason, most lenders see your bad credit, and they will not care if you have a good credit partner. 

3. Start a Business in Someone Else’s Name:  DON’T. This person will need to have a CDL and driving experience.  If not, the lenders will treat the business as a startup with no experience.  Most lenders think that’s worse than a bad credit score.   

So, what if you get someone with excellent credit and driving experience to start the business.  Most lenders will give the business a slightly better deal now.  But, where does that get you?  You are still just a company driver with bad credit. 

4.  Wait Until Your Credit Improves:  That may take 7 -10 years.  DON’T. 

Even if you hire a credit cleaning service, most lenders are fighting back now, and they will continue reporting the bad credit.   

Waiting may seem like the most “sensible” option, but that’s not always true.  We help truckers every day to become owner-operators, even with collections, repossessions, and bankruptcies. 

Generally speaking, if you want to wait it out, here’s how to work to rebuild your personal credit. But remember if you call us, we’ll likely be able to help you out – we’ll get you the best deal to start on the right foot. Then, the payments you make on the loan give you a chance to improve your credit history – more on that later. 

Preparing For Your Semi-Truck Financing 

Before applying for semi-truck financing, know that many semi truck financing companies may also require a certain number of years in business or monthly revenue minimums to even apply. 

We’ll WORK WITH YOU as you rebuild your credit and start your business as an owner-operator. But at most places and truck dealerships, for them to get past your past bad credit (we get those days are behind you), they’ll probably want to see a contract. This is the best way to prove that you have money coming in and will continue to be employed. While at it, make sure that your tax returns are filed and paid in full too.  

Get Your First Truck, Change Your Life! 

If you can find the money for a larger down payment, and you can find the right truck, and you can find the right carrier to haul for, then we can help you to CHANGE YOUR LIFE!   

A successful owner-operator can earn much more than an employee driver, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS more each month!  What if you earned $3,000 more each month?  Do you think your credit would start to improve?   

Then, after a year of on-time truck payments, you would also have GOOD COMMERCIAL CREDIT, and then you will have better financing options for your next truck.  Or, maybe you will hire a driver and begin running 2 trucks. That’s how many of the big trucking companies got started. 

My First Truck Financing 

 If you have poor credit, no credit, or even a past bankruptcy – you can still qualify for semi-truck financing. My First Truck Financing by CapStar can help with your semi-truck financing. Keep reading our blog for tips to find the down payment, picking the right truck, the right carrier, and preparing to grow with your next truck loan.  

Call one of our truck financing experts today! Let’s talk about commercial truck financing, or start your application and we’ll get started on getting you approved and in your first semi. 10-4?   

Jim at (813) 594-1120 

Chris at (813) 594-1115 (habla español) 

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