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How To Get A Loan For A Semi Truck - The Semi Truck Driver Guide

flik eco finance personal how to get a loan for a semi truck

Alright. Let's just say - hypothetically - that you have played a LOT of Grand Theft Auto. And that — hypothetically — you loved stealing the truck in GTA. As a result of all of your digital murder, you've decided to become a truck driver.

There are many things to consider here. First and foremost — you can't actually run people over with abandon and expect to do well in your career. ACTUAL truck driving is much less murder-y, and much more driving-oriented.

You don't run people over, you drive goods from place to place. the good news is that you're in luck: If this is your chosen career path, you are going to make a TON of money. Truck driver shortages and stressed supply chains mean that you can drive a truck and stand to make as much as six figures.

 The bad news? Loans, my friend. Loans. You're going to need to go into debt to afford a semi-truck and to make those payments. Don't worry — there are ways to get semi truck loans. Here's how.

How to Get a Loan for a Semi Truck Table of Contents

What Type of Loans Can You Use to Buy a Semi-Truck?

What Types of Semi Truck Can You Use a Loan For?

How to Get a Loan for a Semi-Truck?

Popular Semi Truck Financing Options

What is a Commercial Truck Loan?

What Down Payment Do I Need to Get a Loan For a Semi-Truck?

How Does My Credit History & Credit Report Affect My Ability to Get a Loan for a Semi-Truck?

How to Get a Loan for a Semi Truck With Bad Credit?

What Do The Monthly Payments for A Semi Truck Loan Look Like?

What Tax Liens Can You Get Using a Loan For a Semi-Truck?

Top Semi Truck Loan Lenders

What Type of Loans Can You Use to Buy a Semi-Truck?

When it comes to how to get semi truck loans, you have a few options. Here's the good news: There are specific loan categories designed just for guys like you, who hate people so much that you want to drive for a living. 

In all seriousness, these semi-truck loans are meant for semi-truck drivers who want to buy a rig. In most cases, there are semi-truck loans that are offered by major banking or commercial institutions that are used for truck loans, and truck loans only. For example, major banks offer these loans, including Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and more. 

What Types of Semi Truck Can You Use a Loan For?

If you are anything like the average person, when you hear "truck," you think of a big thing that goes vroom vroom. However, the average person is not particularly smart, and the truth is that there are huge, huge differences between trucks. If you want to get a truck, you need to make sure you know exactly what kind of truck you're looking at. This is hugely important, as it will ultimately alter the type of semi-truck loan that you get. 

New Truck

Probably the most obvious type of semi truck loans that are available. You can get a loan for a new semi-truck. There are also a huge array of types of loans that you can get. Keep in mind that you can get this loan if you are trying to get a semi-truck for yourself, or for your trucking company.

Dump Truck

A dump truck loan is another option. Dump trucks are...okay, you probably know what a dump truck is. You can use it to haul waste or other garbage. There are specific loan options for dump trucks. 

Big Rigs & Tractor Trailers

A big rig and tractor-trailer is just another way of referring to a semi-truck. Don't worry, the only real difference is in the name. If you are looking for a big rig loan or tractor-trailer loan, you can find options for semi-trucks and be covered. Don't let the name difference fool you. 

How to Get a Loan for a Semi-Truck?

We've got a good news/bad news situation here, folks.

Good news: There is NO SHORTAGE of vendors. As noted above, many banks have specifically financing products that are meant to give you access to semi-truck loans. Most major banks have specific loan products. This is awesome, as it means they understand your needs, can help you find competitive rates, and, may be able to work with your specific situation. 

 Bad news? It ain't cheap. New trucks can go well into six figures, and you will likely be expected to pay some money down. You could be looking at as much as $15,000 before you even qualify for semi truck loans.

 What's going to be expected from you? Money down and basic financial information. If you are looking to buy a truck for a business, you may need a business plan and other documents supporting your business. 

 Bad credit? Yeah, it's a problem, but not necessarily a fatal one. You may just need to pay more money down or expect to pay a higher interest rate. 

So, seriously, there's a lot of good news here. There aren't so many "popular" options when it comes to how to get a loan for a semi-truck as there are A MILLION options. 

 Okay. That may be hyperbolic, but only slightly! There are dozens of options out there. All typically have the same requirements and characteristics :

  • Some degree of down payment, although there are options available to avoid any down payment.
  • Good credit history is usually required to lower the down payment or interest
  • Flexible payment history

A good company will be one that works with you to find an option that suits your needs. 

What is a Commercial Truck Loan?

A commercial truck loan is a loan given to a commercial trucking company or an owner-operator. It is different than a semi-truck loan that an individual may apply for in that it is more meant for businesses that are starting fleets or for owner-operators. As such, it's often better for operators that are looking to start major businesses, rather than just get a loan for one truck. 

What Down Payment Do I Need to Get a Loan For a Semi-Truck?

So, this one can make life more complicated. The answer depends on the specific type semi truck loans for which you are applying. Long story short: It depends, and how much money down you can offer will alter the interest rate of the financing.

Looking to get a commercial semi-truck without putting any money down? You're probably out of luck there. Most trucks require at least 6% down. 20% down is not unheard of. The higher the money down, the lower the interest rate, and the lower your credit score can go. 

 How much money will this mean out of pocket? It depends on the truck, of course, but it ain't gonna be cheap. New semi-trucks go from anywhere to $70,000 - $150,000. 10% down means a payment of $7,000 - $15,000. In other words...start saving. 

For example, First Capital Business Finance requires 10% down in order to get financing with no minimum credit score. Can't make the down payment? Then you're gonna need a higher credit score, and your interest rates may increase as a result. This can cut into your profit margins in a big, big way. 

How Does My Credit History & Credit Report Affect My Ability to Get a Loan for a Semi-Truck?

Again, good news/bad news situation here. The bad news: Yes. Pretty blunt, but yeah. Getting a loan for a semi-truck is just like getting any other loan, in that your credit history will absolutely impact your eligibility for the loan to begin with, as well as the amount of money you'll need to put down and the overall rates of the loan. 

In most cases, at least a fair FICO credit score — usually somewhere in the 600s range — is required to get a semi-truck loan. 

Good news? If you have a good credit score and a decent credit history or even an excellent credit score, you'll be able to pay less money down and may qualify for lower interest rates or more favorable terms.  

How to Get a Loan for a Semi Truck With Bad Credit?

You may be wondering how to get a loan for a semi-truck with bad credit. You still can, but it depends on a few things:

  • The lender (Credit Union or financial institution)
  • The amount you can pay down (your down payment)
  • How high of an interest rate you are willing to pay (annual percentage rate - APR)

So, let's say you have a bad credit score, like one that is less than 600. In this case, prepare to save. You're probably going to need to get at least 20% down in order to get a loan with a bad credit score, and you'll need to be prepared to pay higher interest rates.

If this is you, you may want to examine alternative financing arrangements. Furthermore, it may be worth exploring credit repair programs that can increase your score and lower the amount of money you will need to bring in order to pay for a more reasonable semi-truck loan. 

What Do The Monthly Payments for A Semi Truck Loan Look Like?

Like every loan, the answer to this question ultimately depends on the amount you borrow, the interest rate, and the length of your loan. You may also have to fax in the taxes that you pay.

Let's say you get an $80,000 truck in Pennsylvania, pay 10% down, and take a 10-year loan at a 10% interest rate. In that instance, you'd pay $951 a month. Altering any of these factors will alter your monthly payments. 

As you can see...there's no rocket science here. A semi-truck loan is just like any other loan. The only difference is that the collateral that backs the loan is a massive transportation vehicle that can move goods across the country. 

What Tax Liens Can You Get Using a Loan For a Semi-Truck?

So, yeah, don't piss off the government. A tax lien is what happens when you fail to pay your taxes. The government will basically place a claim against your property if you don't pay your taxes. This can happen for failure to pay any number of taxes. In order to ensure they get paid, the government can place a lien on your property. This means that they own a piece of it and can profit off of the sale or transfer of the asset.

 Yes, this absolutely can be placed against your semi-truck if you fail to pay your taxes. This can be a federal or state tax lien. Consider this a warning: Pay your taxes or expect to pay them another way!

Top Semi Truck Loan Lenders

The good news here: If you want a semi-truck loan and are wondering how to get a loan for a semi-truck, you're in luck: There are a TON of options. This includes U.S. Bank, Commercial Fleet Financing, Wells Fargo, and much, much more.

 Which one works best for you? Tough to say. Different banks and financing centers offer different options that will vary based on the value of the loan, the terms you are looking for, your credit history, business history, and more. In other words — sorry — we can't answer this question for you. All we can do is give you the options. 

Know someone thinking of buying their dream semi-truck? Share this article with them

So, let's review. This article went over where you can find semi truck loans, what the personal requirements are, and gave you options about how to get a loan for a semi-truck. Semi-truck loans are NOT the same things as regular cars. They are monster vehicles, extremely expensive, and vital to expanding your trucking business. 

 Did you get a lot out of this article? If you did, send it to a friend who is interested in going far, far away from you, and looking to start their trucking business. 


About Jermaine Hagan (The Plantsman)

Jermaine Hagan, also known as The Plantsman is the Founder of Flik Eco. Jermaine is the perfect hybrid of personal finance expert and nemophilist. On a mission to make personal finance simple and accessible, Jermaine uses his inside knowledge to help the average Joe, Kwame or Sarah to improve their lives. Before founding Flik Eco, Jermaine managed teams across several large financial companies, including Equifax, Admiral Plc, New Wave Capital & HSBC. He has been featured in several large publications including BBC, The Guardian & The Times.

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