Financing a truck can be frustrating, confusing and time-consuming, especially for first-time buyers. It also can be costly if you are not prepared. The more deliberate you are about this process, the better your position.
Give yourself plenty of time to shop for a truck and for favorable financing. Visit dealers and ask questions. Know what risk you present for a potential lender.
There are multiple options for borrowing money. Check around for the lender that best suits your needs.
- Banks. Generally speaking, banks are reluctant to lend money for an over-the-road truck. In their opinion, “rolling collateral” is not a good risk. Yet if you’ve been doing business at the same bank for a long time, and have an established relationship with a loan officer, it could be worth taking this route if your credit is good.
- Captive lending institutions. These finance companies are owned by equipment manufacturers. They often are more willing than banks to lend money to new owner-operators because they are in the business of selling trucks.
- Used truck dealers. Your dealer may refer you to lenders other than captive finance arms.
- Commercial lending institutions. These finance companies are not necessarily affiliated with truck manufacturers, but certain ones cater to the trucking industry.
The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive and the consultants at ATBS, the nation’s largest owner-operator business services firm. Download the comprehensive "Partners in Business" owner-operator business manual, covering topics from start-up to expansion with multiple trucks. There, find much more information about the ins and outs of safety, maintenance and business processes, among a myriad other topics.