Equipment Financing for Truck Drivers
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Whether you're just starting in the trucking industry, growing your trucking business, or upgrading your commercial truck, understand the financing you need for equipment is beneficial.
Decide what you need
Each driver's needs are different, so it is important to figure out what you're looking for before you get started on researching other financing options. Ask yourself these important questions:
What type of truck do you need for your commercial trucking business? What loads will you be hauling?
How many trucks are you looking for?
Are you interested in buying or leasing a truck?
If you're interested in buying, will you be buying a new or used one?
What is your budget to afford a truck?
What is your financial situation?
Taking out a truck loan is a standard for experienced drivers, new owner-operators, or companies with a large fleet. Depending on your credit score, the type of truck you're looking to finance, and how long you've been in business, the loan term and rates will vary. You'll find it easier to secure business financing if your trucking company has good credit. Even if you or your company has little or bad credit, you will still be able to find a trucking business loan.
If you haven't been in business long, your trucking company may have little to no credit. If this is the case, the financing will be based on your credit score. It may be a good thing to consider improving your personal or business creditworthiness before trying to secure equipment financing. One way to do this is by leasing a truck short term while you improve your credit score. It's important to note that if you have little to no credit, interest rates will be higher, down payments will be increased, and the loan's overall amount will be more expensive.
Another thing to consider before securing financing is how much money you have as a down payment for a truck. In the long term, you save money when purchasing a truck compared to leasing one.
Make informed business decisions
As a business owner, it is important to make informed decisions regarding your company's daily operations. Deciding whether to purchase a truck is one of the most significant decisions a trucking company owner will face. When looking to secure equipment financing, decide what truck or trucks you want to finance, the best price and rates, and the financing term's length.
Equipment Loan vs. Equipment Lease
Equipment loans and equipment leases are two types of financing you can consider when getting your own truck. Depending on your cash flow situation and business needs, both are beneficial.
When you get an equipment loan, you make monthly payments towards the truck's balance and interest. This is a great option if your plan is to own the equipment eventually but don't have the initial working capital to purchase it outright at the beginning. It will cost more than buying it outright because you pay interest on it, but it's a more affordable option with lower monthly payments. Once you've completed all the monthly payments, the truck is yours. Equipment loans are a smart option for new drivers in the industry and truck drivers who plan to keep their trucks for years.
An equipment lease is essentially like renting a truck. You make monthly payments to use it, but you don't own it and have to return it at the end of your lease. You can then either renew the lease or upgrade whatever is the right fit for you at the time. Monthly leasing payments are more affordable; however, in the long run, it ends up being more expensive as the interest rates are higher than an equipment loan. Equipment leases are a smart option for truck drivers that want to upgrade their trucks regularly, don't have the cash for a down payment that an equipment loan requires, or who doesn't want to commit to a truck for longer than a lease term.
Several places offer equipment financing for truck drivers. Porter Freight Funding partners with equipment financing specialists to get you the best pricing available. If you're interested in financing equipment and learning more, give us a call at (205) 397-0934.