If you have just recently received your CDL, then driving for a company may be a good way to acquire valuable experience as you begin your journey in the trucking industry. There comes a point in every driver’s life when the time is right to own their very own semi truck. The reasons to buy your first semi truck may vary from driver to driver. For some, it may be the flexibility of being your own boss, while for others, it may be the significant increase in revenues, but no matter the reason, everyone arrives at the same point and asks the same question: How do I buy myself a semi truck?
There are primarily two options: you can buy with cash, or you can make a purchase using semi truck financing. Unfortunately, very few of us can afford to buy a truck or trailer with cash, which is why 10-4 Financing came into existence. We have several different semi truck financing programs that are specifically targeted towards first-time buyers and have approved hundreds of drivers over the past two years. Our truck finance programs include:
- Down payments as low as 10%
- Industry-competitive rates
- No previous commercial credit
- No minimal driving experience
- Bad credit and low FICOs
- Past and recent bankruptcies
The rates and down payment amount will ultimately depend on the applicants’ credit, financial position, job opportunity, and past driving experience. We want you to look at us as a partner in your new business. We will work with you to make your payments affordable and allow you the opportunity to buy your first truck and be on your way to building a successful career in the trucking industry.
You can apply online by clicking here. Once you fill out and submit the application, we will contact you immediately and discuss the commercial truck financing options we have for you.
Thank you, and we look forward to helping you advance your career!
Becoming an Owner-Operator
Working for an established carrier can be great, yet many drivers decide to seek out the independence and financial potential offered to owner-operators. You will have the freedom to operate under your own means, or rely on commercial truck leasing with a select carrier. In order to establish your own operation, you will need to secure the funding needed for your own vehicle (or vehicles). 10-4 Financing is here to help drivers of all experience levels to further their career plans, including semi truck financing for private use.
Becoming an owner-operator is beneficial, but remember that the responsibility will now fall on you to expand your fleet as needed. Our semi truck financing process is here to help you every step of the way, utilizing our personal approach to ensure that you leave the lot happy with your investment. Truck financing is a versatile solution for many drivers, but finding the right source for a loan may prove to be a challenge.
How the banks see you today:
Many financial institutions today will take a quick glance at your FICO score and put you into one of the four different credit categories: A, B, C, or D. The process ends there — if your score fits in the top tier, they will talk to you, but if not…good luck!
At 10-4 Financing, we have a more personal approach to each applicant seeking commercial truck financing. You are not perceived as just a mere FICO score, but as a viable business partner. We would like to walk you through the whole process and let you know what you can expect on your way to an approval!
What We Need to Evaluate Your Application:
In order for us to make a decision on your purchase, we will need to look at and evaluate the following items:
- Credit Application – Filling out a credit application allows us to pull your personal credit and review your credit history.
- Invoice or Bill of Sale – We will need to see the equipment you are looking to finance. There are some age requirements on the equipment for first-time buyers
- Specifications Sheet – The dealer will usually be able to provide this document. Our team will look at the make, model, and mileage.
The Credit Application can be easily accessed and filled out on our website. The invoice and specifications sheet will need to be provided by the dealership you are working with.
Once we have the core of your credit package put together, one of our credit analysts will contact you and discuss the semi truck financing possibilities we have available.
Underwriting Criteria Summary
Although we do our best to look at the entire financial picture, we would not have a sound business model unless we included a thorough inspection of your credit history. We work with all kinds of credit scores ranging from 500 and up. The only credit issues that result in an automatic turn down are repossessions and unresolved child support issues.
Bankruptcies, tax liens, judgments, and collections are all OK by us, BUT we will need additional information explaining these types of situations. A simple letter of explanation can work in most cases, but documents that can verify you have been making efforts to rectify your situation would be best. Receipts or documentation proving you are paying down collections will go a long way. Positive things we look for include:
- Commercial Lines of Credit
- Auto Loans
- Large Trade Lines
Cash is king! Anyone who has worked in any business for any amount of time will attest to this statement. If you are having a hard time getting approved for financing, nothing will help you more than a solid down payment. At 10-4 Financing, our down payments range from 0 to 50 percent depending on three factors:
- The Value of Equipment
- Employment Time/History
- FICO Analysis
One of the easiest ways to get your down payment lower is to simply find a great deal on a truck. Buying a semi truck at a bad price can have the opposite effect, especially if our underwriting department values the truck you are buying as overpriced, then they will need additional cash and/or collateral.
We are flexible when it comes to additional collateral, but we do have preferences:
- Commercial Equipment
- Real Estate
- Paid-Off Autos
The additional collateral does have to be owned free and clear. If another company has a lien on your asset or you are still making payments, it will not work for us.
Finding a good hauler to work with can be a deciding factor in acquiring an approval for your semi truck. It is essential for your success to be hauling for a company that offers competitive rates and provides you with enough work to make your loan payment, insurance, fuel, and other costs affordable.
We will ask for a ‘Letter of Intent’ from the hauling company. Your company should be able to provide you with one. It will state their intention to work with you and your expected pay.
We can provide you with a sample template that you can fax or email to your prospective hauling partner. Have them fill it out, sign it, and send it over to us. This can help a lot in securing better semi-truck financing terms!
Keeping a good record of your finances can help you secure a nice approval at better rates. You can begin by depositing your paycheck to a checking account and keep a healthy monthly balance. Having a good record of deposits will allow the underwriters to get comfortable with you financial habits. Some of the things we may ask for include:
- Three Months’ Bank Statements (Cover pages with beginning, deposits, withdrawals, ending balances)
- Most Current Federal Tax Returns (First seven pages and Schedule C needed)
- Personal Financial Statement
The first thing we are looking for in your bank statements is the availability of the down payment. Secondly, we look at the last three months of bank statements to show enough cash flow to cover your truck payment and all other fixed operational expenses.
Some additional information we may ask for could include:
- Business Plan
- Copy of CDL
We hope that this guide has been helpful in answering some basic questions about what it takes to acquire financing for your first semi truck purchase.
10-4 Financing is dedicated to providing the most advantageous truck financing solutions for drivers of all types. Thank you, and we look forward to working with you! Fill out the form below or contact us online to get started.