By Mike Roney
I have been working with commercial truck lenders throughout my years in the used truck business. While many can make the financing and credit approval process confusing, at its core it can be easy to follow.
Buying a Business
I believe the premise for commercial lenders is to make money. As a used truck buyer, you must put yourself in the lender’s shoes for a moment. In order for a lender to make money, shouldn’t they know as much as they can about the person who can make or break their potential profitability when approving a loan? I say it a lot, but it’s true; hauling freight to market is not for the weak of heart. You must be an expert just to drive a truck, let alone own one. Remember, always, that you are buying a “business”, not a car to run about town for your personal transportation. Lending money is incredibly risky whether to first time buyers or otherwise. That being said, the people who will be presenting your business plan must know as much about you and your strategy for success before they negotiate on your behalf with the potential lender. Yes, “negotiate” with the lender.
Loan Qualification Preparation
Though I have listed the most basic of qualification guidelines below, many believe that information will only get you charted and graphed by the lender, and if your graph does not put you over to the approved side, you will be declined for credit. Right? Wrong. There is always a possibility of overriding that chart based on how your business plan is provided to the lender. You must take all the information you can muster and put it in the hands of someone who will negotiate for you. With good information and a great relationship with a finance department, a “yes” to a loan can be more frequent than a “no”.
I am extremely fortunate to have a great finance department with Truck Pro, our in-house lender with whom I have a great relationship. Please feel free to read about Truck Pro and what they can do for you. But remember, without all of your pertinent information ready to go, we can only be so effective.
What can I do for you when it comes to finance? I have the best financial department working for you in order to get you a lease or purchase. I have a lot of experience putting together my customers’ business plans and negotiating with lenders to secure loans. I will also give you a business plan if Truck Pro cannot find you a loan now. Sometimes, my customers really aren’t ready to own a truck quite yet. If that’s the case, but they are willing to do what it takes to get there, I can help. We won’t just send you a decline notice, we’ll give you a plan that gets you another chance to revisit the reality of owning your own truck. We can get you a yes or no answer fast and that will not cost you a dime.
First Time Buyer (including customers who ‘paid cash’ for their current truck or leased a truck through a company finance program)
➢ Valid class ‘A’ CDL
➢ At least 2 years of over the road company driving experience (local hauling of dirt, water, building material, etc. does not qualify)
➢ Credit score above 650
➢ Paid on a car loan for at least two yrs with a borrowed amount of at least $15,000
➢ Visa or Master cards with 70% balance available
Small Fleet (less than 7 tractors in fleet)
➢ Last two years of tax returns
➢ Current year interim statement
➢ Contact names and phone numbers for three haul sources
➢ Personal guarantee of owner (same criteria met above)
Give us a call (Toll Free) at 1-888-724-4163 if you have questions about financing your used truck and we'll be happy to walk you through the process.