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Best commercial truck financing of 2024

Compare the best commercial trucking loans, owner-operator and fleet financing options for 2024.

Semi-trucks can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $200,000 and up, depending on the age and condition of the truck. Additionally, trailers typically range between $15,000 and $100,000, depending on the type. So, it’s no surprise you may be on the hunt for financing this high-dollar equipment.

Semi-truck financing and leasing is available from traditional banks, online lenders and even direct lending companies that specialize in big rigs. The best one for your situation depends on your credit score, finances and how fast you need funding.

If you have good credit, banks tend to have the lowest rates, but you might wait longer for approval. Direct trucking lenders know the industry inside and out and generally have faster approval and funding times — and rates on par with banks in some cases, especially if you have excellent credit.

While some lenders have clamped down on semi-truck lending due to challenging market conditions in 2024, trucking loans with competitive rates are still out there. Here’s a list of the top semi-truck lenders to help you find the best semi-truck financing and leasing options for your needs.

Best 7 trucking business loans

Best loan marketplace

SmartBiz business loans

4.5
★★★★★

Finder score

SmartBiz is an online service that can connect your trucking company with a lender that offers term loans, SBA loans, equipment loans or a line of credit, which can be used to purchase semi-trucks, trailers and other equipment. It also offers packaging services to help speed up the application process.

SmartBiz has relationships with trucking-friendly banks that offer term loans and lines of credit with more competitive rates than some non-bank lenders. The service isn't free, but the overall cost could be lower than other types of short-term financing. We've called out specific information on this lender's SBA loans that can be used to purchase equipment like trucks.

Best for low rates

Triton Capital

Triton Capital provides competitively priced, fast turnaround equipment loans up to $250,000. While its max amount is lower than some lenders, it also has some of the lowest rates available. Rates on equipment loans start at 5.99% for qualified borrowers, with repayment terms up to five years.

It also has flexible payments that can be tailored to your specific needs, including monthly, quarterly, annually, semi-annually or even seasonal payments. This flexibility can help free up cash flow when needed and allow you to make payments when it's more affordable and convenient.

Best for customer service

Commercial Fleet Financing

Commercial Fleet Financing is one of the top independently-owned transportation equipment finance companies in the nation. It's a truck lending specialist that's funded more than $1 billion to over 10,000 clients since 1995 and has hundreds of 5-star reviews from customers on Google.

It offers competitive rates on par with banks and has 27 financing and leasing programs to cover a wide range of scenarios. It also offers a fast turnaround, with two-hour approvals and funding as soon as the next day. So, if you're looking for a lender that's helpful, flexible and professional, Commercial Fleet Financing could be a great choice.

Best for quick funding

Balboa Capital small business loans

Balboa Capital is a business lender that offers commercial truck financing — and is one of the few trucking lenders that offers same-day funding if you're approved. The company states that approval during normal business hours takes just an hour, so you'll know right away if you qualify.

Balboa offers loans up to $500,000 and advertises competitive rates and flexible repayment terms. To get started, you can apply online, and if your loan is approved, move forward with a loan specialist to finalize the loan and get funded quickly.

Best for bad credit

CAG Truck Capital

Founded in 1984, CAG Truck Capital is a lender that provides owner-operators with commercial truck and semi-truck financing, even to those with bad credit. The company is a direct lender and makes same-day, in-house decisions on its loans — but you'll need a down payment to qualify.

But if other companies have turned you down due to bad credit, you might have better luck with CAG Truck Capital if you can put 25% down. The company also offers major engine overhauls on existing trucks, so you can continue driving your favorite rig and save on costs.

Best equipment lease

National Funding business loans

4.6
★★★★★

Finder score

Specializing in equipment loans and leases, National funding could be a good choice when you want to buy or lease a new semi-truck, trailer or straight truck due to its lowest lease payment guarantee. The company also has a special financing program for trucking companies.

Because it also works with other lenders, you can likely find funding through National Funding even if you have less-than-stellar credit. But it doesn't advertise the cost of its loans online and can charge daily repayments on its term loans.

Best for established businesses

Wells Fargo business loans

4
★★★★★

Finder score

Wells Fargo has a commercial vehicle program that includes multiple options for financing and leasing trucks, semi-trailers and other vehicles. These include term loans, equipment lines of credit, standard and modified TRAC leases, lease purchase agreements and more.

It's best for businesses with small, medium or large trailer fleets, as well as leasing companies. Wells Fargo also maintains an extensive inventory of semi-trailers for lease. But you won't find much detail about rates or requirements online. You must contact a commercial vehicle lending specialist through the website.

Methodology: How we chose these lenders

Our lending experts analyze dozens of business loan providers to narrow down the best options for business owners. We weigh lenders against 12 key metrics:

  • Application process
  • Credit score minimums
  • Customer service reviews
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Extra features
  • Fees
  • Funding turnaround times
  • Lender reputation
  • Minimum and maximum loan amounts
  • Products offered
  • Rates
  • Willingness to work with risky industries

We also search for lenders that cater to a range of needs, including those that work with bad credit and newer business owners.

How to compare commercial trucking loans

Here are the top things to keep in mind when comparing long-term business loans:

  • Repayment terms. The longer the repayment term, the lower your monthly payments, but the more interest paid over time — and vice versa. The loan type determines how long you have to pay it back. SBA loans generally have the longest terms.
  • APRs. APRs on truck loans vary widely across lenders and are determined largely by your credit score and down payment. We recommend comparing multiple quotes from different lenders to be sure you get the most competitive rate.
  • Origination and other fees. Depending on the lender and your credit profile, you may be charged an origination fee from 0.05% to 8% on your loan. The lender may also charge prepayment penalties, late fees and monthly administrative fees, so be sure to check.
  • Funding times. While you may be able to get a loan from a truck lending specialist as soon as the same or next business day, SBA loans can take one to two months to fund.
  • Customer support options. Many lenders have loan officers who can answer your questions and support you throughout the application process. Lenders that focus exclusively on semi-truck loans tend to have the best service.
  • Customer reviews. Customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website are a great place to learn about past customers’ experiences with a particular lender.

What is a commercial trucking loan, and how does it work?

Commercial trucking loans are term loans that you pay back in fixed installments. However, depending on the lender, repayments might be weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. Depending on the age and condition of the semi-truck, terms can be anywhere from 12 to 84. However, the longest terms are generally reserved for new equipment only.

Commercial trucking loans are considered a type of equipment financing, which means the semi-truck is used as collateral. This has both positives and negatives.

Because the loan is collateralized, there’s less risk for the lender, which can result in lower rates. However, the equipment must meet certain standards, and some used trucks may not qualify for the best rates and terms. And if you can’t keep up with your payments, the truck can be repossessed.

Pros and cons of commercial trucking loans

Here are the main pros and cons of commercial trucking loans:

Pros
  • Fast approval and funding available
  • May be easier to secure than other types of business loans
  • Bad credit and startups may qualify
  • Tax benefits through claiming expenses
  • 100% financing available in some cases
  • Hard credit pull may not be required
Cons
  • High purchase costs for semi-trucks and trailers
  • Best rates go to established business owners
  • Rates can run high for bad credit
  • Loans may require large down payments
  • Startups will likely need higher credit scores
  • Some used trucks may not qualify for financing

Types of commercial trucking loans

TypeTypical loan amountsTypical term lengths
Term loans$5,000 to $5 million2 to 25 years
Equipment financing$5,000 to $5,000,0001 to 7 years
SBA loansUp to $5,000,0006 to 25 years

How to qualify for a commercial trucking loan

Commercial trucking loans have different requirements than your typical business loan. In addition to the lender’s credit score financial criteria, you’ll also likely need to meet other requirements related to your driving experience and the vehicle being financed.

While every lender is different, be prepared to meet the following requirements for most lenders:

  • Minimum credit score of around 620
  • Must have a commercial driving license
  • A down payment may be required

In addition, the truck being financed may need to be under maximum mileage requirements. If a truck has over 500,000 miles, it may not be eligible for financing.

How to apply for a commercial trucking loan

Applying for a commercial trucking loan typically follows these five steps:

  1. Determine how much you need. Semi-trucks and trailers are typically purchased separately. Trucks can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $200,000 and up, depending on the age and condition. Additionally, trailers typically range between $15,000 and $100,000, depending on the type.
  2. Check your eligibility. Every truck lending company is different. Before applying and doing a hard credit pull, check the lender’s minimum credit score requirements, interest rates, and down payment requirements. Not all lenders require a down payment, but some do, especially if you have bad credit.
  3. Gather your documentation. Required documents typically include bank statements, tax returns, financial statements and other documents. You may also need to provide a business plan and personal guarantee if you’re a newer business owner.
  4. Complete the application. Fill out the full application and upload the required documents or link to your financial accounts. Be sure to review the application for accuracy before submitting to avoid delays in processing.
  5. Wait for approval and funding. Truck lending specialists tend to have fast approval and funding times — which means if you’re approved, you could have a decision in a few hours and funding as soon as the same or next business day.

Can I get a trucking loan with bad credit?

Yes, you can get a business loan for your trucking company with bad credit, although you may have to jump through a few more hoops.

These tips can help you get approved:

  • Choose a direct trucking lender. These lenders often have decades of experience in the industry and have the most programs available to fit different needs, including leasing programs, used and repoed equipment and engine rebuilding financing.
  • Make the highest down payment you can afford. The larger the down payment, the better your chances of qualifying and getting a competitive rate.
  • Consider an SBA loan. SBA Community Advantage loans are often available to business owners with bad credit if they meet the program requirements.
  • Trade in old vehicles and equipment. You might be able to get more favorable financing terms with a trade-in. Know the trade-in value by looking it up on sites like the Kelley Blue Book.
  • Check your credit score. Improve your credit score by checking your credit report for mistakes and signing up for services that report monthly bills to credit bureaus for a few extra points.
  • Apply for secured term loans and lines of credit. If your company has enough real estate, trucks and other assets that are paid off, you could secure a loan, even with bad credit.

Read about our top picks for bad credit business loans to learn about more options that may be available to your company.

Need gas? Consider a fuel or fleet card

Fuel cards are credit cards offering cashback rewards when you purchase fuel. They can be particularly useful to trucking companies, since gas is such a big business expense.

Some gas stations like Speedway also offer fleet cards, which offer discounts on fuel purchases and can help you manage spending purchases. These often have lower credit score requirements than fuel cards. But they only work at specific gas stations and might not offer as much in savings.

Whichever you choose, both offer more savings for the trucking industry than you might find with a business loan or line of credit.

Alternatives to a commercial trucking loan

If you don’t qualify for a commercial trucking loan or don’t want to put up collateral, consider these other options:

  • Freight factoring. Commonly used in the trucking industry, freight factoring or trucking factoring on the loads you run can provide fast working capital, and this type of financing doesn’t rely on your credit score.
  • Personal loan. You may be able to use a personal loan for business expenses. Personal loans aren’t dependent on your business financials or time on the road, which could work well for new business owners who don’t qualify for a trucking loan.
  • Line of credit. Many online lenders and banks offer personal or business lines of credit, which typically have lower rates than credit cards and offer repayment terms of up to 10 years. But rates can still run high, so be careful if you go down this route.
  • Home equity loan. If you’re a homeowner with at least 20% equity, you could consider taking out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay for business equipment. But you risk losing your home if you can’t keep up with the payments.

Where can I find a commercial trucking loan?

Commercial trucking loans are available from select banks that work with this industry, like Wells Fargo and TAB Bank, and direct trucking lending companies like CAG Truck Capital or Commercial Fleet Financing. You can also look into getting an equipment loan or long-term SBA loan from an online lender like SmartBiz, Lendio or Lendzi.

Traditional banks tend to have the lowest rates but the toughest eligibility requirements — making them best for established businesses. Startups and those with lower credit will tend to have better luck with direct truck lending companies that focus exclusively on the trucking industry and possibly online lenders.

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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Holly Jennings as part of our fact-checking process.
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Written by

Writer

Kat Aoki was a personal finance writer at Finder, specializing in consumer and business lending. She’s written thousands of articles to help consumers make better decisions on their home loans, bank accounts, credit cards, cryptocurrency and more. Kat is well versed in working with leading brands in the real estate, mortgage and personal finance industries, and her expertise has been featured on Forbes Advisor, Lifewire and financial comparison sites like iSelect and realestate.com.au. She holds a BS in business administration from California State University, Sacramento and enjoys hiking and yoga in her spare time. See full bio

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Kat has written 198 Finder guides across topics including:
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