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The 7 Best Trucking Business Loans

Trucking business loans can be great for supporting your commercial transport business. The key is knowing what type of financing provides the greatest ROI for trucking companies.

    Chelsea Krause
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Chris Motola
  • REVIEWED BY

    Chris Motola

    Senior Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Trucking business loans can be critical for keeping trucking operations rolling along smoothly. Whether you need to expand your truck fleet, hire new employees, or update your infrastructure, there are plenty of great trucking business loan options out there.

Whether you operate an established trucking company or a startup trucking business, we’ll look at some of the best places to find trucking business loans.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
BusinessLoans.com

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  • Term loans, STLs, LoCs, MCAs
  • FICO: No minimum
  • APR: Varies by lender
  • Term loans, STLs, LoCs, MCAs
  • FICO: No minimum
  • APR: Varies by lender

Visit Site

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Lendio

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  • Term loans, STLs, LoCs, MCAs, Equipment Financing, & ERC refunds
  • FICO: No minimum
  • APR: Varies by lender
  • Term loans, STLs, LoCs, MCAs, Equipment Financing, & ERC refunds
  • FICO: No minimum
  • APR: Varies by lender

Apply Now

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OnDeck

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  • Terms loans & lines of credit
  • FICO: 625+
  • APR: Varies
  • Terms loans & lines of credit
  • FICO: 625+
  • APR: Varies

Apply Now

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National Funding

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  • Equipment financing, term loans, STLs, working capital loans
  • FICO: N/A
  • APR: 17%+
  • Equipment financing, term loans, STLs, working capital loans
  • FICO: N/A
  • APR: 17%+

Apply Now

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Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc.

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  • Equipment loans & leases
  • FICO: 640
  • APR: Varies
  • Equipment loans & leases
  • FICO: 640
  • APR: Varies

Visit Site

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Fundbox

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  • Lines of credit
  • FICO: 600+
  • APR: 4.66%+
  • Lines of credit
  • FICO: 600+
  • APR: 4.66%+

Apply Now

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SmartBiz

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  • SBA loans, term loans, LoCs, & ERC refunds
  • FICO: 650+
  • APR: 6.99%+
  • SBA loans, term loans, LoCs, & ERC refunds
  • FICO: 650+
  • APR: 6.99%+

Apply Now

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Table of Contents

How To Use Trucking Business Loans

Trucking business loans can be used to finance a variety of expenses, whether they’re specific to the trucking industry or common to businesses in general.

For example, you can use a trucking business loan for:

  • Expanding Your Fleet Or Operation: Working capital loans can be a great way to expand your existing operations.
  • Purchasing Commercial Trucks & Equipment: An entire segment of equipment financing is focused on financing semis, including leases with buyout clauses specifically geared toward long- and short-haul vehicles.
  • Hire Additional Drivers: If you’re experiencing a sudden surge in demand, a loan can be a way to bring on additional help quickly.
  • Save On Inventory Purchases: Loans can be a convenient way to make economy-of-scale purchases.
  • Invest In Trucking Technology: Logistics is more than just the vehicle. Staying up to date with the technology that makes your business more efficient takes investment.
  • Covering Compliance Costs: From safe parking to insurance and accident coverage, trucking companies may face unpredicted costs that require additional cash flow.

Types Of Trucking Business Loans

There are several financing options for trucking companies. For the purchase of a commercial truck, you should consider equipment financing. You may also be able to qualify for the SBA Microloans program, which provides up to $50,000 in financing for expenses.

Short-term loans, lines of credit, and small business credit cards are also available to you, but these typically come at a higher cost and may not be appropriate for big-ticket items like trucks.

Let’s look at the different types of loans available to find the best fit for your commercial trucking or transport company.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Trucking Loans

The Small Business Administration offers several programs that provide funding for trucking companies. SBA loans are backed by the government, opening up new financing opportunities for small businesses that don’t qualify for conventional business loans. SBA loans for trucking companies are flexible and can be used for a number of purposes, including the purchase of a commercial truck and other equipment, business expansion, or as working capital for operating expenses.

SBA trucking loan options include:

  • SBA 7(a) Loans: The SBA 7(a) loan program is one of the SBA’s most popular offerings. With a 7(a) loan, borrowers can receive up to $5 million for almost any business purpose, including purchasing equipment or machinery, real estate or land purchases, or even acquiring another business.
  • SBA 504 Loans: Less versatile but still appropriate for heavy equipment is the SBA 504 loan, which provides long-term fixed-rate financing of up to $5 million.
  • SBA Microloans:  If you need $50,000 or less, the SBA Microloans program may be an option for you. The average loan distributed through this program is $13,000. Funds can be used to purchase machinery or equipment, working capital, or supplies.
  • Veterans Advantage Loans: These loans are for servicemembers and veterans. Veterans Advantage loans offer the same rates and terms as 7(a) loans but have reduced guarantee fees.

Equipment Financing For Transport Businesses

Equipment financing is a type of funding used to purchase equipment. In the trucking industry, this could mean financing a new or used commercial truck, a trailer, or other long-term physical assets necessary for operations. This type of funding allows you to break down the cost of expensive equipment into smaller payments that are easier to manage.

There are two types of equipment financing:

  • Equipment Loans: With a loan, you’ll make scheduled payments toward the principal balance and interest. Once all payments have been made, the equipment is yours. If you plan to keep your equipment for many years, this is the best option for you.
  • Equipment Leases: When you lease equipment, you’re essentially renting from the lender. You make payments each month to be able to use the equipment. Once your lease is over, you’ll return the equipment and can upgrade to the latest model. In some cases, you may be able to pay the remaining balance if you’d like to own the equipment outright. With leases, monthly payments may be more affordable, and it’s possible to find leases that don’t require a down payment. However, the total cost of the lease typically winds up being more expensive than loans due to higher interest rates.

Medium-Term Installment Loans

A medium-term installment loan is a loan that is paid off over a period of one to five years. With this type of loan, you can break down the cost of a purchase or receive working capital while repaying with low monthly payments.

Medium-term installment loans can be used for any business purpose. These loans can be used for the purchase of new equipment or for working capital. Loan proceeds can be used for business expansion or acquisitions. You can even use these loans to refinance existing debt.

Business Lines Of Credit

A business line of credit is similar to a credit card. A borrower has a credit limit set by the lender and can make multiple draws as needed up to and including the credit limit. With a business line of credit, you only pay interest and fees on the borrowed amount.

A line of credit can be used for any business expense, from unexpected emergencies to covering operational expenses or purchasing equipment.

Short-Term Trucking Business Loans

Short-term business loans are loans that are paid back over a very short period of time. This period varies, but it will typically not exceed one year.

Short-term loans are one of the most expensive forms of credit, so it is best only to use these loans when absolutely necessary. Because funding is fast (potentially as short as 24 hours), a short-term loan is best for emergencies when time is of the essence. It’s probably not going to be something you’d buy a truck with.

Borrowers who have not been in business long or have low personal or business credit scores may have no other option than to seek a short-term loan. If this is the case, the return on investment should be calculated to determine if the loan is worth the high cost.

Business Credit Cards

A business credit card can be an enormous asset to a trucking business when used responsibly. Business credit cards offer a revolving line of credit that can be used whenever needed. This is especially helpful when an emergency arises.

With responsible usage that includes paying off (or paying down) your card each month, you’ll even be able to boost your credit score while having access to extra capital when needed. In addition, many credit cards offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or cash back after every qualifying purchase.

Invoice Factoring For Transport Businesses

Consider invoice factoring for company trucking if unpaid invoices affect your cash flow.

Invoice factoring isn’t technically a loan. Instead, you sell your unpaid invoices to a lender. The lender purchases your invoice for a discount. This discount goes to the lender as a fee, while the remainder of the balance goes into your pocket.

This is a great option for businesses that have multiple unpaid invoices and don’t want to seek other types of financing. Invoice factoring also has lower credit score, annual revenue, and time in business requirements, making it easy to qualify provided you have eligible invoices.

The 7 Best Trucking Business Loans

The best trucking business loans will have competitive rates, reasonable repayment periods, and offer enough funding to cover a variety of trucking expenses. Start your trucking loan search with lenders like OnDeck, Lendio, Commercial Fleet Financing, and BusinessLoans.com.

BusinessLoans.com: Best Trucking Business Loan For High Borrowing Amounts

BusinessLoans.com


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Pros

  • High borrowing amounts
  • No minimum credit score
  • Excellent support & guidance for borrowers
  • Quick & easy application process

Cons

  • Little fee & rate information provided
  • Funding can up to a week to disperse

Why We Chose BusinessLoans.com

Trucking companies and independent operators seeking higher borrowing amounts could benefit from BusinessLoans.com, one of the newer loan aggregator services. BusinessLoans.com can accommodate a wide variety of borrower circumstances and profiles. There's no minimum credit rating to apply, so trucking company owners with bad credit are still in luck.

BusinessLoans.com offers the following through its partners:

  • Term loans
  • Short-term loans
  • Lines of credit
  • Merchant cash advances

Financing up to $3 million is available for terms of up to 5 years.

BusinessLoans.com Funding Rates & Fees

Because BusinessLoans.com is a loan marketplace that matches you with compatible lenders, rates and fees vary based on the lender and financial product you qualify to receive.

BusinessLoans.com Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for funding through BusinessLoans.com, you’ll need to meet the following prerequisites:

  • Time in Business: 6 months
  • Business Revenue: $100,000
  • Credit Score: No minimum

BusinessLoans.com will try to match you with a lender, but it’s not guaranteed.

Get Started With BusinessLoans.com

Read our in-depth review

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Lendio: Best Startup Trucking Business Loan

Lendio


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Pros

  • Multiple types of financing are available
  • Quick & easy application process
  • Funding available for startups
  • Low minimum credit score

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Startup loans can take 2-4 weeks to disburse

Why We Chose Lendio

Lendio is a great choice for trucking startups because it provides a variety of loan options with relatively easy borrowing requirements, including a low credit score requirement.

Lendio isn't a direct lender; it's a loan aggregator that works with multiple lending partners to provide you with different funding offers, even if you're a new business. Lendio uses your information to match you with lenders, helping you compare your options and get the best rates and lowest terms for your situation.

Lendio's business model accommodates a wide variety of circumstances and borrower profiles. Many trucking businesses -- especially startups -- can benefit from Lendio's pool of lenders. Lendio's equipment financing loans of up to $5 million are specifically well-suited for trucking businesses.

Through Lendio, you can apply for different types of financing, such as:

  • Short-term loans
  • Term loan
  • Equipment financing
  • Lines of credit
  • SBA loans
  • Startup loans
  • Accounts receivable financing
  • Merchant cash advances
  • ERC refunds

Lendio loans range from $5,000 to $5 million, depending on the type of funding you opt for.

Lendio Funding Rates & Fees

Lendio rates start at 7.5% for equipment financing and as low as 5.5% for other products. Merchant cash advances start at 18%.

Lendio Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for funding through Lendio, you’ll need to meet the following prerequisites:

  • Time in Business: 0-12 month minimum
  • Business Revenue: Varies
  • Credit Score: Varies

The minimum business revenue and minimum credit score vary depending on the type of funding you need. For example, Lendio’s equipment financing requires a credit score of 520 and $50k in annual business revenue, while Ledio’s term loans require a credit score of 680 and a monthly business revenue of $8k.

Get Started With Lendio

Read our in-depth review

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OnDeck: Best For Quick Trucking Business Loans

OnDeck


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Pros

  • Quick & easy application process
  • Funds are disbursed quickly
  • Low credit score requirements

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Short repayment terms

Why We Chose OnDeck

If you're interested in purchasing a truck but want to bypass the hassles of receiving a bank loan, OnDeck offers fast funding with low borrower qualifications. OnDeck's revolving lines of credit are a great fit for a variety of trucking expenses, and the term loans are a better fit for larger purchases.

Though repayment terms are shorter and costs may be higher for an OnDeck loan, funding is relatively fast and easy, with some borrowers receiving funds as quickly as the same business day. OnDeck also has lower borrower qualifications than banks and only requires borrowers to have been in business for a year.

OnDeck offers revolving lines of credit of up to $100,000 and term loans of up to $250,000 with term lengths of up to two years.

OnDeck Rates & Fees

OnDeck is not very forthcoming with term rates. Rates are based on your business’s health and revenue. What OnDeck does disclose is a 0%-4% origination fee for term loans and a $20 monthly maintenance charge for lines of credit.

OnDeck Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for funding through OnDeck, you’ll need a business checking account and to meet the following prerequisites:

  • Time in Business: 1 year
  • Business Revenue: $100,000
  • Credit Score: 625

Get Started With OnDeck

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National Funding: Best Trucking Business Loan With No Down Payment

National Funding


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Pros

  • Funds are disbursed quickly
  • Low credit score requirements
  • No down payment necessary

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Smaller borrowing fees than others

Why We Chose National Funding

National Funding is one of the market's older and more well-established alternative lenders. While the company is known more for its short-term business loans, it also offers equipment financing that can be used to acquire vehicles, including trucks.

While National Funding isn't the cheapest option for financing, borrowers may appreciate that they don't need to come up with a down payment to get a trucking loan.

National funding offers:

  • Term loans
  • Short term loans
  • Equipment financing
  • Working capital loans

National Funding offers equipment financing up to $150,000 and short-term loans up to $400,000. While these borrowing amounts are a bit smaller than others on this list, National Funding doesn't require a minimum credit score, so it still could be worth it for some businesses.

National Funding Rates & Fees

National Funding is not transparent about its current APR rates; however, in the past, National Funding’s fixed fees generally ranged between 17%-36%. For the most accurate rates, you’ll need to fill out an application.

National Funding Eligibility Requirements

In addition to a business checking account, National Funding has the following borrower requirements:

  • Time in Business: 6 months
  • Business Revenue: $250,000
  • Credit Score: n/a

Get Started With National Funding

Read our in-depth review

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Commercial Fleet Financing: Best Trucking Equipment Financing

Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc.


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Pros

  • Created specifically for trucking companies
  • Flexible borrower requirements
  • Large borrowing amounts available
  • Quick application & funds dispersement

Cons

  • Non-transparent APR

Why We Chose Commercial Fleet Financing

Unlike the other companies on this list, Commercial Fleet Financing specializes specifically in trucking. Commercial Fleet Financing (CFF) has a simple application and competitive borrower requirements with no personal guarantee required. The company also boasts a large amount of positive customer reviews.

If approved, you can receive your funds in as little as 24 hours, making it a great option for trucking companies needing to purchase vehicles or expand their fleet.

Commercial Feel Financing offers equipment financing from $10,000 - $1 million for:

  • Semi-trucks
  • Trailers
  • Tow trucks
  • Box truck
  • Construction vehicles
  • Light & medium-duty vehicles

You'll also find that CFF finances a large variety of brands, including Ford, Dodge, Mercedes, GM, and more. CFF offers leasing options as well.

Commercial Fleet Financing Rates & Fees

National Funding is not transparent about their current APR rates; however, in with a 4.9/5 rating based on over 1,400+ reviews on United Capital Source it would seem that trucking company owners are satisfied with their CFF experience.

Commercial Fleet Financing Eligibility Requirements

Commercial Fleet Financing doesn’t disclose a specific time in business or business revenue requirement. To work with CFF, at the minimum, you’ll need:

  • Time in Business: N/A
  • Business Revenue: N/A
  • Credit Score: 640+

If your credit score is under 640, CFF might still be able to work with you but you’ll likely have to meet additional requirements. CFF also has a program to work with trucking companies that have previous tax liens or bankruptcies.

Get Started With Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc.

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Fundbox: Best Trucking Business Loan For Bad Credit

Fundbox


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Pros

  • Low credit score requirements
  • Funds are disbursed quickly
  • Quick & easy application process
  • No repayment penalties

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Short repayment terms

Why We Chose Fundbox

Fundbox is a funding option for trucking businesses with bad credit. With a minimum credit rating of 600, you can get a versatile line of credit that can be used for emergency expenses or even big-ticket items. Once approved, you can access your line of credit instantly. Once a draw is initiated on your line of credit, you'll receive funds in your business bank account as quickly as the next business day.

Fundbox is a great choice for trucking businesses that need quick access to funds or want a revolving line of credit for a variety of foreseeable or unforeseeable trucking expenses.

Fundbox offers revolving lines of credit up to $150,000 with terms of up to 24 weeks.

Fundbox Rates & Fees

Borrowing flat fees begin at 4.66% for 12-week repayment terms and 8.99% for 24-week repayment terms.

Fundbox Eligibility Requirements

Fundbox has the following borrower requirements:

  • Time in Business: 3 months
  • Business Revenue: $100,000
  • Credit Score: 600

Get Started With Fundbox

Read our in-depth review

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SmartBiz: Best For SBA Trucking Business Loans

SmartBiz


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Pros

  • Low rates
  • Long repayment terms
  • High borrowing amounts
  • Competitive rates

Cons

  • Must be in business for 2+ years
  • Funds can 2 days – 1 month to disperse depending on the type of funding

Why We Chose SmartBiz

When it comes to purchasing equipment, it's hard to find better terms than you'd get with an SBA loan. SmartBiz streamlines the SBA application process, allowing you to prequalify in just minutes. After submitting an application, SmartBiz connects you with bank and non-bank lenders to help you secure the funding you need for your business.

SmartBiz offers the following products through its lending partners:

  • SBA loans up to $500,000
  • Bank terms loans up to $350,000
  • Lines of credit up to $150,000
  • Custom financing up to $500,000
  • ERC refunds

SmartBiz Rates & Fees

Interest rates for SBA loans range from 11.25% to 12.25%. Term loans have interest rates starting at 9.99%. Custom financing rates start at 6.99%.

SmartBiz Eligibility Requirements

SmartBiz has the following borrower requirements:

  • Time in Business: 2+ years
  • Business Revenue: Varies by amount borrowed
  • Credit Score: 650+

You must also not have any outstanding tax liens or recent bankruptcies.

Get Started With SmartBiz

Read our in-depth review

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Best Loan Alternative For Trucking Companies: Trucking Fuel Cards

One big expense that’s hard to ignore is the cost of fuel and maintenance for your trucks. Whether you own a single truck or an entire fleet, one financing option to keep in mind is a fuel card.

Fuel cards can be used to gas up your rigs, while some can also be used to pay for maintenance and repairs at select locations. Having fuel cards for your drivers can also help you track and manage expenses while they’re out on the road. Additionally, you may even receive savings at the pump, cash back, or rewards just for using your cards.

Check out the best fuel cards for truckers to help manage trucking expenses and start earning rewards.

Choosing The Right Trucking Business Loan

No matter your financial needs, there’s a loan available to help you start your trucking company or expand your existing trucking business. The key is to understand your options, shop around, and determine if the return on investment exceeds the cost of the loan.

Even if your funding needs are urgent, it’s critical to borrow responsibly to put your trucking business on the road to success. To choose the right business loan for your trucking company, start by checking your credit score, verifying your annual revenue, and calculating exactly how much you need to borrow.

You can then take this information to make an informed decision about how much of a loan you can afford and which trucking loan company is going to have the most favorable terms for your business.

How To Get A Trucking Loan For Your Business

Getting a trucking loan for you business can be daunting, but all of the top trucking loan options on this list have simple application processes to make it easier to get the funding you need.

Here’s a simple breakdown of how to get a trucking business loan:

  1. Decide on the right type of trucking business loan
  2. Understand your credit score, yearly revenue, and monthly cash flow allowance for repayments
  3. Take all of the information from step 2 and use it to shop for the right trucking business loan lender
  4. Gather your loan application documentation
  5. Fill out your lender’s online application
  6. Get approved. receive your funds
  7. Spend funds as needed to help your trucking company succeed
  8. Make all trucking business loan repayments on time

Our Methodology: How We Chose The Best Trucking Loans

When reviewing business financing products, Merchant Maverick compares data points (interest rates, fees, borrower requirements, customer reviews) from different lenders and assigns them a score based on our research.

For trucking business loans, we more heavily weighted lenders that are able to offer vehicle equipment financing with relatively high borrowing amounts, as well as lenders who could offer smaller-but-faster financing for emergency discretionary spending.

As always, we encourage readers to use this list as a starting point for their own research, as every business’s needs are unique.

Trucking Business Loan FAQs

Can I get a trucking business loan if I have bad credit?

While your options may be limited, getting a trucking business loan with bad credit is possible. Failing that, take steps to rebuild your credit before applying to lower your financing costs.

What are the best business loan options for owner-operators?

There are a number of loan options available for owner-operators. Equipment financing or an SBA Microloan may help with the purchase of a commercial truck. Or consider a business line of credit, short-term loan, or business credit card for your everyday operational expenses.

I’m starting a trucking company. Am I eligible for a trucking startup loan? What are my best options?

There are many options available for trucking startup companies. The best choice for borrowers with credit scores in the high 600s is a loan from the SBA. SBA loans provide low interest rates and flexible repayment terms for startups and established businesses.

If you have a good credit score, you could also consider taking out a personal loan versus a business loan. With a personal loan, qualifying will be based on your own income and credit score, with no requirements for annual revenues, business credit score, or time in business.

Can I get a grant for my trucking company?

Most businesses do not qualify for startup grants. If you find a grant that you are eligible for, it’s important to note that competition will be stiff.

The process for receiving a grant for truckers also doesn’t happen overnight. If you need money for your trucking company fast, you’ll want to explore other options, including the loans mentioned in this post. You can also explore other options, such as P2P lending or the best crowdfunding sites for entrepreneurs.

Can you get an SBA loan to start a trucking company?

It is possible to get an SBA loan to start a trucking company. SBA Microloans and SBA Community Advantage loans are appropriate for startups.

Can I get a business loan for a trucking company?

Trucking companies are eligible for many of the same business loans as other companies. In particular, trucking companies may benefit from equipment financing.

How easy is it to get commercial truck loans?

Getting a commercial truck loan depends on your time in business, revenue, and business credit. An owner with an established business and a solid credit history will have an easier time (and more options) than someone with bad credit or a new business.

Can I get a business loan for a trucking company?

Many lenders are willing to work with trucking companies and owner-operators. Depending on your needs, you may be better off seeking equipment financing or a business loan.

Can I buy a truck with a credit score of 600?

It’s possible to buy a truck with a credit score of 600, although you won’t be able to access the competitive interest rates you’d get with a better credit score. Non-bank lenders are usually the best option for borrowers with credit ratings of 600.

Can I get a line of credit for a trucking business?

Business lines of credit are available to trucking companies just as they are to any qualifying business.

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Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Lead Staff Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer who specializes in accounting, payroll, and small business loans. She has been with Merchant Maverick helping small business owners manage their finances since 2016. She is a QuickBooks Certified User and former eCommerce store owner. Her accounting expertise has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business. Chelsea graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied abroad at the University of Oxford as well. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho.
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