Best Commercial Truck Loans

Financing for your next truck purchase

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The best commercial truck loans operate like equipment financing loans, allowing a small business owner to finance their vehicle and preserve cash flow. The truck you finance serves as the collateral for the loan. In the United States, there were 36.9 million commercial trucks used by businesses in 2018, making this industry one of the largest sectors to finance.

For small to medium-size businesses with strong credit, you’ll find the best commercial truck loans from a few large national banks. They usually offer lower rates and longer terms than online or specialty lenders. But if you’re purchasing, leasing, or repairing your first commercial truck and your credit is in the mid to lower ranges, a bank-alternate lender will be your saving grace. Their rates are a little higher and terms are shorter, but they do fund much faster with a simpler application process. 

We reviewed 14 commercial truck lenders to find the following top five winners. Read on to see what types of loans they offer, what their qualification requirements are, and what their application process entails.

The Best Commercial Truck Loans of 2021

Best Overall : Upwise Capital


Upwise Capital

 Upwise Capital

Low interest rates, lenient requirements, and multiple financing options, combined with an easy approval process make Upwise Capital our pick for best overall lender for commercial truck loans.

Pros
  • Low interest rates starting at 4.95%

  • Lenient application requirements

  • Doesn’t require a high credit score

  • Multiple ways to finance your commercial truck

Cons
  • Max loan term of eight years

  • Requires $100,000 in yearly company revenue

Upwise Capital, our best overall choice for commercial truck loans, stands out because it offers borrowers equipment financing, credit lines, and working capital loans for trucking companies. When one course doesn’t fit, Upwise has a backup plan for the borrower to buy or upgrade their truck.

Unlike many companies, Upwise doesn’t require a high credit score to get approved. Applicants should have at least a 550, which is far lower than the typical 690 credit score required by other finance companies.

To apply, borrowers provide financial statements and tax returns to prove they meet the $100,000 annual revenue and work history requirements. They will also need to have a commercial truck license and proof of insurance in order to apply for commercial truck financing.

While the rates are determined based on the applicant’s full financial picture, they start as low as 4.95%, which is one of the lowest rates among truck financing companies. Loan terms can range between one and eight years, longer than the typical five-year maximum, but shorter than some other companies.

Best for Semi Trucks : Santander Bank


Santander Bank

Through Santander Bank, truckers can get the financing they need through an extensive financing program that includes high loan amount limits and extended loan terms perfect for semi trucks.

Pros
  • High loan amount limits

  • A variety of vehicle loans offered

  • Long history on the market

Cons
  • Lack of information on the website

  • Interest rates depend on the applicant

Santander Bank’s extensive commercial vehicle financing programs are ideal for purchasing a variety of vehicles, but especially semi trucks, thanks to their high loan amount ceilings and extended and flexible payback terms.  

While they offer several types of loans such as asset-based lending and traditional loans, their knowledge of the market, the vendors, and the vehicles make them one of the top choices for semi truck financing. 

They offer loans for new or used vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, semi trucks, and more with terms between 24 and 120 months and an amount ranging between $25,000 and $10 million for a single purchase. To apply, you can get started by either calling their vehicle financing division at 800-238-4009 or clicking the Apply Now button to fill out the credit application online.

The interest rates and credit score requirements are all designed individually for each applicant and depend on that applicant’s characteristics such as credit score and revenues. 

Read our full Santander Bank Review.

Best for Box Trucks : U.S. Bank


US Bank

US Bank

With an upper financing limit comfortably above the cost of a box truck and low- and no-down payment loan options, U.S. Bank wins best for box trucks.

Pros
  • No down payment requirement for some loans up to 60 months

  • Customizable payment schedule

  • Pre-approval option available

  • Finance multiple pieces of equipment on one contract

Cons
  • Lower upper loan limit than other big banks

  • Need to speak with a loan specialist before you can get a rate estimate

While the upper limit of U.S. Bank’s commercial truck loans, at $500,000, is lower than other financing agencies, it eclipses box truck prices. Combine that limit, which more than covers the cost of a box truck, with U.S. Bank’s low- and no-down payment loans, and it’s easy to see why U.S. Bank wins the title of best for box trucks.

Among their business financing options, U.S. Bank offers quick loans, conventional financing, owner-occupied or investment property, finance essential business assets, or government-backed loans. 

The upper limit of the equipment financing loans is only $500,000. However, since most box trucks cost less than $120,000, and often less than $50,000, the loan limit is not a significant obstacle. U.S. Bank also has other program advantages like the option to finance multiple pieces of equipment with a single contract. Moreover, if the term is 24 to 60 or more months, no down payment is required. The repayment term can be on a monthly, seasonal, or semiannual basis per the applicant’s choice, giving everyone the flexibility to plan their budget according to their finances. 

U.S. Bank also has a pre-approval program, giving borrowers cash-buyer strength for 120 days. To apply, click their Contact Us button and begin your application online. The form will ask you for your personal and business name and contact information, but also the estimated finance amount you are seeking and a description of what you’re looking to finance. Rates and terms are negotiated with a U.S. Bank finance consultant after your intake form is received.

Read our full U.S. Bank Review.

Best for Fleets : Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo

 Wells Fargo

Fleets are large and the vehicle types can be varied, so our best choice for fleet financing goes to a big bank with the scope and scale to finance it all—Wells Fargo. With options like loans for new and used trucks and lease options for semi trailers, financing a whole fleet through Wells Fargo’s equipment financing can be a one-stop-shopping experience.

Pros
  • Long loan terms

  • Loan options for new and used trucks

  • Lease options for semi trailers

Cons
  • Can have high interest rates up to 30%

  • Need to speak with a loan specialist before you can get a rate estimate

Wells Fargo is our preferred choice for fleet financing because of its options for new or used trucks, a wide variety of commercial vehicles, long loan terms, and semi trailer leasing options for fleet owners who need up to $40 million.  

Users can get new or used semi trailers, trucks, specialty vehicles, buses, and motorcoaches through Wells Fargo’s transportation financing and refinancing options. Applicants have the option to choose between operating leases, standard or modified Terminal Rent Adjustment Clause (TRAC) leases, equipment lines of credit, lease-purchase agreements, or dealer retailer finance programs. To provide this, they work with highway fleets, distributors, retailers, manufacturers, leasing companies, owner-operators, and more. Dealer credit lines can be as high as $40 million, and individual truck loans can qualify for 100% financing.

The typical loan repayment terms can extend up to the expected lifespan of the truck, so applicants have enough time to earn revenue with their vehicle to repay the loan. The options range from 12 to 84 months, while interest rates range between 7% and 30% depending on the applicant’s characteristics and whether the financial program is a term loan or line of credit.

Read our full Wells Fargo Bank Review.

Best for Expedited Processing : Commercial Fleet Financing


Commercial Fleet Financing

 Commercial Fleet Financing

Commercial Fleet Financing, a company that specializes in truck loans, can approve your financing application in as little as two hours, making them the best choice for expedited processing of your commercial truck loan.

Pros
  • Approval time as little as two hours

  • Low down payments

  • Straightforward application process

Cons
  • There might be additional application requirements

  • No rate estimate until after you submit your application

With approval times as short as two hours and funding time as soon as 24 hours, Commercial Fleet Financing is the best choice for expedited loan processing.  Dealers, private party sellers, businesses, and individuals can get an equipment loan, purchase loan, auction purchases, or other loans through CFF. Semi trucks, trucks, trailers, tow trucks, box trucks, construction vehicles, or light- and medium-duty vehicles can be purchased for a down payment as low as $0. 

The application process is simple. Applicants need to fill out a one-page application along with a bill of sale, and that’s it. CFF will reach out to you for any additional requirements or questions. Their secure online application will ask you how much you want to finance, the year and type of truck, and your personal and business contact information, including your corporation type.

There are no loan limits or specific interest rates. Each applicant will be analyzed individually and given a specific quote based on credit score, time in business, income, and credit history. Their rates are competitive with banks and credit unions, starting as low as 5%, with the potential for 100% financing for well-qualified borrowers.

Verdict

There is more than one way to finance a commercial truck purchase or upgrade. When shopping for loans, look for lenders that offer multiple programs to increase your odds of getting the funding you need. For example, the best commercial truck loan for you could come in the form of working capital loans, credit lines, or equipment financing term loans.

We chose Upwise Capital as the best overall because it explains multiple finance offerings on its website for financing your truck. Their website content is the most thorough that we’ve found, informing you of the pros and cons of different programs, the rates and terms available to qualified borrowers, and online convenience with a DocuSign application and a funding process that takes less than one week.

Compare Providers

Lender Why We Picked It Max Loan Amount
Upwise Capital Best Overall Up to 100% of equipment value
Santander Bank Best for Semi Trucks $10 million
U.S. Bank Best for Box Trucks $500,000
Wells Fargo Best for Fleets Up to 100% financing, credit lines up to $40 million
Commercial Fleet Financing Best for Expedited Processing Up to 100% of equipment value

FAQs

How Do I Get a Loan for a Commercial Truck?

You can get a commercial truck loan from some of the larger banks like Santander, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank, and you’ll most likely find their terms favorable if you have a strong credit background and income. However, banks tend to have a slower process with more documentation needed before they can approve you. For borrowers who want financing within a week, with fewer paperwork hurdles to clear, and perhaps more lenient credit requirements, online and specialty lenders will be a better experience. All of the lenders in our list have an online application to begin the process.

What Credit Score Is Needed to Buy a Semi Truck?

The majority of lenders want to see a minimum credit score of 600 to buy a semi truck. Better rates and terms are available when you cross the 640 and 660 score thresholds. If you’re in the 700s, your rates, terms, and options will be even better. 

Banks will typically be the most strict about your credit score, while online lenders, especially the ones in our list, are more willing to look at your entire financial picture. In other words, your low credit score will matter, but it most likely will not disqualify you from a loan.

How Much Does It Cost to Finance a Semi Truck?

A semi truck can be configured with options and features that will impact the price, but a typical price tag on dealer websites is in the $150,000 range. With a 10% down payment of $15,000, an interest rate of 5%, and a three-year term length, your monthly payments will cost around $4,000. Over the life of the loan, you’ll pay roughly $10,000 in interest.

If, in this same example, your term length was five years, your monthly payments would run close to $2,500, and you’d pay almost $18,000 in total interest. Factors that can affect your monthly payments and total interest will be whether you can negotiate a loan with no down payment, your rate, and the length of the term.

How We Chose the Best Commercial Truck Loans

We examined 14 commercial truck lenders before we decided on the five best. We favored companies that had nationwide service, multiple financing program options, approval and funding speed, and high loan maximums. 

All of our winners demonstrated specialized experience in commercial truck finance and rates that were competitive with other banks and credit unions. While we chose the best choice for each niche, all of these lenders are able to perform in each category. Therefore, if you’re seeking a box truck loan, for example, and you get turned down by U.S. Bank, you may find success at one of the online lenders on our list because they have more lenient requirements.

Article Sources

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  1. The American Trucking Association. "Economics and Industry Data." Accessed January 1, 2021.