For most people, buying a vehicle is a necessity to get you to and from the grocery store, football practices and of course, your job. When you’re financing a Western Star truck as an owner-operator, you’re buying a business. There are some similiarities between car financing and truck financing, mainly when it comes to what the finance company is looking for – a decent credit score and some proof of your ability to pay off a loan and maintain credit. First time buyers should already have their Class A CDL and road experience too. We’ll cover fleet purchases another day.
So Many Questions!
Try to remember the lender doesn’t know you from Adam, and they need to learn about you in order to make the decision to hand over thousands of dollars to you. It helps throughout the process if you can find a way to put yourself in their shoes from time-to-time. It can be a tough process to finance a truck but remember if you understand the big picture and know what you’re getting into, it can be an exciting time in your life. You should also know that while a lender like Daimler Truck Financial will have some requirements, they look at the big picture so don’t give up if you think you’ll could fall short on a requirement by a fraction. You might be able to help minimize their risk with maybe a bigger down payment.
Down Payment and Interest Rates
If you’re buying a new truck, interest rates can be a bit more competitive. When you’re buying a used truck, a lower interest rate is harder to come by. This can be a big factor when purchasing equipment. If your credit’s good, you can get away with a lower down payment as a rule when buying a new truck which is something to consider if you’re not “liquid” so-to-speak.
Don’t go it alone. Gather all the information that says you’re a stand-up citizen and put it in the hands of someone who can negotiate for you, ususally your F & I Manager at the dealership. It makes a statement to come prepared with complete information and ready for any question from your F & I manager. They’ll get in touch with the lender for you. My loan is with Daimler Truck Financial – they know Stars and can help quite a bit. Plus, they offer a lot more than just online payments – insurance, for instance.
Typical Financing Requirements
Here are some fairly common loan qualification requirements. These may change depending on the lender:
- Good credit
- Job lined up
- Down payment
- Valid class ‘A’ CDL
- Having at least 2 years of over the road company driving experience can’t hurt
My best advice to you is to be prepared, be thorough in your documentation, don’t go it alone and partner with the F & I manager at your dealership. Above all, know what you’re getting into. Being an owner-operator has so many benefits, it’s worth it! Get the truck financing done and roll on Star Nation!