Tax Advice




Getting money from a truck dealership, bank, credit union, or other lending institution is extremely difficult today. The underwriters that approve or decline your loan look at credit and time in business to determine your willingness and ability to pay.

I Want to Own a Truck—What Do I Do?

By Eric Huber

     Do I lease a truck, do I get a loan? The goal of most truck buyers is to own a late model, low mileage, fuel efficient, quality truck with the lowest weekly/monthly payment in the shortest amount of time. You want to get the best bang for your buck. There are many different leasing and lending options available to accomplish this goal, including full service leasing (this includes the maintenance, and can include registration, plating, and insurance – but there is an added cost for each of these items).

     An owner-operator can own a truck at the end of either a lease or a loan if the language in the lease or loan agreement specifically states this. So you must read and understand the fine print. Ask questions before signing any agreements that you do not understand thoroughly.

Direct Financing

    Getting money from a truck dealership, bank, credit union, or other lending institution is extremely difficult today. The underwriters that approve or decline your loan look at credit and time in business to determine your willingness and ability to pay. If they are going to take a risk on you, then they want to make sure you are going to pay them back and pay on time. Risk based lending guidelines are set up and the higher the risks, the larger the required down payment and the higher the interest rates, if you can get an approval.

    For startups, the down payment can be 10 to 50 percent depending on your credit. This is a lot of money especially when you have to consider all the other additional startup costs: insurance, 2290s (other taxes), plating, registration, fuel, and whether to get your own authority or use a carrier’s authority. For existing owner operators or fleets with at least three years in business, full financials, comparable commercial credit and good personal credit (credit scores above 675) there is 100 percent financing options available with very low interest rates depending on the year, make, model, and mileage of the truck.

    There are residuals (balloon payment) at the end of most leases or loans. Some are as low as $1 and can go as high as 50 percent of the original lease /loan amount. The residuals lower the weekly or monthly payment and allow the borrower to acquire a larger lease or loan amount with a lower payment, thus getting a newer truck. Typically, an older truck has higher mileage, is more expensive to maintain, and is less fuel efficient than a newer truck so you should try to acquire the newest truck you can afford and get a good quality warranty.

Leasing Via Your Carrier

     Since truck loans / leases are so tough to get for owner operators on their own, many carriers offer their own leasing programs. It is easier to get the truck financed with carrier support. This means that the carrier will purchase X amount of trucks, guaranteeing those payments to the bank, and then offering leases and making it easier for a driver to get into a truck (with no money down and no minimum credit) as long as the driver stays leased on to that carrier. Unfortunately all leases are not created equal and an owner-operator has to read the agreements thoroughly before signing. This is a business and must be treated as a business. Make sure you read and understand all of the fine print; this cannot be stressed enough.

    At EZ Truck Loan, we are experts in showing truck buyers the most cost effective way to own a newer truck in the quickest amount of time in today’s market. We also offer 24/7 nationwide truck maintenance programs and Million mile warranties to complement a truck lease/loan, protecting the truck, and helping an owner-operator become a better business owner. Whether you are looking to purchase one truck or 1000 trucks, we can help and we can show you whether an individual truck lease or truck loan or leasing through a carrier is best for you.

EZ TRUCK LOAN, LLC: 678-707-1908; etruckloan@gmail.com; www.eztruckloanllc.com