Starting A Food Truck Business: How to Finance or Lease a FOOD TRUCK

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Food trucks are truly fantastic!

The food truck industry can be highly profitable, and it’s been showing an exponential growth these past years. If you’ve been considering starting your own food truck business and your objective is to finance or lease a food truck, there’s some important information you should know before jumping right into your new business venture.

Startup Cost:

Concession trailers and food trucks can start anywhere from $10,000. Before shopping around for a truck or trailer, you first need to know where your credit stands. Based on your credit score and credit history, it will determine which price range you should stay in when financing or leasing a food truck/concession trailer. If you don’t know your credit rate, you may want to take a quick look at it before you start filling out credit applications. You can obtain a free credit report at Credit Karma where you’ll be able to view both your score and credit history from 2 major credit bureaus. This is important because if have fair – poor credit, you should choose a food truck under $30K but if your credit is within the good range, you be able to obtain a food truck loan for up to $50K.

Down Payment Requirements:

The down payment will also depend on your credit and the total cost of the food truck or concession trailer you want to finance. Down payments can range anywhere from 0%-10% for those with excellent/good credit, 10%-20% down for those with fair credit and 25%-50% for those with bad credit.


Excellent – Good Credit:

If your credit profile falls within the Excellent – Good range, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to finance a food truck or concession trailer because you’re not considered a high-risk applicant. However, this doesn’t mean that you should start off big. Many times, we’ve seen previous clients (with good credit) start big and fail miserably because they didn’t have a stellar business plan and the extra cash saved away for a rainy day. All startup businesses are a gamble but if your risk is calculated, the chances of you failing will be minimized.


You should at least have the first 3 monthly payments saved in your bank account (just in case) your business encounters a bump along the way, you’ll have the funds to cover your monthly payment & insurance. Apply at your local bank to see if they’ll approve you for the food truck loan and if they don’t approve you, it’s a sign that most other banks will also decline your credit application. You don’t want to apply at several banks at once, because you will have multiple hard inquiries that will impact and lower your FICO and unfortunately remain on your credit profile for over 2 years.

You also don’t want to apply at different dealerships at a time, because the same thing will happen (your credit will drop) and it’s simply because most dealers will submit your credit applications to various lending sources at once, and this will result in (multiple inquiries) to reflect on your credit profile as well.

The best route is to present your own credit report to the dealership and request for an estimated financing quote so that you’ll have an idea of how much your payments will be.


Fair – Poor Credit:

If you want to finance or lease a food truck and your credit is within the fair – poor range, it’s going to be a bit changeling for you to obtain the funds needed to purchase the food truck or concession trailer. Banks are not going to approve you because you’re considered a high-risk applicant (and if they do) they’ll most likely require for you to add property you own as additional collateral, and that’s not the best way you’d want to start off any business. Your only option at this point is to seek for alternative financing, and these lending sources range from individual investors to non-bank lending companies.

These alternative financing sources are most commonly used when an individual or business owner cannot obtain a traditional bank loan and most of these lenders don’t require to review your financials such as bank statements or tax returns.

These alternative financing lenders operate like your local bank. You complete a credit application; an underwriter reviews your credit app and determines if you’d be approved or not. If approved and the terms are agreed upon, you’ll sign a contract, insure the food truck or concession trailer, the seller will be funded, and the transaction is complete. The down payment will either be paid to the seller or directly to the lender to apply it towards your first or last payments.

Most lenders don’t charge a prepayment penalty fee and they can structure the agreement in various ways such as a loan, lease, TRAC lease, EFA (equipment finance agreement) and $1 buyout lease. The best way to approach this option is to work closely with an equipment lease broker that can outline your goals and connect you to the appropriate funding source without compromising your credit in the process.

Equipment lease brokers can review your credit report and credit application to determine your available options, and assist you obtaining those funds through their own network of lending resources. This process is efficient, and they’ll walk through the entire process until the transaction is funded and complete.

*We advise you to start off financing a food truck or concession trailer under the $50K range and don’t forget to factor in the other operational expenses that will apply to you such as insurance, tag, state licenses, permits, advertisements, etc.

Important Side Notes*

  • Create a business plan that will also outline possible risks (calculate your risks)
  • Save enough money in the bank to secure your bills for at least 3 months in advance
  • Don’t shop around your credit at various places to prevent multiple credit inquiries


Truckers Post LLC

We’re an equipment lease broker firm that assists individuals and business owners in obtaining the funds needed to start or further expand their business with less than perfect credit. Our team has over 10 years of combined experience within the financing industry, and we have an extensive network of lending resources that serve many credit types and commercial industries within the US. Our process is swift and easy without any upfront fees to begin, and we won’t compromise your credit with multiple inquiries.

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