It’s no surprise that owning a business, especially a trucking business, can come with cash flow and financing challenges. As a trucking business owner, you have several short-term financing options available to you to pay for operational expenses, maintenance, repairs, and new assets. Let’s look at the most common short-term financing options!
Business Credit Cards
While it may seem obvious, a business credit card is likely the easiest form of short-term financing for things like fuel, operational expenses, maintenance, etc. The use of a business credit card is common and allows business owners more flexibility when waiting to receive payment from customers, earning cash back, receiving purchase discounts, and receiving reward options. You can read more about different types of business credit cards and popular business cards here.
Fuel Credit Cards
A fuel credit card is very similar to a business credit card, but it is used specifically for fuel expenses. If you seek to receive rewards and discounts with a particular fuel retailer you may consider getting a retailer or gas brand-specific card. Additionally, there are fuel card programs that offer discounts for multiple retailers and additional benefits such as fuel rebates, compliance assistance, fuel tracking, and route planning apps. This is a common short-term financing tool for trucking businesses who may need to buy some time while covering regular fuel expenses. You can read more about popular fuel credit card options here.
A trucking company may decide to work with a factoring company to get paid quickly, like within 24 hours, rather than waiting on invoice payment terms (e.g., net 15 days, net 30, net 60, net 90) before a customer finally pays you. With factoring, your trucking company can get access to cash, sooner rather than later, to cover expenses, like paying employees or purchasing truck or trailer parts. In other words, Factoring is when a financial institution, or factoring company, finances your accounts receivables at a cost. The factoring company will pay you for your invoice less a small fee for the factoring service that you get in return. This is another common option used by trucking businesses to have quicker access to cash to finance their business operations. We have an in-depth article on Factoring located here, where we discuss the different kinds of factoring structures, popular service providers, costs, setting up services, and more!
Short Term Loans
Short-term business loans are another option available to trucking business owners who need cash to cover operational expenses, emergencies, or purchase additional assets. These loans are typically scheduled to be repaid within 3 to 24 months, but some options may even offer longer repayment terms. Short-term loans typically carry higher interest rates than traditional loans and possibly more frequent payments. You will probably need a minimum credit score rating of at least 600 to be eligible for a short-term loan, but this will vary for each provider. The US Small Business Association (SBA) is an entity that offers small business loans. You can read our detailed blog about SBA here.
Business Line of Credit
A business line of credit grants business owners’ access to a specific amount of cash as needed. It is like a credit card where the funds are not designated for a specific purpose. A business line of credit is NOT a lump-sum given to the business owner. Instead, a business owner may withdraw funds from a limited line of credit and will begin accumulating interest until the balance is paid down. What is paid back will be available again as credit to the business owner to use as needed. This is very similar to the structure of a credit card, but without the card!
Improve Your Credit Score
Improving and building personal credit AND business credit will impact the level of long-term and short-term financing you can receive for your trucking business in addition to your interest rate. You can read more about average credit requirements and ways to improve and build both personal credit and business credit here.
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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. Contents may not be relied upon as a substitute for the FMCSA's published regulations. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.