Food truck loans often don’t have much compatibility with conventional business loans, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of options out there. SBA microloans, equipment loans, capital leases, and many other types of financing are happy to invest in food truck businesses. No matter what type of financing you seek, however, there are steps you need to be prepared for as you set out to fund your new food truck.
Getting Started With Food Truck Loans
First off, the basics. Before choosing a financing route and applying for a food truck loan, there are some basic questions that need answers. What is your product and what is your business plan? What will set you apart from the rest of the market? Who is your market? Answering these questions right away is your first step. Many lenders will want to know that their loan is a good investment down the line, and it will help inform the ultimate decision of what equipment is needed in a food truck and thus how much financing is needed.
Depending on the type of financing and the specific circumstances, different eligibility requirements may apply to food truck loans. If you run an already established business seeking to expand operations with a food truck, for instance, financing requirements will be very focused on two years of history from your business. If you are a new startup seeking to break into the food truck scene, requirements will be very centered on your personal credit, employment history, and qualifications. Take a good look at your financial records and credit. A personal credit score over 650 will help, as will detailed plans and projections for how your business will succeed with this food truck investment.
Just like any other financing, you’ll need to prepare any documentation that underwriters may need. You’ll need to compile personal and business financial records, assets, and liabilities. Have tax returns from at least two years available and waiting. That business plan we discussed earlier should be finalized now, ready to hand to lenders. Business licenses, debt schedules, and profit and loss statements are recommended to have available. A well-written professional resume should be available to loan officers too. When you get to actually applying for financing, your lender should be able to supply you with a closing checklist indicating exactly what will be required but to avoid stressful scrambling, get everything together ahead of time, or at least learn how to acquire necessary records.
Applying For Food Truck Loans
Do your research about what is best for you and your particular circumstances. There are many types of food truck loans available, from micro loans backed by The Small Business Administration, to larger conventional loans and more flexible equipment loans. Ask lenders exactly what they can offer you. Be transparent about your credit scores and financial situation to get the most out of your lender’s expertise. Though further contact may be necessary, often whether you are applying with an online financier or your local bank a single phone call can be enough to start the application process. Though it can be easy to get preapproved and apply, don’t rush too much. Ask about options for loan terms, down payments, and interest rates before you commit to any certain type of loan. Make sure you can provide any necessary down payment before committing to the terms of a loan.
After your loan underwriter has all the documentation they require, you need to be patient while the loan is processed. During this time, it is best to not make any major debt commitments. Your credit needs to remain stable during the loan approval period. As the closing date nears, you’ll need to ready the down payment for closing day. This down payment can be a large range in terms of percent of the loan. Typically, how much your down payment will be is determined by the type of loan, the term of the loan, and your personal and business credit. Some loans will require little or no down payment, where some may require a large portion of the loan amount.
No matter how you decide to fund your food truck, you have some great options out there. Don’t be intimidated by the task of financing a food truck- it’s a small matter compared to the benefits it could yield. Be prepared, be diligent, and ask questions. If you have any questions about how we here at Legion Food Trucks can help, contact us today.