Many small businesses require a fleet of vehicles or trucks to perform their functions. Examples include trucking ventures that need a fleet of semi-trucks, building businesses that need a fleet of work trucks, or a retailer needing a fleet of delivery vans.
There are various examples of commercial transportation equipment needs across multiple industries. The one thing that these businesses have in common is that vehicles and transportation equipment can carry a considerable price tag – especially when purchasing a fleet.
Commercial Fleet Financing is an online lender that helps businesses get the vehicle(s) they need with equipment financing when they don’t have the capital to buy them outright. This review provides the ultimate guide to what you need to know about Commercial Fleet Financing to decide if the lender is right for your equipment financing needs.
Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:
Commercial Fleet Financing (CFF) is a small business lending company specializing in transportation financing. Founded in 1995, the Texas-based lender offers a quick and convenient online application with quick turnarounds on approval and funding with no hidden fees.
A commercial fleet refers to groups of trucks, vehicles, or other equipment used for business purposes. Examples of commercial vehicles you can finance with CFF include:
Businesses can finance one truck at a time or a whole fleet using equipment financing. You can apply after finding the vehicle(s) you want to purchase or get pre-approved before beginning to look for them.
CFF offers three main financing options for fleet and equipment acquisition. All three have the exact loan amounts, but they function differently.
CFF’s equipment financing product allows businesses to buy commercial equipment and vehicles. After the equipment financing application process and approval, CFF sends the funds directly to the dealership, merchant, or independent seller. You then make scheduled payments to CFF for the loan term. Once you finish paying off the loan, you own the fleet.
CFF also provides funding to lease commercial fleets. Leasing usually means a lower monthly repayment than equipment financing, but you don’t own the equipment at the end of the lease term.
CFF’s unique auction lines of credit fund purchasing commercial trucks, vehicles, or equipment at an auction. If approved, you’ll receive an auction line of credit letter and can purchase items up to the credit limit. After the auction, you send the bill of sale to CFF, and they issue the funds directly to the auction house.
CFF does not publish eligibility minimums for credit scores, time in business, or annual revenue. The lender does state that most of its approved equipment financing clients have a minimum credit score of 640. However, it also states credit approval options exist for business owners with credit scores below 640.
One of the programs it offers is called FRESH START. It’s intended for applicants with damaged credit, such as having prior liens, judgments, or bankruptcy. CFF states the rates are higher, and the terms are more rigid, but it does provide funding for these situations.
You can only find out your equipment financing rates by applying. The company does not publish its interest rates or fees, making comparing it to other lenders difficult. CFF claims it has “no hidden fees.”
CFF does state its interest rates are comparable with banks and credit unions. However, that mostly seems for small business owners with outstanding credit. The lower your credit score, the higher your interest will be, in most cases.
CFF states that borrowers with less-than-perfect must make a down payment of 20%. So, while there are options for bad credit borrowers, the down payment requirements and increased rates might be cost-prohibitive.
CFF does not have a business loan affiliate program per se, but they offer programs for dealers and private vehicle sellers to use CFF equipment financing options.
The application process is quick and requires minimal documentation. Follow these steps to apply for CFF equipment financing.
Visit the CFF website and complete the one-page online application. CFF performs a soft credit pull that shouldn’t affect your credit score. They look at both your personal and business credit.
CFF provides a fast turnaround on approving (or denying) loans – in as little as two hours. You might have to supply business bank account statements, tax returns, and proof of time in business.
After approval, CFF sends contracts that include the VIN, selling price, terms, and monthly payment amount. Send back the signed contracts, dealer paperwork, and proof of insurance for the financed item.
CFF funds loans quickly, sometimes as soon as 24 hours.
Once CFF issues the equipment purchase or lease funds, the seller delivers the vehicle(s) or equipment to your small business. You have full access to the equipment to use for business purposes.
You are responsible for maintaining insurance on the equipment. You’ll most likely add the equipment to an existing insurance policy. While the equipment is under financing, you must insure it against loss, including property and casualty coverage and liability.
You’ll have a monthly payment due for the loan or lease term. CFF does not publish information on their available financing terms or early prepayment.
CFF is one of the country’s top independently owned commercial transportation and equipment financing businesses. The lender offers expertise and over two decades of experience purchasing and financing commercial fleets.
Small business owners get a convenient online application with minimal documentation requirements. You can get a credit decision in as little as 2 hours. If approved, your loan or lease can be funded within 24 hours. It’s an excellent solution for enterprises needing fast funding for business equipment.
Another significant benefit of CFF is that they don’t place an age restriction on the equipment. Some lenders will only finance vehicles or equipment that are new or only have a few years of service.
CFF provides funding and loans up to $1 million. You can finance 100% of the cost if you have excellent credit.
The biggest drawback to CFF is its lack of transparency on rates, fees, and terms. You must apply to discover how much you’ll pay.
You will need a minimum personal credit score of 640 to qualify for the best rates and no down payment. Small business owners with a low credit score must make a down payment of 20%.
Here’s a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of Commercial Fleet Financing loans.
Yes, Commercial Fleet Financing is a legitimate business lender. They’ve operated since 1995 and have funded $1 billion+ to over 10,000 clients. The Better Business Bureau does not accredit them, but they do maintain an A+ rating on the watchdog site.
CFF doesn’t have many reviews, but the few are primarily favorable. Most small business customers discuss personalized customer service, ease of application, and fast financing.
Negative reviews talk about confusion regarding the financing structure and repayment terms. One complaint mentioned their early payment penalty was more than the initial cost of the financing quote.
One of the advantages of CFF is that it’s generally easier to qualify for loans than conventional lenders, like banks and credit unions. However, you can still get denied if you don’t meet their credit score or other requirements.
Since the lender does not provide minimum qualifications, the only way to know is to apply and receive a decision. If you were declined, the denial letter should explain why. Contact CFF directly if you need more information.
Fortunately, there are many business lenders to consider for equipment financing. You can find other lenders that offer financing for commercial fleets and lenders that offer bad credit business loans.
CFF is a viable lender option for companies that need fast funding for commercial vehicles or transportation equipment. The lender can fund business equipment financing in as little as 24 hours and accepts businesses with good to fair credit.
Bad credit borrowers may still be able to qualify but must put 20% down and offer collateral. The lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate on loans.
Established businesses with excellent credit can likely find lower-cost options, although CFF claims their rates are comparable with conventional lenders. In addition, CFF’s fast funding and industry experience might make them worth it.
The biggest drawback to CFF is its lack of transparency. Unfortunately, they don’t provide enough details for us to compare their costs and eligibility requirements with similar lenders.
Based on the available information, we rate Commercial Fleet Financing as 3.75 out of 5. The company’s offerings and reputation are good, but its lack of upfront pricing makes them challenging to rate higher.