In an earlier article, we discussed the credit statistics of owner-operators who apply for credit and the connection between FICO score and the likelihood of an owner-operator getting the deal they want. We are going to ramp things up this time around and compare the credit and funding of owner-operators versus fleet owners and see if there is any connection between vehicle ownership and credit score.
Company Drivers, Owner-Operators, and Fleet Owners
As a financing company, we at TopMark Funding keep track of the statistics regarding the applications we receive and the loans we give out. Our data is solid; we only collect application statistics on people who have the intention of obtaining financing, and not from asking people to estimate their credit score(s) but rather through a soft credit check to obtain a definitive answer. We take privacy seriously; all of the data points we provide about credit scores will be presented anonymously.
If we’re going to do any form of statistical analysis of TopMark Funding funding, we need to define our words so that they are clear. Some people consider a fleet owner to be 2 or more vehicles, others may consider it 3. To make sure we get a solid picture of the connection between truck ownership count and FICO score, we will refer to a company driver as someone with 0 trucks looking to get their first big rig (or other commercial vehicles such as a dump truck or cement mixer, we finance those too!), an Owner-Operator as 1 or 2 commercial vehicles, and a Fleet Owner as 3 or more commercial vehicles.
Credit Score Comparisons
Of all funded deals and averaging the FICO of all people who had deals funded in 2019 based on the number of trucks they own, we found information which can be found in this graph:
The graph shows that the average FICO score is somewhat correlated with fleet size, but not by much (there is a correlation of .434, for you math nerds out there). This makes sense, as someone who has gone through the financing experience a few times has proven themselves to be a capable lendee who can pay back his obligations, but it is also not the only factor that determines a credit score (others include credit utilization, age of credit, diversification of credit account types, and so forth).
Splitting the funded deals into our three predefined categories, we find:
- Company drivers (or those looking to become owner-operators) (0 trucks in fleet) tend to get terms that they deem agreeable when they have about 673 FICO.
- Owner-operators (1-2 trucks in fleet) find terms of financing agreeable when they have 674 FICO.
- Fleet owners (3 or more trucks in fleet) average out at 691 for their loan terms.
Whether you are a company driver, owner-operator, or a fleet owner, it is clear that the trick to getting a quality loan is not the number of trucks you already have in your fleet, but instead having your FICO above, at the very least, 625. Our lowest data point was an average FICO of 625, and that was for fleet sizes of 22 trucks, showing that the number of trucks you have is not the end-all-be-all determiner of your credit score and ability to secure a loan whose terms work out for you.
Anyone can get a loan, but the higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get a loan with terms (down payment, interest rate, duration, etc.) that works in your favor. As a matter of fact, people with a credit score of 677 or above are three times more likely to get a big rig deal they like than those who are below a 677 FICO credit score. It stands to reason that getting a higher credit score works better for your business. Utilize your credit effectively and prove yourself to be a quality lendee, and not just will your trucking financing endeavors open up to new possibilities, but also better mortgage terms and credit cards with promotional bonuses.
If you are thinking of owning more commercial vehicles than you currently have, you can check out your FICO score for free with TopMark Funding and see your loan terms with no obligation.
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER GREAT TRUCKING ARTICLES
- Trucking in 2020 and Beyond
- What is a Soft Credit Check
- Section 179 Deduction 
- The Credit Score of an Owner-Operator
ABOUT TOPMARK FUNDING
TopMark Funding is a top-rated truck financing and equipment financing company located in Roseville, CA. We specialize in commercial trucking and heavy equipment. Our mission is to become your long-term financial partner by helping you grow your trucking business and fleet.
We’re not here for the short-term, we’re on the long-haul with you!
Learn more about: How to Get Commercial Truck Financing
Fill out the contact form or give us a call at (866) 627-6644. One of our truck financing specialists will contact you as soon as possible to go over your truck lease needs and learn more about you and your business financing goals.