How can I pay for training?

By Gus Murray, Driver Recruiter & Special Contributor
Article last updated on 1/8/2008

There are a number of ways that you can pay for CDL training; it just depends on what type of school you choose to attend. If you attend a training program that is run by a public university or college, you may be able to receive financial aid or grants from the government; however, not everyone is qualified for these benefits and most student loans will eventually have to be repaid with interest. Some larger schools also offer in-house financial aid assistance to people who don’t qualify for federal aid, but these are also loans that will pile on interest with time.

Some schools, mostly smaller, private ones, will ask you to pay for your entire tuition out of your own pocket. CDL training tuition at these training programs can be as expensive as $6,000! These schools may also run a credit check and require either a down payment or a cosigner if they don’t feel your credit is strong enough. But who wants to deal with that?

Your best (and least expensive) option is to find a training program that is company-sponsored. With this type of program, you are pre-hired with a trucking company before you start training and the carrier covers the upfront cost of your tuition. These truck driving schools don’t require a down payment and don’t check your credit. If you go out of state to school, some carriers will even provide housing for you and pay you during training to help out with expenses. Even though it’s not free, it’s about the closest to free training as you can get, and you will already have a driving job before you start school. In my opinion, company-paid CDL training is the best option available for new drivers.

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