HOW MUCH for CDL Training & How Do I Pay for It?

Last week, we discussed getting a CDL solo versus attending an accredited CDL training school and talked about most choose to get some type of formal training. But, how much will that formal training affect the wallet?

Want More?  Keep reading to take a look at the costs or get caught up on our entire How To Get A CDL series

Truck driving schools can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. Let’s be real -- $8,000 is quite a chunk of money. So as one may imagine, a common question aspiring truckers tend to ask themselves when researching training programs is, “How am I going to pay for CDL training?”

Fortunately, there are a few ways to pay for CDL training, and some are better than others. Today, we’re going to talk four ways students can pay for truck driving school.


Perhaps the most basic, straight-forward way to pay for CDL training is just to foot the bill out of pocket by dipping into a savings account. While this may be a good option for getting the bill out of the way early, most of the time it’s not really feasible for those wanting to get into the trucking industry. Reason being, many people are underemployed or stuck in dead-end jobs prior to entering the trucking industry.  This means they generally don’t have thousands of dollars available to spend on training. 

Taking Out a Loan

If taking money out of savings isn’t an option, some choose to get a small loan through a bank or other financial institution. While this allows students to cover the cost of CDL training immediately, often times the terms of the loan catch up to them in the future. As with most loans, interest rates can be pretty high, so on top of paying back the initial balance, students who take loans out also have to worry about interest and how a loan might affect their credit rating. All too often, taking out a loan for CDL training is just a whole lot of extra stress that new drivers don’t need.

Borrow from Friends/Family

If dipping into savings isn’t an option and a driver would rather avoid taking out a hefty loan with a bank, one may consider borrowing the money from friends or family. The “debt” that would be paid back probably won’t have very strict terms, but would mean crossing into some awkward territory. We’ve all been in that situation of donating some money to someone who didn’t pay it back quick enough (or at all!) for our liking. While borrowing the money from someone may be an option, it has the potential to quickly turn a relationship sour and for that reason it’s best avoided.

Company-Sponsored Program

Last but certainly not least, aspiring truck drivers can pay for CDL training by attending a company sponsored program like the one Driver Solutions offers. Through a CDL training sponsorship, a student is placed with a trucking company that will cover the upfront tuition costs for training. The student can then attend school with little out-of-pocket expense. The student then pays back a small portion of the tuition over the duration of their employment commitment – generally a period of one year. This is a popular option for those looking to pursue trucking who may not have much money lying around to get their start in the industry. It allows them to get started in a truck driving job even if they have little disposable income to work with.

Company sponsored CDL training vs. taking out a loan

Many people can get confused when comparing company sponsored training to taking out a loan with a bank. They are not the same. Yes, the driver is paying a portion back in both options, but it goes a little deeper than that. Let’s take a look…

With a bank loan, an individual will take out a lump sum to pay for the entire tuition – somewhere between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the school. They then make monthly payments plus interest to pay back the sum that they borrowed. Pretty straightforward.

However, with a CDL training sponsorship, the trucking company foots the upfront tuition bill so students can attend trucking school for little out of pocket expense. After beginning their career with the carrier that paid for their training, they pay back a small portion of the tuition by way of payroll deduct for a year.

The two differ in one aspect – with a bank loan, students are responsible for paying back the entire tuition bill, plus interest. But with a CDL training sponsorship, drivers will only pay back a small portion of the overall tuition as long as they stay with the carrier for their one year.

Closing Thoughts

Whatever payment direction a student chooses to pursue is entirely dependent upon their financial situation at the time of trucking school. All payment methods have pros and cons, so it’s up to a driver to do their research and decide the best way for them to pay for trucking school.

Is company sponsored CDL training for you? Take a moment to fill out our online application by clicking the Apply Now button below. Filling out an app does not commit you to anything, but allows you to schedule a time to speak with a Driver Agent about trucking career opportunities.

More on How to Get a CDL

We answer everything you ever wanted to know in our special How to Get a CDL series.  Just click a link below to read the complete article:

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