What Kind of Loan Do You Get for a Motorcycle?
Motorcycle loans are different from car loans, with different interest rates and repayment terms. When buying a new or used motorcycle, there are three different financing options:
- Manufacturer financing: Manufacturer financing is available from some motorcycle companies, such as Harley-Davidson or BMW. Instead of financing through a third-party bank or lender, you get financing directly from the manufacturer. Depending on the company, you may be able to secure financing for new and used bikes. Manufacturer loans are secured by your bike, meaning the maker can take your motorcycle if you fall behind on your payments.
- Motorcycle loans: Motorcycle loans are specialty loans offered by some banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Depending on the lender, they can be secured or unsecured, but unsecured loans tend to have higher interest rates than secured ones. Some motorcycle loans have restrictions on how the money can be used, such as only allowing you to purchase a new motorcycle rather than a used one.
- Personal loan: Personal loans are unsecured loans you take out from banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. They can be used for any major purchase, including home renovations or buying a new or used motorcycle. Personal loans allow you to get money quickly—sometimes within one day—but you’ll pay a higher interest rate than you would with a secured loan.
What Is a Good Credit Score for a Motorcycle Loan?
When you apply for a loan to purchase a motorcycle, lenders will evaluate your application based on your income, credit history, and credit score. Your credit score plays an important role in whether you get approved and what interest rate the lender will give you.
You will typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a motorcycle loan with competitive rates. According to Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, good credit scores range between 670 and 850. However, the lowest-advertised interest rates and most favorable loan terms will be reserved for people with very good to excellent credit.
- 800 to 850: Excellent credit
- 740 to 799: Very good credit
- 670 to 739: Good credit
- 580 to 669: Fair credit
- 300 to 579: Poor credit
Some personal loan lenders will work with people with scores below 670. However, you’ll typically pay a higher interest rate than someone with a higher credit score.
Can I Get a Loan for a Used Motorcycle?
You can get loans for new or used motorcycles. Some manufacturers only offer financing for new models. But others, like Harley-Davidson, have special financing for used motorcycles, too.
If you aren’t eligible for manufacturer financing or want to compare rates from more lenders, you can typically find motorcycle loans and personal loans for used bikes. Used bike loans tend to be unsecured. As a result, some lenders charge higher interest rates and have lower loan maximums.
How We Chose the Best Motorcycle Loans
To find the best motorcycle loans, we researched 18 top lenders, including manufacturer financing options, motorcycle loans, and personal loans. To narrow down the list and identify the top choices, we looked at lenders’ interest rates, available loan amounts, repayment terms, down payment requirements, and necessary credit scores. Our selections for the best motorcycle lenders offered the lowest interest rates and had loan terms of five years or more, often on both new and used bikes.
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