Purchasing a motorcycle can be an exciting experience, but it’s also a big financial decision. That’s why it’s wise to take your time when considering all the motorcycle financing options so you can make a smart choice.
If you’re not paying for your motorcycle with cash, you have plenty of other options available to get the funds you need. So whether you’re using your new bike as your main mode of transportation or taking some weekend joyrides, you can rest easy knowing you’ve found a deal that works for your wallet.
You generally can’t use an auto loan when financing a motorcycle, but you do have several options. Here are the four most common ways to pay for a motorcycle:
- Motorcycle loans – Motorcycle loans are loans offered by some banks, credit unions, and online lenders that are specifically intended for financing a motorcycle.
- Personal loans – Personal loans are unsecured loans that can be used for any major purchase. Some people used them to consolidate debt, others use them for home renovation, but they can also be used to purchase a new motorcycle.
- Dealership financing – Sometimes dealerships will have their own lending partners, or you can even get a motorcycle loan directly through the dealership itself.
- Manufacturer financing – Similar to financing at a dealership, manufacturers also partner with financial institutions to offer motorcycle financing.
Let’s take a quick look at each one to see the differences.
Best Motorcycle Loans Online
To find the best motorcycle loans, we researched some top lenders, including manufacturer and dealer financing options, banks, credit unions, and online lenders.
Some lenders allow you to apply for loans specifically for motorcycles. Financing options are available for all credit types, and a few even offer discounts on your annual percentage rate (APR) if you’re already a member of the financial institution.
LendingTree lets you compare rates and loan terms from multiple lenders online by simply using a single application form. Motorcycle loans are available for cruisers, sports bikes, touring, dual sports, scooters, and mopeds.
How much can you borrow for a motorcycle loan?
Loan amounts start at $1,000, and there’s no upper limit on the maximum loan amount. Qualification entails a credit check and providing proof of income. Minimum credit scores vary depending on the lender, so there’s no hard-fast rule on what credit score you need to be eligible.
In fact, LendingTree even advertises that it can work with borrowers who have less than perfect credit. However, the lower your credit scores, the higher the APR you can expect to pay. Your existing debt-to-income ratio may also impact how large of a loan you can finance through LendingTree.
LendingTree also offers a quick and easy prequalification process that gives you up to five loan offers. You’ll need to supply your social security number, motorcycle make, year, and estimated purchase price.
Altra Federal Credit Union offers low interest rates and unique discounts for members looking for a motorcycle loan. There are several easy ways to become an Altra FCU member.
Altra’s motorcycle loan rates are competitive, starting as low as 1.99% APR, and are based on your credit score. This takes into account several discounts, including the best rate discount if you have an Altra Checking account with direct deposit and eStatements.
You can get an additional discount if you have an existing Altra credit card. Finally, you can get another discount if you refinance your motorcycle loan from another lender.
Loan terms with Altra can be as long as 84 months. Your exact loan term, interest rate, and monthly payment are based on the following factors:
- Altra account relationships
- Credit history
- Selected payment method
- Vehicle information
- Age and mileage of the motorcycle
You can get started at a branch or can call or apply online at any time.
Best Personal Loans for Motorcycles
Most unsecured personal loans offer motorcycle financing, even if it’s not specifically branded as a motorcycle loan. Many lenders, consider this kind of loan a “major purchase.” You can use the loan funds just as you would for something like a wedding or a vacation.
One of the benefits of using an unsecured personal loan to buy your motorcycle is that you typically get your funds deposited straight into your bank account. That helps you negotiate with the seller because you’re essentially a cash buyer. It also gives you more options for buying a used motorcycle.
Additionally, you can use the money to finance gear as well. Just be sure to calculate how much you expect to spend on accessories, so you can include them in your loan request amount.
Here are a few of our favorite lenders offering personal loans for motorcycles, as well as a complete listing of all of our recommended online lenders.
The minimum loan amount for a FreedomPlus personal loan is $10,000, so this may be a good choice if you plan on buying a motorcycle.
Interest rates start as low as 4.99% and go as high as 29.99%. Depending on your credit score, you may pay an origination fee of up to 5%, although it could be lower if you have a strong loan application. You’ll also need an annual income of at least $30,000 to qualify for a FreedomPlus loan.
Best Egg offers competitive interest rates for borrowers with excellent credit and high incomes, starting as low as 5.99%.
While many borrowers use this online lender for debt consolidation, you can also get a personal loan for your motorcycle. The minimum loan amount is $2,000, which is a good starting point if you’re looking for a used or budget-friendly ride.
Plus, after you’ve had your Best Egg loan for six months, you can apply for a second loan if you need it. To qualify for additional financing, you need to keep your outstanding debt with this lender under $50,000. Use their loan calculator to figure out your approximate monthly payments and APR before you apply.
Upstart loans start at just $1,000, so if you’re on a tighter budget for your motorcycle, this lender gives you the flexibility you need.
However, interest rates are a bit higher, starting at 7.46% and going up to 29.99%. To be eligible for an Upstart loan, your credit score should be at least 620.
They do use alternative approval factors, also considering things like your work history and educational background. So if you need some new wheels after graduation but don’t want to get something as expensive as a car, motorcycle financing through Upstart could be a good choice.
Both dealerships and manufacturers typically offer financing for the motorcycles they sell. Just be sure to compare offers in advance of signing on the dotted line to ensure it’s the most competitive loan you qualify for.
There are a few considerations to consider for either dealership or manufacturer financing. Here’s what to think about for each one.
Dealerships typically partner either with a manufacturer or an external lender to finance your motorcycle purchase. While they may have fewer standards than other lenders, their interest rates tend to be higher. Plus, you’re adding a middleman, which generally adds to the price you’ll pay over time because one more person is getting a cut from your deal.
Still, dealerships often run promotions that may work out to your advantage. So, it’s wise to shop around and not rush a purchase, so you can find a good offer.
Manufacturers oftentimes partner with one specific bank or credit union to help customers finance their motorcycles. These rates can be competitive, but you’ll likely find that the lowest motorcycle loan rates are reserved for more expensive bikes and shorter repayment terms.
Again, this is why it’s important to plan ahead and compare your loan options to make sure you get the best interest rate and loan terms for the bike you want.
Here’s a list of motorcycle manufacturers that offer in-house financing:
- Harley-Davidson partners with Eaglemark Savings Bank.
- Kawasaki partners with Citi Retail Services, Synchrony Bank, and Sheffield Financial.
- Ducati uses Ducati Financial Services.
- Triumph partners with FreedomRoad Financial.
- Yamaha partners with WebBank.
- Honda uses Honda Financial Services.
- BMW uses BMW Financial Services.
- Suzuki partners with Sheffield Financial.
- Indian partners with Evergreen Bank Group.
- Aprilia partners with Sheffield Financial.
- KTM partners with FreedomRoad Financial and Synchrony Financial.
Motorcycle Loans vs. Auto Loans: What’s the Difference?
Most lenders do not classify a motorcycle as an eligible type of vehicle for a traditional auto loan. That means you may need to look beyond traditional auto lenders to get a loan for a motorcycle.
Because motorcycles are generally considered recreational vehicles, you may find them eligible under recreational loans—the same kind you’d get for a boat or RV.
Expect to find motorcycle loan rates slightly higher than auto loans, regardless of the type of financing you choose. Depending on the lender you select, the loan term may also vary.
The max for motorcycle loans is generally around 72 months (6 years), while most auto lenders let you finance a car up to 84 months (7 years). The exact details, of course, depend on both your lender and your chosen bike.
Some lenders allow for accessories to be included in the loan, while others do not. If you want any of these add-ons, figure out how you intend to pay for them ahead of time. This may be something you’ll want to consider when selecting a financing option to make sure you can pay for everything you need and get on the road right away.
Bad Credit Motorcycle Loans
A poor credit score will limit your options when it comes to getting a motorcycle loan. You will most likely be dealing with higher interest rates if you’re able to get approved, but you still have options.
Check out our Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit. Some banks and credit unions also offer motorcycle loans for people with bad credit. You may also be able to get a motorcycle loan from one of the loan providers below.
Finding the best motorcycle loan doesn’t need to be a stressful process. There are countless options available to get the right kind of motorcycle financing you need. So, before you go into the dealership, research some options, so you can go in with as much information as possible. Once you find the best motorcycle loan rates, you’ll be ready to hop on your new motorcycle and enjoy the ride with total peace of mind.