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Best Motorcycle Loans

We reviewed motorcycle loans to help you choose the best lender

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If you’re in the market for a new or used motorcycle, you may be considering a motorcycle loan. These loans may be secured loans, meaning the lender can repossess your motorcycle if you miss payments, or unsecured loans, which means they can’t. 

There are so many loans out there for new and used motorcycle purchases with an array of terms available and APRs based on your credit score. The process can be a little confusing.

To help take some of the mystery out of applying for and receiving a motorcycle loan, we analyzed offerings from more than 20 lenders before deciding on the top five. We looked at interest rates, loan lengths, credit requirements, and other factors when analyzing each option. Read on to find a loan that's right for you.

The 5 Best Motorcycle Loans of 2022

Best Overall : Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)


Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

 Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

Why We Picked It

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) is our top pick for motorcycle loans because it offers some of the lowest APRs we could find on both new and used motorcycles. Plus you can borrow up to the lesser of 125% of the NADA retail book value or purchase price. DCU also offers financing for off-road motorcycles and refinancing options. Loan terms extend up to 60 months.

The one caveat is that you must become a DCU member. If you live in an eligible Massachusetts community or work for a qualifying employer, you automatically qualify for membership. Others can join by becoming a member of a qualifying organization for as little as $10. 

You can apply for a loan before joining the credit union, so you won’t have to join a qualifying organization unless you’re approved. There are no application fees for this secured motorcycle loan. APRs start as low as 4.75% for street motorcycles and 9.10% for off-road motorcycles as of July 2022.

Company Overview

Digital Federal Credit Union, founded in 1979, is a credit union based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. You don’t need to live near a branch to get a motorcycle loan through DCU. Half of their members never use a DCU branch.

Membership is required to finance your motorcycle through DCU, but you can apply even if you're not a member. You'll just have to join through one of their qualifying organizations if you're approved. This will cost you as little as $10.

DCU looks at your entire credit profile before approving or denying your application and doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score required. You may have to provide a sales agreement, title information, and signed loan documents before DCU will FedEx you a check for the loan amount. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low APRs

  • Borrow up to 125% of the lesser of the NADA value or purchase price

  • Terms up to 60 months

Cons
  • Must be a DCU member

Runner-Up, Best Overall : LightStream


LightStream

LightStream

Why We Picked It

Our runner-up for best motorcycle loan goes to LightStream, an online lender owned by Truist. We chose it because LightStream only charges you interest based on the APR you qualify for. There aren’t any prepayment penalties, administrative fees, or origination fees, plus you won't need any vehicle-related paperwork since LightStream offers personal loans rather than secured motorcycle loans. But it's important to note that people with fair to excellent credit have the best chance of approval.

Rates start as low as 5.24% APR as of October 2022 but excellent credit and auto-pay is required to qualify. Otherwise, rate ranges are 0.50% higher than the APRs shown on its website, which can end up as high as 11.89% without auto-pay. Loan terms range from 24 months to 84 months* for loans of $5,000 and up. The online application process is fast and funds can be disbursed within 24 hours as long as the next day is a business day.

If you live in Florida, you will have to pay documentary stamp taxes.

Company Overview

LightStream is an online lender owned by Truist offering personal loans for a variety of purposes, including motorcycle purchases and refinances. We chose LightStream as runner-up, best overall motorcycle lender because of their fast funding time and transparent APR disclosures.

More than 20,000 LightStream customers gave the company’s loans an average review rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Customers reported fast loan disbursement times and a quick application process.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Solid APRs

  • Terms range from 24 to 84 months*

  • No vehicle-related paperwork required

  • Good customer reviews

Cons
  • Florida residents must pay documentary stamp taxes

  • Borrowers with poor credit may not be approved

Best for Bad Credit : Avant


Avant

 Avant

Why We Picked It

Avant made our top pick for the best bad credit motorcycle loans because they lend money to those with credit scores between 600 and 700. 

They offer personal loans from $2,000 to $35,000. You can use the funds for anything you wish, including a motorcycle purchase or refinance. Their APRs range from 9.95% to 35.95%, and loan lengths fall in the 12- to 60-month range. It's important to note that Avant charges up to a 4.75% administrative fee for issuing the loan.

The application process is straightforward. It requires employment, salary, and monthly expense information. You won’t need a sales agreement or title to get your funds disbursed. Checking if you qualify for a loan doesn’t impact your credit score, and borrowed funds can be received as soon as the next business day. 

Company Overview

Avant, founded in 2012, is an online personal loan lender. They have helped 800,000 everyday people get needed credit.

Customers gave Avant average review ratings of 4.7 out of 5 stars on third-party sites. Loan applicants reported a speedy application process and helpful customer service agents.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers loans for credit scores between 600 and 700

  • Terms range from 12 to 60 months

  • Solid customer reviews

Cons
  • Charges a 4.75% administrative fee

Best for Manufacturer’s Financing : Harley-Davidson


Harley-Davidson

 Harley-Davidson

Why We Picked It

We chose Harley-Davidson as the best motorcycle loan for manufacturer’s financing because it offers new and used motorcycle loans for purchases at its dealerships as well as private-party financing on used Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The motorcycle brand provides loans through Eaglemark Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Credit Corp.

Depending on the loan you choose, terms can stretch as long as 84 months. APRs can be as low as 4.75% for rider training graduates that fall in the highest credit tier if the loan term is 60 months or less. Military members may also qualify for reduced rates, flexible term options, and a $0 down payment.

You don’t need to pick out a motorcycle before applying for financing. A loan decision can be made in minutes, and all financing is facilitated by the dealership, even if you apply online. This includes private-party financing. If you don’t have a dealership nearby, this could present issues, as both the buyer and seller must visit a Harley-Davidson location to finalize financing. 

They do not specify a minimum credit rating required, but higher credit scores qualify for better loan terms. You must have a photo ID, proof of motorcycle insurance, and any additional documents requested in your credit decision to finish the financing process. 

Company Overview

Harley-Davidson, an iconic motorcycle manufacturer, provides motorcycle financing through Eaglemark Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Credit Corp.

The company often advertises special financing deals on its new motorcycles and APR discounts for rider training graduates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lower APRs for rider training program graduates

  • Military members may qualify for lower rates and flexible terms

  • You don't have to pick out a motorcycle to apply for financing

Cons
  • For third-party financing, both buyer and seller must transact in a Harley-Davidson dealership

Best for Military and Veterans : USAA


USAA

USAA 

Why We Picked It

USAA made the cut as our choice for the best motorcycle loan for military and veterans because of its ability to handle unique situations military members face.

The caveat is that you must be a USAA member to apply for a USAA motorcycle loan. You can qualify if you’re a U.S. military member, veteran, or a pre-commissioned officer. Spouses and children of USAA members also qualify.

USAA motorcycle loans can finance new and used motorcycles, scooters, and new off-road dirt bikes. APRs begin as low as 7.34%, including a 0.25% auto-pay discount, and loan terms go up to 72 months. You must finance at least $5,000 to qualify for 12- to 48-month terms, $10,000 to $15,000 for 60-month terms, and $15,000 or more for 72-month terms. The maximum loan amount is $20,000.

Additionally, the loan-to-value ratio must be 90% or lower. They have no minimum credit score requirement and look at your entire financial picture before approving or denying your application.

You’ll need a signed contract with a dealership or title information from a private party. USAA requires you to sign loan documents and sends a check to you or the previous owner’s lender by FedEx, which takes one to three business days. 

Company Overview

USAA, founded in 1922, is a financial services and insurance company focused on meeting the needs of military members, veterans, and their families.

To qualify for the company's financial products, you must be a USAA member, which means you must be a U.S. military member, veteran, or pre-commissioned officer, or a spouse or child of a USAA member.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low APRs

  • Terms up to 72 months

  • No minimum credit score

Cons
  • Loan-to-value ratio must be 90% or lower

  • Must be a USAA member to qualify

  • $20,000 loan maximum

Final Verdict

When it comes to financing a motorcycle, you'll want a lender with good rates, a solid reputation for customer service, and flexible loan terms.

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) fit the bill for us as our best overall motorcycle lender, but your mileage may vary. If you've got bad credit, we suggest you check out Avant. If an exceptional customer experience is a must-have for you, we recommend LightStream. Harley Davidson tops our list for manufacturer's financing. And if you're an active-duty or retired military service member, we suggest USAA.

These top lenders will get you out on the open highway in no time.

Questions & Answers

How Do Motorcycle Loans Differ From Car Loans?

Motorcycle and car loans have a few fundamental differences. For example, not all motorcycle loans are secured loans, while most car loans are. And the unsecured loans you can take out for a motorcycle usually have higher interest rates because the lender takes more risk.

Motorcycles aren’t generally a person’s primary transportation, so the likelihood of defaulting on a motorcycle loan is higher than a car loan. This pushes interest rates higher than a typical car loan and may result in stricter lending requirements. Thankfully, motorcycles are often less expensive than cars, resulting in lower loan amounts and shorter loan lengths.

Can I Get a Loan for a Used Motorcycle?

You can usually get used motorcycle loans. The specific details will vary based on the lender you choose. Some lenders have minimum loan amounts that may not be met when buying older motorcycles while other lenders may limit the motorcycle to a particular model year age. Getting a used motorcycle loan isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but paying for a motorcycle with cash could save you interest payments and any other fees.

What’s a Good Credit Score for a Motorcycle Loan?

An excellent credit score will help you qualify for the best rates. It’s still possible to get motorcycle loans with lower credit scores, such as 600. You should expect to pay a higher interest rate on your loan, though. 

APRs should decrease as your score increases into the 700s and 800s, assuming you meet all other criteria.

How Much Do Motorcycle Loans Cost?

Traditional motorcycle loans normally only require paying interest on the amount borrowed. APRs vary from lender to lender, and your credit score plays a big role in getting the best possible rate. People with less-than-ideal credit may have to pay an APR of 10% or higher.

Borrowers who take out personal loans to purchase a motorcycle may have to pay administrative or origination fees based on the amount borrowed. Interest rates on personal loans are usually higher than traditional motorcycle loans, too. Read the application and loan terms carefully before applying to see what fees you may have to pay.

How We Chose the Best Motorcycle Loans

We looked at over 20 lenders before deciding on the five best motorcycle loans. Lenders considered included traditional banks, online lenders, personal loan lenders, and credit unions. We examined APRs, loan amounts, loan features, loan lengths, eligibility to apply for loans, discounts, and credit criteria required when making our selections.

All of the loans selected offered competitive APRs and loan lengths, had a simple application process, were available to a variety of borrowers, and had solid reputations among customers. 

*Lightstream Disclosure: Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $300.00.

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