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Alternatives to Indian Motorcycle Manufacture and Dealer Financing

Indian Motorcycle is one of the most legendary brands, not just among motorcycles, but in America in general. The company was first introduced in 1901 in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1953, the company went bankrupt, but in 2011 Polaris Industries purchased the company and moved manufacturing to facilities in Iowa and Minnesota.

Polaris has, since 2013, been marketing the classically styled motorcycles the Indian Motorcycle company was so well-known for.

When someone buys an Indian Motorcycle or any other type of motor vehicle, they have multiple financing options. These options are similar to financing a car purchase. Options include dealer financing, manufacturer financing, and banks and credit unions.

While obtaining financing from the motorcycle manufacturer or even the dealer may mean you have access to special deals, in the end, it’s not always the best option.

Secured vs. Unsecured Loans for Motorcycles

Although there are different ways to finance a motorcycle made by Indian or anyone else, there are two very broad categories of loans. These are secured and unsecured personal loans.

A secured loan is one requiring collateral, and with a motorcycle, in most cases that is the bike title. An unsecured loan is one that is considered a personal loan based on the borrower’s credit score and history. Unsecured loans do tend to have higher interest rates because they are riskier for lenders to issue.

With a secured loan, the lender usually has the bike title during the term of the loan.

If someone is ordering a custom bike or they’re buying from a private seller, they may go with an unsecured loan. On the other hand, a secured loan may be what someone utilizes if they’re buying from a dealer. In some cases with a secured loan, people can use another form of collateral to borrow against, such as their home.

Unsecured loans may be a better option for someone with a high credit score, while secured loans may be viable for someone who has a less-than-perfect credit score and history.

One example of a popular motorcycle lending option is the LightStream loan. They offer motorcycle financing with an APR as low as 4.69%* with AutoPay and excellent credit. This loan from LightStream is ideal for someone with good credit who’s looking for a loan that is low-interest and fixed-rate.

Other Methods for Financing a Motorcycle

As was touched on, there are other options for financing a motorcycle aside from a traditional secured or unsecured loan from a third-party financial institution.

Indian Motorcycles as a manufacturer offers some options and specials on a regular basis for people who want to purchase a bike. Some of the specials the company is advertising on their website currently (as of 9/13/2018) include:

  • The 2018 Thunderstroke 111 Financing or Trade-In offer includes no payments and no interest for six months, or 1.99% APR for 60 months. Another option with the same offer is a $1,000 trade-in with the purchase of a new 2018 Heavyweight Indian Motorcycle.
  • The Honoring Heroes offer includes a $1,000 customer cash bonus on the purchase of a 2018 Heavyweight Indian Motorcycle.

These offers are short-term and subject to change. Most dealers will offer their own regular specials also. With that being said, manufacturer and dealer specials may not always be the best long-term option. It is important to know the fine print, such as what the APR and payments will be after the introductory period. Sometimes it’s better to skip these advertised deals.

You can also consider using a credit card to purchase a motorcycle, but in most cases, this is going to mean you pay the highest interest rates.

Deciding How to Finance Your Indian Motorcycle

When you’re going to finance an Indian motorcycle or any other brand of motorcycle, begin by seeing what special deals are offered by the dealer or the manufacturer. Then, compare those to what options may be available to you if you were to get financing from a bank or third-party lender, including secured and unsecured loans. Specifics to consider include interest rates beyond the introductory period, fees, and term lengths.

Sometimes motorcycle loans, such as what’s offered through LightStream, are the best option since they are specific to this kind of purchase, but this may not be the case for every buyer.

>> Read More: Is it better to finance a car through a dealer or bank?

*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.