Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial
research influence how products appear on a page.
Personal Loans

Horse Loans: Find Equine Financing for Your Needs

Americans love horses—enough to provide nearly 4 million of them with their own private stalls. But horses aren’t cheap, even if they’re just for fun. 

Horses owned for simple recreational pleasure can set you back $2,000 to $8,000. But if you want to buy a horse for hunting, jumping, or showing, you can easily drop anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. And a racehorse like Seabiscuit? You’ll spend millions. 

That’s before the costs of caring for a horse year-round. You might need a horse loan to help make your dreams of horse ownership a reality. Keep reading to find out what options you have to pay for a horse, the best lenders offering horse loans, and more.

How can you pay for a horse?

You have three options to finance the purchase of a horse:

  1. Seller financing. It may be possible for the owner to take installment payments based on a contract they and the buyer agree to.  
  2. Lease to own. With the lease-to-own option, you make payments each month that go toward the purchase price. 
  3. Personal loans. Personal loans are also available. Take a look at these lenders offering personal loans for horses. 

Four lenders offering horse loans

Follow our guide below to find the best lender suitable for your needs.

LenderBest forRates (APR)
LightStreamExcellent credit7.49% – 25.49%
SoFiGood credit8.99% – 29.99%
UpgradeFair credit8.49% – 35.99%

Credible – Best marketplace

LendEDU rating: 5.0 out of 5

  • One-stop marketplace for various horse loan options
  • User-friendly platform is easy to navigate
  • See prequalified rates1

Credible earns its spot as the top choice for a marketplace with its user-friendly platform that connects borrowers with an extensive range of horse loan options. What sets Credible apart is the breadth of options available.

Real-time quotes instantly allow borrowers to compare prequalified rates and terms from various lenders, empowering them with the knowledge to make well-informed decisions. This feature benefits individuals looking to finance their horse purchase by enabling them to sift through multiple prequalified rates to find the most suitable loan.

LightStream – Best for excellent credit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Low interest rates for borrowers with excellent credit
  • Flexible loan terms for horse financing
  • Funds approved loans within 24 hours

For borrowers with excellent credit scores, LightStream stands out as a solid choice for low interest rates and no fees. This can lead to significant savings over the life of a loan, making high-quality horse purchases more accessible. Beyond saving money, LightStream appeals to experienced borrowers with its flexible loan terms, which can be adjusted to match the specific financial situations and needs of the borrowers. 

The quick funding process is another hallmark of LightStream’s service, ensuring that once approved, borrowers can access the funds to move forward with their purchase without delay. These features make LightStream an attractive option for those who have maintained a strong credit history and seek efficiency and affordability in their borrowing experience.

LightStream doesn’t offer the option to prequalify with a soft credit pull that doesn’t affect your credit. It requires a formal application and hard credit check, so we think this lender is best for borrowers who are confident they’ll be approved.

SoFi – Best for good credit

LendEDU rating: 5.0 out of 5

  • Competitive rates for borrowers with good credit
  • Free access to personalized financial advice
  • No origination or prepayment fees

SoFi distinguishes itself by catering to borrowers with good credit scores through competitive rates and a suite of financial advisory services. This combination is advantageous for individuals looking to finance their horse purchase; it not only makes the loans affordable but provides them with expert guidance to optimize their financial health. 

The absence of origination fees and prepayment penalties enhances SoFi’s appeal, removing barriers to loan access and repayment flexibility. Borrowers appreciate the straightforwardness and potential savings, making SoFi an attractive option for those who value both cost efficiency and access to financial advice.

Upgrade – Best for fair credit

LendEDU rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Accessible loan options for fair credit scores
  • Free credit health tools for consumers
  • Transparent pricing and no hidden fees

Upgrade targets borrowers with fair credit scores, a group that might find it challenging to secure loans with favorable terms elsewhere. Upgrade’s commitment to transparency is evident in its clear communication of loan terms and conditions, ensuring borrowers understand their obligations and the costs involved. 

The accessibility of free credit health tools empowers consumers to improve their credit scores and manage their finances more effectively, fostering a relationship built on trust and mutual growth. This supportive approach, coupled with the company’s dedication to serving a wide range of credit profiles, makes Upgrade a standout option for those with fair credit seeking to navigate the loan process with confidence and clarity.

How does a horse loan work? 

A horse loan is a personal loan you qualify for with your income, credit history, and an appropriate debt-to-income ratio. The basic process involves an application, verification, approval, and disbursement of funds. 

What can I use the funds for?

Once approved, the lender will send the funds to you to use any way you want: for tack, veterinary care, farriers, feed, training, vaccinations, boarding fees, and more. 

What terms can you get on a horse loan?

Most personal loans are made for terms between one and seven years. Maximum loan amounts depend on your credit profile, but some lenders offer personal loans for horses as high as $100,000. 

Because the loan is unsecured (i.e., you don’t have to put your home up as collateral to get the loan), the interest rate tends to be higher than a home equity loan or other secured loan.

As of March 2024, rates range from 7.49% to 35.99%. 

How much will I get from a horse loan?

Ongoing expenses will eclipse the actual cost of the horse, so you may want to apply for more than the cost of the horse. To get an idea of how much you’ll qualify for, start with prequalification, which many personal loan lenders offer. 

Prequalification means the lender doesn’t pull a hard credit check and can tell you how much you’ll likely qualify for, what terms you’ll be offered, and what interest rate you’ll get.

How to get a loan for a horse 

To determine eligibility for a horse loan, your lender will look at your credit score, credit usage, payment history, loan amount, and loan term. A strong credit history and low levels of debt will qualify you for the best loan terms; however, if your credit isn’t perfect, you still may be able to qualify for a loan. 

The process for application looks like this:

Step 1: Prequalify 

Submit your information to a few lenders to see what rates, terms, and amounts you qualify for. This can help you get an idea of the costs and terms of a horse loan. 

Prequalification can also help you compare offers among lenders. Shopping around is crucial with personal loans because the terms can vary so much. 

If you’re not seeing favorable terms, you may want to check your credit score and report. If you see something negative, you might be able to fix it so you qualify for better terms. 

Step 2: Apply

After prequalification, you’ll select the loan terms closest to what you want and submit a full application. The lender will pull your credit at this stage

 Step 3: Close your loan

Gather documents to verify information from your application. You may need:

  • Identification 
  • Proof of income
  • Employment information
  • Monthly mortgage or rent amount

The process is straightforward. After your identity, income, and other information are verified, you’ll close the loan and get your funds. 

Step 4: Receive your funds

You should be able to get your money within a day after your information is verified. Personal loans are flexible. You can typically use the funds how you want, whether it’s for a horse trailer or the ongoing costs of owning a horse.

Pros and cons of using a horse loan 

It’s helpful to evaluate the pros and cons of using a loan to buy a horse and other equipment.


  • You won’t have your finances entangled with the seller in a lease-to-own or seller financing arrangement.

  • No need to wait until you save thousands of dollars.

  • Loan funding is fast and can sometimes take place the same business day.

  • Borrowers with a range of credit histories may qualify.

  • On-time payments can help you build credit.

  • You’ll likely enjoy lower interest rates with a personal loan than you would buying a horse with a credit card.


  • High interest rate, especially if your credit is less than perfect.

  • You’re still on the hook for the loan no matter what happens to your horse.

  • Harm your credit score if you default on the loan.

  • You’ll have ongoing costs for the horse as well as a loan payment.

Our expert’s advice: Considerations

Erin Kinkade


First, I recommend determining your “why” for purchasing a horse. Is it a business venture you intend to eventually earn income, or do you already earn income from owning an equine business? If it is to establish or build the business, it’s important to identify whether it’s a need by referring to your business plan or from other factors, such as a horse becoming injured or passing away unexpectedly. If the horse loan is to purchase a horse for leisure, this sounds like a fun idea, but be sure you take all expenses into consideration in addition to the loan, such as vet insurance, boarding, buying land, a truck, and a trailer. If you realize this is more than you expected having a horse as a pet, consider forgoing the lending and look into other options, such as horse riding lessons or group classes offered in your area.

Alternatives to using an equine loan

If your heart is set on owning a horse but you don’t want the risks associated with a personal loan, you have other options.

Ownership sharing

Ownership sharing is when you own a horse jointly with another person who shares the cost of purchase and maintenance. The share of ownership depends on each person’s investment—if a horse costs $10,000, for example, and you each put in $5,000, you will have equal ownership.

Rent the horse

If all you’re looking for is to be able to ride now and then, consider renting a horse. Many farms will allow you to rent their horses; in some cases, you will board and care for the horse yourself. In other situations, you’ll rent time with the horse at the farm where it lives.

Home equity loan

You could also look into a home equity loan or home equity line of credit for your horse purchase. These loan products can have lower interest rates than you’d get with a personal loan. The biggest drawback is that it’s not the horse that’s at risk if you default—it’s your home.


How much of a down payment do you need for a horse?

The down payment for a horse depends on the price of the horse and the lender’s terms. Personal loan lenders, including those mentioned above, don’t require a down payment.

Are horse loans secured and unsecured loans?

Horse loans can be both. If it’s a secured loan, the horse itself might serve as collateral. Unsecured loans don’t require any collateral and are based on the borrower’s creditworthiness.

How do I choose the right horse loan lender?

When choosing a horse loan lender, consider your financial circumstances, the lender’s interest rates, loan terms, and customer reviews. Always opt for a reputable lender that caters to your specific needs and financial capacity.

Is horse insurance required if I have a horse loan?

While not always required, some lenders may require horse insurance to secure the loan. Insurance can protect your investment and the lender’s interests in an unfortunate incident involving the horse. Personal loan lenders generally don’t require horse insurance because you can use the loan for whatever you please.

Recap: Lenders offering horse loans

LenderBest forRates (APR)
LightStreamExcellent credit7.49% – 25.49%
SoFiGood credit8.99% – 29.99%
UpgradeFair credit8.49% – 35.99%

1 Prequalified rates are based on the information you provide and a soft credit inquiry. Receiving prequalified rates does not guarantee that the Lender will extend you an offer of credit. You are not yet approved for a loan or a specific rate. All credit decisions, including loan approval, if any, are determined by Lenders, in their sole discretion. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates from Lenders may differ from prequalified rates due to factors which may include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in your personal credit circumstances; (ii) additional information in your hard credit pull and/or additional information you provide (or are unable to provide) to the Lender during the underwriting process; and/or (iii) changes in APRs (e.g., an increase in the rate index between the time of prequalification and the time of application or loan closing. (Or, if the loan option is a variable rate loan, then the interest rate index used to set the APR is subject to increases or decreases at any time). Lenders reserve the right to change or withdraw the prequalified rates at any time.