If you’ve spent years dreaming of donning a leather jacket, buying a bike, and taking to the open road, you likely know that fulfilling that dream is going to be costly.
If you’re a beginner, GQ estimates that you can probably find a bike that’s perfect for a new rider without having to pay out more than $5,000 to $10,000. But if you have your heart set on a fancy bike that will make everyone turn, then you’re looking at spending upwards of $20,000 or more.
Many people are turning to motorcycle financing in order to help them complete their purchase. But with all the options available, you might be wondering how to find the best motorcycle loans. Let’s dive in.
On this page:
Online Motorcycle Loan Options
Find a Loan for Motorcycle Financing
Motorcycle loans from $5,000 to $100,000 – Rate Beat Program
- Fixed rate loans from 4.99% APR
- Funds available as soon as the same day
One Application – Up to 4 Loan Offers in Minutes
- Receive online certificate or check within 24 hours
- Use your check to buy the motorcycle you want or use it to refinance your current loan
Loans between $1,000 and $50,000 – Get a decision in seconds
- Rates starting at 7.99% APR
- Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score
There are a number of online lenders that offer motorcycle financing and make applying for motorcycle loans easy. Online lenders can often be a better option when financing a motorcycle than the financing options offered by manufacturers or dealers because they offer more choice around interest rates and term lengths.
The application for online lenders usually take just a few minutes to fill out online and you can often get approved and funded within just a couple of business days.
Online lenders offer a number of different term length options, down payment requirements, and the choice between variable and fixed interest rates. Some will finance any type of motorcycle, whereas others will only finance certain models or years.
It’s important to shop around to get a good deal and to understand the fine print of your loan.
LightStream offers motorcycle loans and personal loans that are easy to apply for and have relatively low interest rates.
It offers longer terms higher borrowing limits than competitors. It’s a good choice if you have good credit or want to repay your motorcycle loan over a longer period for a lower monthly payment.**
- LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
- Minimum credit score: lightstream-auto-64-mincreditscore
- Loan amounts: lightstream-auto-64-amountlow to lightstream-auto-64-amounthigh
- Loan terms: lightstream-auto-64-termlengthrange_m*
- APRs: lightstream-auto-64-alllow% to lightstream-auto-64-allhigh%*
- Fees: None
- Full review: LightStream Personal Loans Review
Freedom Plus allows you to apply for a loan in minutes, get qualified the same day, and get your money within 48 hours. It has a relatively low minimum credit score, which makes its loans accessible to more people.
- LendEDU rating: 3.69 / 5.00
- Minimum credit score: Not disclosed
- Loan amounts: freedomplus-perl-53-amountlow to freedomplus-perl-53-amounthigh
- Loan terms: freedomplus-perl-53-termlengthrange_y
- APRs: From freedomplus-perl-53-alllow to freedomplus-perl-53-allhigh
- Fees: freedomplus-perl-53-origfee origination fee, freedomplus-perl-53-prepayfee prepayment fee
Best Egg is an online lender that offers fixed-rate personal loans. It caters to high-income borrowers with excellent credit. You can get your loan quickly, sometimes within the day.
- LendEDU rating: 3.67/ 5.00
- Minimum credit score: Not disclosed
- Loan amounts: bestegg-perl-54-amountlow to bestegg-perl-54-amounthigh
- Loan terms: bestegg-perl-54-termlengthrange_y
- APRs: bestegg-perl-54-alllow to bestegg-perl-54-allhigh
- Fees: bestegg-perl-54-origfee origination fee
- Full review: Best Egg Personal Loans Review
Upstart is an online peer-to-peer lender that takes into account factors other than just your credit score when underwriting a loan. It also looks at your occupation and education.
It has a lower minimum credit score relative to other lenders, but higher interest rates and fees. If approved, you could receive funds within a day or two.
- LendEDU rating: 3.60/ 5.00
- Minimum credit score: upstart-perl-38-mincreditscore
- Loan amounts: upstart-perl-38-amountlow to upstart-perl-38-amounthigh
- Loan terms: upstart-perl-38-termlengthrange_y
- APRs: upstart-perl-38-alllow% to upstart-perl-38-allhigh%
- Fees: upstart-perl-38-origfee origination fee, upstart-perl-38-prepayfee prepayment fee
- Full review: Upstart Personal Loans Review
Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender that facilitates loans for borrowers with good credit. It offers a quick application process, so might be a good fit if you need cash fast.
- LendEDU rating: 3.23 / 5.00
- Minimum credit score: prosper-perl-39-mincreditscore
- Loan amounts: prosper-perl-39-amountlow to prosper-perl-39-amounthigh
- Loan terms: prosper-perl-39-termlengthrange_y
- APRs: prosper-perl-39-alllow to prosper-perl-39-allhigh
- Fees: Origination fee of between prosper-perl-39-origfee; prosper-perl-39-prepayfee prepayment fee
- Full review: Prosper Personal Loans Review
The first type of motorcycle loans you might consider is manufacturer financing since you will likely hear about it when you go shopping for bikes if you plan on buying one new. The type of financing offered varies greatly between manufacturers.
For example, Harley-Davidson has their own financing arm via Eaglemark Savings Bank and they provide financing with term lengths of between 24 to 72 months. The interest rate they charge borrowers varies depending on their personal financial and credit history, as well as the terms of the loan, but rates start as low as 5.99%. To take out a loan, you’re required to have a 10% down payment. They also allow you to finance additional accessories and protection plans, as well as parts at the same time – which is often one of the benefits of financing your bike via a manufacturer or dealership loan.
Many manufacturers offer motorcycle financing deals at different times of the year, especially when they’re trying to sell more bikes. These deals often include discounts on interest rates or even 0% interest loans. These loans often have low minimum down payments and can be an easy and cheap way to finance your bike. They also make it easier to qualify for these loans since they are trying to use them to sell more bikes. The downside is that if you have bad credit, you might have to pay a rate much higher than the lowest rate advertised.
There are also a few downsides to these low interest loans. The first is that you are often limited in your choices when you opt for a low interest or 0% interest loan deal. Sometimes these deals are only offered on certain models of bikes because they made too many and are trying to sell out their stock. You also often have to forego any discounts or rebates you would have otherwise gotten on the bike if you did not take the 0% or low interest financing deal.
Another downside is that these types of loans sometimes have shorter repayment terms of 12 to 24 months – which means that your monthly payments for your bike will be much higher. For some buyers, that could make these types of loans unaffordable and cause them financial hardship. The upside of the short term length loans is that you will pay less interest over the life of your loan both because they charge less and also because the loan is over a shorter period of time.
The next type of motorcycle financing that you might encounter is dealership financing. Depending on the type of dealership you go to, this can sometimes be the same as manufacturer financing.
Most motorcycle dealerships won’t offer financing themselves, but will refer you to a list of approved lenders. These lenders will likely include the manufacturer’s financing arm, but they will also have a list of third party lenders that they work with.
These lenders are not always the best choice for you. Some of these lenders work with the dealership to provide motorcycle financing for people who are not approved for financing by the manufacturer because they have bad credit or they don’t make enough money. For that reason, these sub-prime or near-prime lenders often offer much higher interest rates then you would be able to qualify otherwise.
One of the ways that dealerships make money is via commissions from pushing these loans. They also use these loans as an enticement to get buyers to spend more money than they can afford. So, you should know how much money you can reasonably afford to spend before walking into a dealership. The last thing you need is to buy a motorcycle you can’t afford on impulse.
One way to do this is to apply for motorcycle financing before going to a dealership so that you know how much you can truly afford and what kind of interest rates you’ll qualify for. You will then know the budget you have to spend on a bike and you won’t get carried away with excitement when you see the expensive models.
Another option is to approach one of the third-party lenders that the dealership recommends and see if you can get a better deal if you deal directly with them. Some lenders charge a premium on loans where they will have to pay a commission to a dealership.
Be careful if the dealers or lenders are offering you short term loans or loans on private label credit cards. These deals sometimes offer low interest rates for a specific period of time, but after a short 12 or 24-month period the rates go up and that makes paying off your debt quite difficult. Short-term loans could also be a problem because they mean a high monthly payment.
A Note About Motorcycle Loans for Private Party Purchases
If you decide to buy your motorcycle off a guy on Craigslist who is offering a much better deal than the dealership is on the same bike, you might be wondering if you’ll still be able to get financing for your bike. The good news is that you can. Many online, traditional lenders, and credit union lenders offer financing on private party bike purchases.
In the case of a private party purchase, you would apply for financing in the normal way with all the details about the bike you want to purchase and the money would be deposited in your bank account to pay for your purchase. You would then pay for the bike in cash.
* Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% higher. If your application is approved, your credit profile will determine whether your loan will be unsecured or secured. 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 7.24% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $309.87. LightStream disclosures here.
** After receiving your loan from us, if you are not completely satisfied with your experience, please contact us. We will email you a questionnaire so we can improve our services. When we receive your completed questionnaire, we will send you $100. Our guarantee expires 30 days after you receive your loan. We reserve the right to change or discontinue our guarantee at any time. Limited to one $100 payment per funded loan. LightStream and SunTrust teammates do not qualify for the Loan Experience Guarantee.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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