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Auto Loans

Motorcycle Loans: Best Rates & Lenders

Updated Jan 04, 2024   |   6-min read

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, Go Rollick 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 hog that will make everyone turn, then you could spend upwards of $40,000 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:

Best motorcycle loans

There are a number of online lenders that offer motorcycle financing and make applying for motorcycle loans easy.

Online loans 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 takes just a few minutes to fill out and you can often get approved and funded within just a couple of business days. Here are some of our top picks for the best personal loans:

LightStream (Best for excellent credit)

  • Rates (APR): 7.49% – 16.14%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit score: 660+

LightStream offers motorcycle loans that are easy to apply for and have competitively low interest rates. 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.

  • Credit score category: Good, fair
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Not available
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Late fee: None
  • Discounts: 0.50% interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 144 months

Upgrade (Best for fair credit)

  • Rates (APR): 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $35,000
  • Credit score: 620+

Upgrade’s personal loan application process is easy, and you can check your rates without hurting your credit score. This is a great option for borrowers with bad or fair credit, as well as those that need smaller loans to afford the cost of a motorcycle.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 2.9% – 8%
  • Late fee: $10
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Upstart (Best for thin credit)

  • Rates (APR): 6.12% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $30,000
  • Credit score: 620+

Upstart is an online direct-to-consumer personal loan lender that considers factors other than your credit score when underwriting a loan. It also looks at your occupation and education. It has a lower minimum credit score than other lenders, but higher interest rates and fees. If you’re approved and accept your loan, you can have funds as fast as one business day.

  • Credit score category: Poor, fair, good, and excellent
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as the next day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 10%
  • Late fee: $5 or 15% of payment (whichever is higher)
  • Repayment terms: 36 months or 60 months1

Where to find motorcycle financing

When it comes to figuring out how to finance a motorcycle—you’re in luck! There are a number of different sources of motorcycle financing these days from online motorcycle loans to dealership financing.

Here’s what you need to know to get the best motorcycle loan rates:

Online motorcycle loans

In recent years, more motorcycle lovers have been turning to online personal loans to fund their purchase. They’re quick, easy to apply for, and you don’t have to visit a bank.

While some online lenders specifically offer motorcycle financing, others offer low interest unsecured personal loans that can be used to finance a motorcycle, moped, or scooter, and they have competitive terms to a secured motorcycle loan.

Each of the motorcycle lenders in the previous section offers online motorcycle loans.

Pros

  • Convenient because you can apply online and get funding quickly without visiting a bank.

  • Use it to buy a used motorcycle from another owner in a private sale, which could save you money.

  • You might qualify for better rates or more flexible terms than dealership or manufacturer financing.

  • Often won’t require that you use your bike as security on your loan.

Cons

  • If you have bad credit, getting a low interest rate on your loan might be harder.

  • You can’t take care of all the paperwork at the dealership.

  • You might have to pay more for a nonsecured than a secured loan.

Manufacturer financing

Manufacturers know buyers sometimes struggle with figuring out how to finance a motorcycle. For that reason, many offer financing on motorcycles if you buy them directly from their dealerships.

For example, Harley-Davidson has their own financing arm via Eaglemark Savings Bank. Another motorcycle manufacturer that offers financing is BMW.

Pros

  • You can often finance accessories and protection plans via a manufacturer’s loan.

  • Many manufacturers offer financing deals at different times of the year, including 0% interest for a limited period.

Cons

  • Might charge high interest rates if you have bad credit.

  • 0% interest deals are often on a limited selection of models.

  • Might have shorter repayment terms of 1 to 2 years, meaning higher monthly payments.

  • Often require minimum down payments.

Dealership financing

Dealerships often have a number of different loan options available. Some include in-house motorcycle financing while others are arrangements with external auto loan lenders who give them a commission.

Here’s what you need to know about dealership financing.

Pros

  • Dealership helps you find a lender and do the paperwork.

  • Might offer low starting interest rates on a loan.

  • You might be able to get approved for dealership financing if you’re not approved for manufacturer financing.

Cons

  • Dealerships might get a commission on selling you the loan, making your loan more expensive than going right to the lender.

  • Dealerships might add fees that increase your costs over the life of the loan.

  • Might pressure you to buy immediately rather than shopping around.

How to get the best motorcycle loan rates

If you’re in the market for a motorcycle loan, you’ll want to do what you can to make yourself more attractive to a lender before you apply for one.

Because bikes can be expensive, small differences in the interest rate they offer you can make a huge difference in how much you’ll pay in interest over the life of your loan.

Here are a few things your lender will look at when you apply. If you take steps to improve them, you can get the best motorcycle loan rates.

  • Your credit score: Your credit score is a number from 300 to 850 that is based on your credit history and tells lenders how likely you might be to repay your loan. Before you apply, do what you can to improve your credit score.
  • Your debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income ratio looks at how much you are currently paying towards your debt each month and adds on much you’ll have to pay if you took on the loan you’re applying for. The lender will usually only lend to you if that amount is less that 36% of your monthly income.
  • Your down payment: If you’re getting an unsecured personal loan from an online lender, you might not need to make a down payment. However, some motorcycle loan lenders require a down payment of at least 10%.
  • The quality of the motorcycle: If you’re getting an unsecured personal loan, this won’t matter; but if you’re getting a motorcycle loan where the bike is used as security against the loan, your approval could depend on whether it’s a used or new motorcycle and how old it is. Typically motorcycle lenders will only provide loans for two to seven years on a new bike and less on a used bike because of depreciation concerns, similar to auto loans. If you buy new, it might be easier to get approved via a dealership or manufacturer’s loan. However, if you can’t get approved for the full amount of a new bike, you might be able to get approved for a loan for a second-hand bike or a starter bike instead of a luxury model, since they would be cheaper and more affordable.