Title loans aren’t just limited to cars. Many title loan providers allow you to put other types of vehicle titles up for collateral, including motorcycles. These are similar to other title loans: you’ll get your money fast, but you’ll likely pay APRs well into the triple digits and risk losing your motorcycle.
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How do motorcycle title loans work?
Motorcycle title loans work by using your motorcycle’s title as collateral for a short-term loan. You can typically borrow up to $10,000 depending on your province’s regulations and the value of your motorcycle. The federal government does not regulate title loans.
Motorcycle title loans are available to all credit types, and you don’t necessarily need a job to qualify. But they often come with APRs over 300% and can trigger a cycle of debt that can hurt your credit and personal finances.
How much is my motorcycle worth?
How much your motorcycle is worth depends on several factors, including the model, make, year, kilometres and wear and tear.
You can use websites like Auto Trader Canada to get a rough estimate of how much your bike is worth. However, you’ll need to get it inspected by a professional to get an accurate number. Title lenders typically inspect your vehicle before approving your loan, so you can find out how much it’s worth when you apply.
How do I apply for a motorcycle title loan?
The application process varies depending on your lender but you can generally expect to follow a version of these steps:
A quick check online can give you a ballpark idea of how much your vehicle is worth and ultimately how much you’re able to borrow. You usually can’t borrow against the full value of your vehicle, though most lenders don’t tell you what percentage you’re eligible for until after you apply.
Find a lender near you that you qualify with. When comparing providers, double-check that the lender accepts motorcycle titles as collateral — not all do. When comparing APRs, be sure to consider how long you have to pay it back — the longer the term, the more time there is for interest to add up.
Many title loan providers allow you to start your application by completing a quick form online. It typically asks you to provide your:
Name and contact information (including proof of residence)
Motorcycle year, make and model (some lenders require your bike to be younger than 10 years old)
Proof of title
Proof of insurance
Bank account details
While it’s possible to get a title loan online, it’s far more common for title loan providers to ask you to stop by in person. There, you can submit your documents, if required by the lender leave a copy of your keys, have your vehicle inspected by an expert, sign your loan papers and get your cash.
Since your motorcycle title is used as collateral — not the vehicle itself — you can still drive your bike once you get your loan.
Can I qualify?
Title loans, like other short-term loans, are usually easier to qualify for than a traditional personal loan. However, you generally still need to meet a few requirements:
Have a lien-free motorcycle title. You can’t currently have any loans that use your motorcycle title as collateral and you need to own it outright, usually without owing anything on it.
Have a regular income. You don’t need to be employed to get a title loan, but you need money coming in from another source like government benefits or a pension.
Be the age of majority. You must be at least the age of majority in the province where you live.
Have proof of residence. Some lenders might ask to see a copy of a utility bill, mortgage or lease agreement that shows you live in the province where you’re applying for a loan.
Benefits of motorcycle title loans
From their lax credit requirements to their fast turnaround, here are some of the perks of motorcycle title loans:
Fast funding. Typically you can get your title loan in as little as 30 minutes if you apply in person.
Won’t lose your car. If you rely on your car more, with a motorcycle title loan you won’t risk losing your main form of transportation.
All credit types accepted. Good credit is not required to qualify for a motorcycle title loan.
No job necessary. As long as you have proof of income from government benefits, a pension, alimony or anywhere else, you might still qualify for a title loan.
What to watch out for
Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out a motorcycle title loan:
They’re expensive. Motorcycle title loans typically have APRs in the ballpark of 300%.
Could get trapped in a cycle of debt. Most provinces have laws prohibiting the roll-over or renewing of short-term loans, potentially preventing you from getting caught in a cycle of debt, however this isn’t always the case.
Risk losing your motorcycle. If you can’t pay off your loan, your lender can repossess your motorcycle to cover what you owe.
Application takes time. Unlike with other short-term loan options, you usually can’t complete the full application online. And even if you can, you’ll have to upload photos of your bike and documents, which can be time consuming.
Motorcycle title loans are a fast way to get cash at a slightly lower rate than other short-term loan options. And if you have a car, you don’t risk losing your main source of transportation. However, all title loans are still expensive.
Yes, you can get a title loan using your car as collateral. Like with a motorcycle title loan, you can still drive your car around while you’re paying it back. Check out our guide to auto title loans for more details on how they work.
It’s technically possible to find a title loan when you have no income, but it’s difficult. While you don’t need to be employed to get a title loan, you generally need to have a regular source of money coming in. This can be from retirement or unemployment benefits, disability, child support or anything else you can provide documentation of.
Yes, most lenders require you to provide bank account details as proof of income. Lenders that do accept borrowers without a bank account don’t always advertise it, so you might want to call in advance before starting the application.
Anna Serio is a lead editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business financing. A trusted lending expert and former certified commercial loan officer, Anna's written and edited more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. Her expertise and analysis on personal, student, business and car loans has been featured in publications like Business Insider, CNBC and Nasdaq, and has appeared on NBC and KADN. Anna holds an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and a BA in Creative Writing from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY.
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