Compare financing and loan options for your motorcycle to enjoy the open road.
Once you’re ready to buy that motorcycle you’ve been wishing for, compare loans to find the best price. Read our guide to find the best rates and get advice to help you make a more knowledgable decision.
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What is a motorcycle loan and how does it work?
Like other loans, motorcycle loans offer unsecured and secured financing that comes with fixed or variable interest, depending on your creditworthiness. Loan terms can range between one and seven years.
Secured loans can offer lower rates by using your motorcycle as collateral. Other lenders allow for higher loan amounts to cover things like insurance, gear and registration.
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6 questions to ask comparing motorcycle loans
When comparing your loan options, ask the following questions:
- What loan amount do you need? Check the minimum and maximum loan amounts when comparing your motorcycle loan options and only borrow as much as you need.
- What is the loan term? Fixed-rate loan usually offer terms between one and five years, while variable-rate loans typically have terms between one and seven years.
- Can you qualify for a secured or unsecured loan? Secured loans use your motorcycle as collateral to protect the lender in case of default. Unsecured loan, on the other hand require a healthy credit score and can offer larger loans with flexible payments.
- What interest rate will you get? Your interest rate is determined by your credit history and whether you choose a fixed or variable loan. Variable rates can fluctuate while fixed rates are set for the life of the loan.
- What fees will you pay? Lenders can charge fees upfront, or ongoing fees to keep you loan active. Read the fine print and terms of your loan before you sign on.
- Can I make extra payments? One way to bring down interest on your loan is to make extra payments when you can afford it. If you feel like you’ll be able to pay back the debt early, make sure your lender allows this or doesn’t charge any fees.
Before you apply, think about the actual cost of the loan — including all the fees and interest. Calculate your payments and consider the length of time it’ll take to pay back the loan to see if it realistically fits in your budget.
How much do motorcycles cost?
What you pay for your motorcycle depends on if you want something new, used, high-performance or good for a beginner. You could find a used bike online for $1,000 or you could buy a brand new Ducati for more than $20,000.
However, the cost of riding gear, license and registration, plus insurance and other upfront costs can quickly add up. Some lenders may let you borrow more than the price of your motorcycle to cover these costs. However, other lenders may restrict your loan to the cost of your bike. Always check these terms before you apply.
How to choose your motorcycle
When you’re shopping for your bike, consider the following:
- The type of bike you want. There’s a bike out there for everybody: Harley Davidson for cruisers, Ducati if your looking for speed, BMW touring bikes for longer travelers or even scooters for putting around the city.
- The strength of the engine. When looking at motorcycles, consider your skill level. Motorcycles with higher CCs have more powerful engines and are suited for skilled riders — if you’re just starting out, 250 CCs will suffice.
- New or used bike. Consider the long-term commitment and if you’ll be riding for the next couple of years. If you’re buying your first motorcycle, consider buying a used bike, and then upgrade when you’re sure its a hobby you’ll stick with.
- Test your ride. Like when you buy a car, take the bike for ride before you buy it. Think about how it handles, the acceleration and if there are any weird noises.
- Look at the title and service history. By reviewing the title history, you can determine if there were any recalls or major complaints about the make and model you’re looking at. The service history can provide you with a detailed list of maintenance to ensure the motorcycle was properly maintained.
How you can apply for a new bike loan
Keep in mind that personal loans differ between lenders. Once you’ve done your research and found the right loan for you, you’re ready to apply.
- Older than 18 years old
- A US resident or citizen
- Have good credit
Other required documents
- Social Security number and valid photo ID
- Personal information, contact details and home address
- Employment details and income information
- Financial details such as assets, debts and liabilities
- Documentation proving income if you’re self-employed
- Registration details of the bike you intend to buy