Motorcycle title loans
If you own your motorcycle outright, you could put it up as collateral on a loan — but these loans can be expensive.
A vehicle title loan is when you put your car’s title up as collateral. And you can do this with a motorcycle title as well.
While you may get your cash fast, you’re likely to pay an APR well into the triple digits. And if you can’t repay the loan, you risk losing your motorcycle.
How a motorcycle title loan works
Motorcycle title loans — sometimes called motorcycle title pawns — work by using your motorcycle’s title as collateral for a short-term loan. These loan types also require that you own your motorcycle outright, and if you can’t repay the loan, the lender gets your bike.
Like with other types of auto title loans, there are two main types of motorcycle title loans: single-payment loans and installment loans.
Single-payment motorcycle title loans give you up to a month to repay your loan in full. Installment motorcycle title loans allow you to repay it over three to 12 months depending on where you live.
Motorcycle title loans are available to all credit types, and many lenders even skip the credit check completely. And you don’t necessarily need a job to qualify. But motorcycle title loans often come with APRs over 300% and can trigger a cycle of debt that can hurt your credit and personal finances. For this reason, many states regulate or outright ban title loans of all kinds.
State regulations around vehicle and motorcycle title loans
There are no federal regulations specifically for title loans, so it’s left up to each state. Most states have strict regulations that make getting a title loan difficult or they’re completely banned.
However, if you live in one of the following eight states, you may have more accessibility to title loans:
- New Hampshire
How much can I borrow with a motorcycle title loan?
You can typically borrow up to $10,000 depending on your state’s laws and the value of your vehicle or motorcycle. How much your motorcycle is worth depends on several factors like its model, make, year, mileage and wear and tear.
Some sites that can give you a rough estimate of your bike’s value include Kelley Blue Book, JD Power and Cycle Trader. Title lenders typically inspect your motorcycle before approving your loan, so you can find out how much it’s worth when you apply. But having some rough estimates can give you some bargaining power and a rough idea of what your loan size may be.
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How to apply for a motorcycle title loan
The application process varies depending on your lender and state, but you can generally expect to follow a version of these steps:
Step 1: Get an estimate of how much your bike is worth.
A quick check online can give you a ballpark idea of how much your motorcycle 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.
Step 2: Compare lenders
Use our table as a starting point to 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.
Step 3: Start the application
Title loans, like other short-term loans, are usually easier to qualify for than a traditional personal loan.
Many title loan providers allow you to start your application by completing a quick form online.
Requirements and documentation to expect may include:
- Name, valid ID and SSN
- Be 18 years of age or older, depending on your state
- Contact information
- Proof of address
- Proof of income and bank statements
- Motorcycle make and model
- Motorcycle mileage and age
- Motorcycle’s lien-free title
Vehicle loan title requirements
Step 4: Bring your motorcycle and documents to a location
While it’s possible to get a title loan online in some states, it’s far more common for title loan providers to ask you to stop by in person.
There, you can submit your documents, have your vehicle inspected, sign your loan papers and get your cash. Typically, this step can take around 30 minutes if you don’t have to wait in line.
Step 5: Drive away with your funds — on your motorcycle
Since your motorcycle title is used as collateral — not the bike itself — you can still drive your bike once you get your loan.
Pros and cons of motorcycle title loans
- Fast funding. Typically you can get your title loan in as little as 30 minutes if you apply in person.
- Lower APR than other short-term loans. While still costly, title loans typically are less expensive than payday or installment loans.
- Cash loan options. You might not need a bank account to get a motorcycle title loan.
- All credit types accepted. Good credit is not required to qualify for a motorcycle title loan.
- High APRs. Motorcycle title loans typically have APRs in the ballpark of 300%.
- Possible cycle of debt. Most single-payment title loan borrowers have to renew their loan at least once, doubling up on interest and fees and potentially getting caught in a cycle of debt.
- Motorcycle at risk. If you can’t pay off your loan, your lender can repossess your motorcycle to cover what you owe.
- Not available in all states. Title loans aren’t legal in all states, so this option might not be available to you. Other states regulate title loan providers. To avoid predatory lenders, read up on your state’s laws before you apply.
- 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.
Consider other alternative loan options if you think putting up your motorcycle is too big of a risk.
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