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Best motorcycle loans

These lenders can help you finance your next ride

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LightStream, Achieve Personal Loans and Upstart
motorcycles lined up

If you’re in the market for a motorcycle, you may be exploring loan options to pay for the purchase. There are secured options, which require collateral (usually the motorcycle itself), and unsecured loans, which don’t require you to attach an asset to the loan. You can buy a motorcycle with most personal loans, but some lenders offer motorcycle-specific loans.

We looked at some of the best options for motorcycle lenders to help you find the best lender for your needs.

More details about our top 4 motorcycle loan lenders

Upstart

Loan amounts
$1,000 to $50,000
Starting APR
7.80%
Term lengths
36 or 60 months
Minimum credit score
300

Upstart is a lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to assess factors like education and employment history in lending decisions. This allows it to approve customers faster, with 80% of borrowers approved instantly.

Because Upstart considers these additional factors, its credit score requirements may be lower than those of other lenders. However, its interest and fees may be higher as well. Same-day funding is available, and you can pre-qualify to check your approval odds without impacting your credit score.

At this time, there are no positive reviews from customers who used Upstart to finance their motorcycle purchase.

LightStream

Loan amounts
$5,000 to $100,000
Starting APR
7.49% with with autopay and excellent credit
Term lengths
24 to 144 months
Minimum credit score
670

Lightstream offers motorcycle loans with competitive interest rates and loan amounts of up to $100,000. The application process is quick and easy, and same-day funding is available. Although Lightstream’s rates are low, you generally need excellent credit to qualify for the best offers.

Lightstream also stands out for its Rate Beat program. Through this program, Lightstream offers unsecured loans for 0.10% less than those from competing lenders. Customers can also qualify for a 0.50% autopay discount.

Julie, a reviewer from Florida, is one of LightStream’s happy customers who left a review on our site. “Lightstream could not be any more user-friendly and customer-driven," she said. "They plant a tree for every loan! They offer lots of repayment options and allow you to change payment time and amount whenever you need to make it more convenient,” she wrote about her experience.

Buyer's Choice Award Winner
Loan amounts
$5,000 to $50,000
Starting APR
8.99%
Term lengths
24 to 60 months
Minimum credit score
620
3x Award Winner
Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service, Best Experience with Staff and Best Loan Process

Achieve offers personal loans that generally range from $5,000 to $50,000, making them perfect for your next motorcycle purchase. Rates are competitive with fixed monthly payments and terms of two to five years. The lender doesn’t charge prepayment and offers various discounts. However, it also charges origination fees from 1.99% to 4.99%.

“When Achieve called me, they said they could help me pay off my current credit cards, and just attach it because of my good payment history. I liked them,” said Rina, a ConsumerAffairs customer in New York. “The loan helped pay off credit cards and gave me a little extra at the time, which always comes in handy.”

Loan amounts
$2,000 to $35,000
Starting APR
9.95%
Term lengths
12 to 60 months
Minimum credit score
600

Avant offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000, so it can potentially cover most motorcycle purchases. Loan terms range from 12 to 60 months, and funds are available as soon as the next business day. No co-signer option is available, but Avant’s minimum credit score requirement is just 580.

Before signing up for a motorcycle loan with Avant, be aware of the fees you may have to pay. For instance, there is an administrative fee of up to 9.99%. It also charges a late fee of $25 and a dishonored payment fee of $15.

Many Avant customers who left reviews on ConsumerAffairs had a great experience with the lender, including a customer from Georgia who appreciated the company's representatives.

“I applied for a personal loan from Avant when I was really struggling after I lost my husband. My world crashed, but Avant came to my rescue," she said. "The application process was easy and quick. They rushed to assist my needs and the payments were just right. They are the best in professional quality service and do their best to answer each/any questions you may ask easily. I enjoyed working with their company!”

What is a motorcycle loan?

A motorcycle loan is a financing option available to those purchasing a new or used motorcycle. You can get a motorcycle loan from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Motorcycle loans can be either secured or unsecured. Here’s how the two options differ:

  • Secured motorcycle loans: The motorcycle acts as collateral with these loans. If the borrower defaults on the loan payments, the lender can repossess the motorcycle. Because these loans are secured, they tend to have lower interest rates than unsecured motorcycle loans.
  • Unsecured motorcycle loans: These loans don’t have collateral behind them. Instead, the lender assesses the borrower’s creditworthiness to approve the loan. This means the lender will check factors like credit score, income and debt-to-income ratios. These loans tend to have higher interest rates.
The typical loan term for a motorcycle loan usually spans from 12 to 60 months. The longer the term, the lower the monthly payments, but the more you'll end up paying in total interest over the life of the loan.

Motorcycle loan vs motorcycle financing

Depending on where you are purchasing your motorcycle, you might be offered financing from the dealer. This may be convenient, but it could cost more than getting a loan elsewhere.

It’s a good idea to explore motorcycle loan options from different sources — banks, credit unions, online lenders, peer-to-peer lenders — to find the best possible offer.

How to apply for a motorcycle loan

You may be able to get a loan for a motorcycle with a motorcycle loan, unsecured personal loan or secured personal loan that uses the bike as collateral. Secured loans tend to have lower interest rates, which saves you money.

Before you apply for a loan, you should know which motorcycle model you want to purchase so you know how much you need to borrow. Ask the seller to provide a full quote, including taxes and fees.

Next, explore lenders that let you use funds for a motorcycle purchase. Some let you check rates and terms without a hard credit inquiry, which makes it easier to compare your options. When you find the right loan for you, the lender will run a hard credit check to complete the application process. Read over the terms of your loan agreement carefully before signing.

» COMPARE: Personal loan lenders

How do motorcycle loans work?

Motorcycle loans are typically installment loans with fixed monthly payments, similar to personal loans. Here’s how they usually work:

  1. Application: First, you apply for a motorcycle loan through a bank, credit union or online lender. The lender will use various factors to determine your creditworthiness. This will determine your interest rate and terms, though securing the loan with the motorcycle can lower the rate.
  2. Terms: Motorcycle loan repayment terms typically range from one to seven years. Shorter terms mean higher monthly payments but less interest overall.
  3. Interest rates: These can vary widely for motorcycle loans. You’ll likely qualify for a lower rate if you have a better credit score. However, you may also get a lower rate if you use the motorcycle as collateral.
  4. Repayment: Motorcycle loans usually have fixed payments, meaning the amount stays the same until the loan is fully paid off. Each payment will include an interest portion and a principal portion.
  5. Fees: In addition to interest, motorcycle loans can have other fees. These might include origination fees, prepayment fees and administration fees. In some cases, lenders might require extras like gap insurance or extended warranties, which further add to the cost.

Applying for a motorcycle loan is generally straightforward, but it helps to know how the process works, including possible fees. This can help you avoid surprises.

Can you refinance a motorcycle loan?

It’s generally possible to refinance a motorcycle loan, similar to auto loans. “Refinancing a motorcycle loan can be beneficial when interest rates drop significantly, to improve creditworthiness, or extend the loan term for lower monthly payments,” said Trevor Williams, SVP of lending at Ascend Federal Credit Union. A higher credit score will typically result in lower rates.

To refinance a motorcycle loan, you typically replace your existing loan with a new one. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Gather information: First, gather information pertaining to your existing loan, such as your loan contract, proof of information and motorcycle information.
  2. Shop around and compare: With the necessary information in hand, compare refinancing offers from various lenders. Loan comparison tools can help you pre-qualify with multiple lenders without a hard credit inquiry.
  3. Apply: Submit a refinancing application with your preferred lender after comparing and choosing the best offer.
  4. Funding: The new loan will pay off the existing loan. Then, you’ll start making monthly payments on the new loan.

Refinancing a motorcycle loan can be the right choice under certain circumstances. For instance, you may qualify for a lower rate if your credit has improved since you first applied. However, you should consider the pros and cons, such as fees, the loan's long-term impacts and the total interest amount.

Pros and cons of a motorcycle loan

Motorcycle loans are typically more affordable and have lower interest rates than personal loans. However, motorcycles are depreciating assets, making it possible to owe more than the vehicle is worth. This is known as being “underwater” on the loan. Here are more pros and cons to consider before you apply.

Both types of motorcycle loans have pros and cons. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each before moving forward.

Pros

  • Potentially lower rates
  • Affordability over other financing options
  • Ownership of a vehicle
  • Build credit

Cons

  • Interest and fees
  • Depreciation
  • Risk of repossession

» MORE: Motorcycle industry statistics by state

Motorcycle loan alternatives

“Despite their benefits, motorcycle loans aren’t right for everyone. Each method has pros and cons, and borrowers should carefully assess factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, their ability to pay back the loan and potential impact on credit scores before proceeding,” said Williams.

Savings

One of the simplest alternatives to motorcycle loans is to tap into your savings. The benefit of this approach is avoiding interest and fees and the potential to have your vehicle repossessed. However, this will also reduce the cash you have available for emergencies or other purposes.

Home equity loans or HELOCs

If you own a home, it may be possible to tap into your existing equity to finance your motorcycle purchase. This can lead to relatively low interest rates and allow you to qualify for a larger loan. However, it can be much riskier than a motorcycle loan because failing to make payments could result in losing your home.

Credit cards

Credit cards can be a low-cost way to finance a motorcycle purchase, especially if you have excellent credit. This may allow you to qualify for a credit card with a 0% introductory purchase APR. A 0% APR can be useful if you plan to pay off the balance quickly. However, rates can be high when the introductory period ends, so this approach is best if you expect to have cash available.

What do you prioritize most?

FAQ

How difficult is it to get a motorcycle loan?

Motorcycle loans can be relatively easy to get, with some offering same-day or next-day funding. However, the ease and speed of approval usually depend on factors like your credit score and income. Lenders might also be more willing to lend to you if the loan is secured.

Can I get a motorcycle loan with bad credit?

Getting a motorcycle loan with bad credit may be possible, but you may be forced to pay higher interest and fees. Adding a co-signer or making a down payment on the loan can improve your approval chances. If you are struggling to gain approval with a lender because of your credit, try shopping around with different lenders.

What is the typical motorcycle loan rate?

Motorcycle loan rates can vary quite a bit depending on factors like economic conditions and your credit history. In addition, shorter loan terms and securing the loan with your vehicle can lead to lower rates. With this in mind, motorcycle loan rates can range from single digits to over 30%.

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