EchoBay Expert: Before I start looking for a motorcycle loan, I would appreciate your help in providing a comparison of what motorcycle loan rates I'd get at every different kind of motorcycle lender you know of. Thanks.
Loyal Reader: You have many options when it comes to getting the best motorcycle loan rates.
Your first option is to take advantage of the financing offered by the motorcycle manufacturer. This is usually a revolving line of credit similar to a credit card. It allows you to charge not only your motorcycle but any accessories and clothing as well. The rates on this type of financing can be very steep.
Your second option is to obtain dealer financing. This is similar to car dealer financing where the dealer is just a middleman for the loan.
You can also check out traditional lenders such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. The rates from all lenders are usually 1-3 points higher than a regular car loan. Note that the rates for motorcycle loans are going to be higher than car loans no matter where you get your loan.
If you have a credit card with a high enough credit limit, you can also charge your bike to your credit card. If you have an excellent rate on your card, this could save you money as compared to the manufacturer's revolving credit line.
If you own your home, a home equity loan can be a way to deduct the interest on your motorcycle as well as enjoy a lower interest rate. Be sure to make your payments with this type of loan or you'll lose your home and new motorcycle. Many times, home equity loans have minimums as well, such as $10,000. Unless you are buying a more expensive bike, this may not be an option for you.
If you are having difficulty obtaining a loan through any of these sources, you still have other options. If you are buying a used motorcycle, you may get lucky enough to have a seller who is willing to finance it for you. Be sure all of the terms of the loan are spelled out in writing and you should expect to pay a higher interest rate for this type of loan.
Of course, you always have the option to pay in cash either by emptying your own savings or approaching a family member or a friend to borrow from them. Your final option is to ask a family member or a friend to co-sign on the loan with you to improve your chances of an approval.