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Bad Credit Motorcycle Loans
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Bad credit motorcycle loans cost more, but they are widely available from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Experian defines “very poor” credit as a FICO® Score below 580; a “fair” score is between 580 and 669. Responsible payments on a motorcycle loan could help improve your score. Here are some bad credit motorcycle financing companies and other options on how to get a motorcycle loan with poor credit.
|Lender / Marketplace||Starting APR||Terms (Months)|
|Consumers Credit Union||4.90%||Up to 60 months|
|USAA Bank||5.49%||Up to 72 months|
|PenFed Credit Union||5.99%||Up to 60 months|
|Motorcycle Lender||6.99%||36 to 60 months|
Bad credit motorcycle lenders
The financing companies listed above all work with bad-credit borrowers and offer motorcycle loans with some of the lowest starting APRs. Use a motorcycle loan calculator to see how much your monthly payment might be before you apply.
Consumers Credit Union offers new and used motorcycle loans with terms up to 60 months (five years), with APR offers starting at 4.90%. To join the credit union, you only need to make a one-time, $5 donation to the Consumers Cooperative Association and keep at least $5 in your account.
USAA is a bank that serves members of the military. To get a motorcycle loan with them, you must be a U.S. military member, veteran, pre-commissioned officer or a spouse or child of one. USAA motorcycle loans start at 5.49% APR for up to 72 months (six years).
PenFed Credit Union. Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers motorcycle loans starting at 5.99% APR for up to 60 months. It has one of the most relaxed membership requirements as it’s an open-charter organization. To join, you must have a Social Security number or Tax Identification number and maintain a $5 minimum in your PenFed account.
Motorcycle Lender. An online financing company that specializes in bad credit motorcycle loans, the Motorcycle Lender could help you find a lender that will work with you.
Types of bad credit motorcycle financing
Whether you choose a bank, online lender, credit union or dealership, or pursue a personal loan, compare offers from a number of lenders, even if your credit score is in the lower tiers.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reports that credit unions routinely have lower average APRs on all sorts of loans compared with banks. The national average rate credit unions offered on personal loans in March 2021 was more than a percentage point lower than what banks did. Credit unions are nonprofits, are generally willing to work with those who have poor credit and some, like Consumers CU, only require a nominal donation to join.
If you don’t want to borrow from a credit union, an online lender could be a great option. They don’t have as much overhead like brick-and-mortar businesses do and their processes are entirely online or over the phone.
The middle ground
Not all banks will work with borrowers who have credit problems and not all banks offer motorcycle loans. If you use a traditional bank for your day-to-day finances and want to get a motorcycle loan with them for convenience, you could check out what it offers.
Dealerships rarely lend money themselves, but they could help you find a bad-credit lender. If you find the perfect motorcycle at a dealership, be sure to bring along any preapproval offers and ask the dealer if any lender in their network can beat the offer you already have.
Motorcycle manufacturers offer special low-APR motorcycle loans and rebates through their own financing companies. For example, Harley-Davidson has Eaglemark Savings Bank and Yamaha has Yamaha Motor Finance. However, these types of motorcycle loans are reserved for people with credit scores in the highest tiers. It may be harder to find a bad credit motorcycle loan with one.
Sometimes called buy-here, pay-here businesses, this type of financing is typically costly and may even offer the maximum legal interest. It’s best to steer clear.
other types of financing
Even if getting a motorcycle loan isn’t an option, you may have other choices:
It may be easier to get a bad credit personal loan than a bad credit motorcycle loan. The trade-off is that you may pay more interest and fees. For example, a LendingClub personal loan has an origination fee of 1% to 6% of the amount borrowed, whereas most motorcycle loans don’t have origination fees.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) may be best if you plan to make multiple large purchases over time, but keep in mind that you are using your home as collateral. This means that if you default, the lender could repossess your home to pay off your debt.
What to do if you can’t get bad credit motorcycle financing
Pay with cash. If you have cash on hand, consider a low-cost, used bike. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a good bike for less than $2,000.
Improve your credit first. If your credit score is below the threshold for a bad-credit motorcycle loan, you may need to take some time to clean it up a bit. Check your credit report carefully, dispute any incorrect information and work on building it up.
Get a cosigner. If you need a loan right away, consider asking someone with good credit to cosign your motorcycle loan. Proceed with caution, though. Your cosigner will be legally responsible for the debt and any late payments will hurt both of your credit scores.
Tackle your debt. A member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling could help you come up with a battle plan to take down your debt and set up a realistic budget.
Is a bad credit motorcycle loan worth it?
Bad credit isn’t a permanent barrier to owning a motorcycle. If you shop around for your best motorcycle loan option, you’ll not only have more companies from which to choose, you’ll know you got your best possible deal on your new bike.
The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.