Buying a motorcycle doesn’t need to be complicated, despite what might be published on the internet about dealer financing. The process of applying for that financing, or any other motorcycle loan, is simple. It’s the construction of the loan agreements that causes people headaches. Avoiding that requires shopping around and understanding loan options.

Motorcycles are supposed to be fun. No one wants to deal with complexity in the buying process. In this article, we’ve broken down the most common types of motorcycle loans and how to apply for them. We’ll also get into the benefits of each option and when to use them.


3 Ways to Finance a Motorcycle:

The following options are the most common for motorcycle buyers.

Online Lenders

These options are in this order for a reason. Online lenders often provide the best rates on motorcycle loans and personal loans. This is partly due to their low overhead, which doesn’t include costly brick-and-mortar office expenses. Many of them also shop loan applications to other lenders, giving them access to the best rates and terms.

Dealer Financing

Dealer financing can be more expensive than online loans, but the appeal of one-stop-shopping for the motorcycle and the financing to pay for it is hard to resist. After filling out a basic loan application, the dealer representative will do all the customer’s legwork, find the best rate available, and then draw up the loan contracts.

Banks and Credit Unions

Traditional banks and credit unions have the toughest approval process of the three options on this list. This is bad news for applicants with low credit scores. Individuals with good credit will get better interest rates and terms. Another drawback with lenders in this category is that the approval process can take several days. Online lenders and dealerships approve instantly.

How to get motorcycle financing

The application and approval process for each of the three options above is very similar. The only real differences are where the money comes from and what the interest rates and fees are. Those are important elements, of course, so review them carefully. Prior to doing that, complete the following steps in the order we’ve laid them out.

  1. Check your credit score: This is an often-overlooked step that can give loan applicants more leverage when applying for a loan. Credit scores are easy to check. Most credit card companies publish a credit score on monthly reports or have a service where users can check their scores. There are also websites where credit scores are available for free.
  2. Review purchasing budget: Buyers should never walk into a motorcycle dealership without establishing a purchasing budget. It’s easy to get carried away with accessories and custom features, so knowing what’s affordable is important.
  3. Choose a motorcycle: There are sport bikes and touring bikes, on-road and off-road, large and small. Choosing a motorcycle is a process that should not be rushed.
  4. Fill out the loan application: This is the easy part. Fill out the loan application with all relevant information and submit it to the dealer, online lender, or bank.
  5. Compare loan offers: Taking the first offer is a surefire way to pay more than necessary for a motorcycle. Shopping around and comparing loan offers is the key to savings.
  6. Select and sign the agreement: This is the final step. Once the buyer has selected a loan and been approved, the only thing left to do is sign the agreement.


The Bottom Line

Financing a motorcycle can be less complicated when you’re familiar with the process from start to finish. Make sure to do your research and ask questions about anything that you’re unfamiliar with on your journey to financing your new motorcycle.

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