This is a great time to buy a motorcycle and hit the open road. A wide range of models is available to match any lifestyle, from scooters to sports bikes and traditional touring motorcycles. There are also a variety of financing options to help put you on a bike even if you don’t have the cash to buy one.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
There are several different types of credit you can utilize to purchase a motorcycle. A few options include an auto loan, dealer financing, a personal loan and a credit card.
Check Your Credit
Before you get ready to shop for a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to take a look at your financial situation. Lenders will look at your credit score and payment history, so know where you stand in those areas. Lenders will also look at other factors that contribute to your credit profile such as whether you have a high amount of debt or a recent bankruptcy. As long as you have a decent credit history, you should be able to get financing for a new or used motorcycle. The worse your credit, the harder time you’ll have finding a lender and a low-interest rate.
Manufacturer and Dealer Financing
If you’re looking for a new bike, first check for financing from the motorcycle manufacturer. If your credit is good, you may be able to get a special promotional deal, such as 0-percent financing. Most motorcycle dealers also offer to finance for new and used motorcycles, separate from manufacturer financing. One thing to look out for with manufacturer and dealer loans is a variable interest rate that will most likely climb over time.
A credit card with a relatively high, unused limit is another option for motorcycle financing. Using a credit card could be your best option if you have a card with a lower interest rate than the rates you’re offered for other types of financing. If you already have the card, you don’t have to worry about your credit score. Make sure your interest rate won’t change before you can pay off the balance or you could end up paying way too much interest.
A personal loan from a lending company, bank or credit union is a flexible option for financing a motorcycle. You may be able to get a lower interest rate than you would with a credit card. Most lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a loan so you can walk into a dealer knowing just how much you can spend. This makes it harder for a salesperson to talk you into more bike than you can afford. And remember, a fixed-rate loan is almost always the best option for any vehicle purchase.
Catie Watson spent three decades in the corporate world before becoming a freelance writer. She has an English degree from UC Berkeley and specializes in topics related to personal finance, careers and business.