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How Can I Get a Motorcycle Loan?

Finance | 06/29/2023 13:49

You’ve always dreamed of owning a motorcycle, but maybe you’ve never exactly dreamed of having a motorcycle financing plan. Making the jump and finally buying your first motorcycle (or second, or sixth) is exciting, and if you have the extra cash every month to do it, then why not? The good news is that getting a motorcycle loan isn’t difficult as long as you have the right qualifications.


Here’s how you can get a motorcycle loan and finally get the bike of your dreams.

Is it harder to get a motorcycle loan?

A common misconception is that it is harder to get a motorcycle loan than it is to get a regular auto loan. But it is actually not any harder to qualify for a motorcycle loan than it is for an auto loan. In fact, motorcycle loans are typically for less money since motorcycles tend to be cheaper than cars, which means it may be easier for you to meet the financing requirements.


Qualifying for a motorcycle loan is similar to qualifying for a regular automobile loan. You will need to have the following to be able to motorcycle financing:

  • A good credit score

  • A good debt to income ratio

  • A down payment

  • Proof of employment

  • Proof of residence


As long as you can make a down payment and are in a relatively stable financial position, secring motorcycle financing should be possible.

Where can I finance a motorcycle?

You can get a motorcycle loan at a number of different lending institutions. Traditional banks, online lenders, credit unions, and dealerships all tend to offer motorcycle financing. Traditional banks offer names that you can trust, so many people feel comfortable going with a recognizable bank. Online lenders can often beat the rates of traditional banks because they lack a lot of the overhead of traditional banks, but they may not offer the same sense of security. You can usually find the best rates at credit unions, but these institutions tend to have membership requirements that you may not meet. Dealerships will often offer financing even if you aren’t in the best financial position, but their rates tend to be higher.


If you do not want to try traditional financing you can look into another type of financing, such as peer to peer financing or taking out a home equity line of credit. But these can be riskier options. You can also consider leasing a motorcycle instead of buying one. It is usually easier to get approved for a lease and your monthly payments will be significantly lower than financing payments.

How much should I put down on a motorcycle loan?

Motorcycle financing is similar to regular automobile financing, and you should treat the down payment as such. We recommend putting at least 10% down, but putting 20% down if you can will help you in a few ways. A larger down payment will mean that your principal is lower and therefore your monthly payments will be lower. A large down payment can also help your loan from becoming underwater, which means that you owe more money on your bike than it is worth. Underwater loans occur when depreciation outpaces how quickly you are able to pay off your loan, so it’s important to try to stay on top of (or ahead of) your financing payments.

How many months is the average motorcycle loan?

Motorcycle loans are typically anywhere from 12 to 60 months in length. A longer repayment period means smaller monthly payments, but it also means that you will be paying off your loan for a longer period of time. That means you will pay more in interest over the life of your loan. It’s generally recommended to keep your repayment period shorter so that you can save money in interest. If you need an extremely long repayment period to afford your monthly payments, chances are you probably don’t have enough money to get a bike in the first place. A 24-36 month loan is usually a good length for a motorcycle loan repayment plan that will allow you to have manageable monthly payments while staying well ahead of depreciation.

How can I get a motorcycle loan?

Getting a motorcycle loan is pretty straightforward. Follow the steps below to get the best motorcycle loan possible.


Step 1. Prepare your finances.

The first step to getting any loan is to prepare your finances. You want to ensure that your credit score is in good shape and your debt to income ratio is good. This will help you to get the best motorcycle loan APR possible. Paying down balances that have a high credit utilization ratio will help your credit immensely, as will requesting higher credit limits. 


The APR you are offered is based on a number of factors including the prevailing market rates and repayment plan you select. But the biggest factor that you can control is your credit score. Request a copy of your credit report so that you can review it thoroughly. Are there any mistakes in your payment history? Are all of your debts accurate? Are there any negative events that shouldn’t be listed on your report anymore? Taking the time to review all of this can save you a lot of money in the long run.


Step 2. Decide on a budget.

The next step is to take a close look at your overall budget to determine how much you can afford to spend on a motorcycle. What type of monthly payments can you afford? An online calculator can help you figure out what type of loan you can afford, which will help you determine what type of bike you can afford. 


If you have a car loan you may want to consider refinancing your loan. Chances are you are overpaying and if you refinance your loan with Auto Approve you can save a lot of money. 


Step 3. Find a motorcycle.

Once you have determined how much you can spend you can determine which bike is right for you. There are a lot of different types of bike on the market, so the right bike will depend on your skill level, how you intend to use your bike, and your budget. Check out our guide to buying a beginners bike to help narrow down your options.


Step 4. Research lenders and apply.

Once you have selected your bike and know your budget you can begin applying for a motorcycle loan. We recommend applying with 3-5 different lenders to give you the best chance of finding a low motorcycle loan APR. Be sure to consider customer reviews when selecting which lenders. Consulting the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot can help you find out if any lenders have major complaints or downfalls. You want to apply to all of your loans at the same time (during the same 14 day window) so that they will all count as one hit on your credit score. If you space out your applications it will have a negative effect on your credit.


When you get all of your loan offers in be sure to consider the following:

  • The APR offered

  • The loan terms and conditions, including prepayment penalties.

  • Customer satisfaction.


Step 5. Sign and drive.

Once you select the loan that is right for you the lender will send payment to the dealership and you can take your new bike home once the payment is complete. You will need to ensure that the motorcycle is registered and insured per your states requirements. 

Can I refinance a motorcycle loan?


Sometimes people end up in bad loan situations. There are a number of reasons why a loan might not be working for you anymore:

  • Your interest rate is too high.

  • Your repayment period is too long and you are paying too much in interest.

  • Your repayment period is too short and you are having trouble making your monthly payments.

  • You are unhappy with your lender.

  • You want to add or remove a cosigner.


Whatever your reason is for wanting to refinance, Auto Approve can help. Auto Approve refinances motorcycle loans all the time and can even help you add a motorcycle protection plan onto your loan so that you can get some more peace of mind. Protection plans from Auto Approve come with the following:

  • Your choice of certified mechanic for repairs.

  • 24/7 roadside assistance

  • Rental car reimbursement

  • Courtesy towing

  • And more


Just because you end up in a bad financing relationship doesn’t mean you have to stay in a bad financing relationship. Let Auto Approve help you break up with your current lender and save thousands.

That’s how you can get a motorcycle loan (and refinance your existing motorcycle loan).


Getting a motorcycle loan isn’t complicated, but it does involve research, preparation, and lots of thought. If you have a motorcycle loan that you are unhappy with, contact Auto Approve today! Our agents can help you to get a new loan that works for you and your budget. So don’t wait, get in touch today!


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*APR and Fees Disclosure: Auto Approve works to find you the best Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which is based on factors like your credit history, vehicle and desired payment terms. Fees to complete your loan refinance vary by state and lender; they generally include admin fees, doc fees, DMV and title. Advertised 6.24% APR based on: 2019 model year or newer vehicle, 730 minimum FICO credit score, and loan term up to 72 months. All loans subject to credit and lender approval.
Auto Approve has an A+ rating with the BBB and is located at 2860 Vicksburg Lane North Plymouth, MN 55447. Auto Approve works to find its customers the best terms and APR, which are based on factors like credit history, vehicle, and desired payment terms. Loan amounts, costs, and fees vary by state and lender; they generally include admin fees, doc fees, DMV, and title fees, depending on the lender and period of repayment. There is no fee to obtain a quote and all refinancing-related costs are included in the amount financed so there are no out-of-pocket costs! For more information, please go to AutoApprove.com.