BEST OF

6 Best Motorcycle Loans of 2023

Motorcycle loans include unsecured personal loans from online lenders and secured loans from some banks, credit unions and motorcycle manufacturers.

By Annie Millerbernd 

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If you can’t buy a motorcycle with cash, a loan may be your next best option. Some motorcycle manufacturers offer low-interest financing, which is worth considering if you qualify. An unsecured personal loan or secured loan from an online lender, bank or credit union is another option.

Understanding the differences between motorcycle loans — and comparing offers from multiple lenders — can help you find the lowest rate and the best loan for you.

Best Motorcycle Loans

Our pick for

Unsecured motorcycle loans

SoFi
Get rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

7.99-23.43%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on SoFi's website

Our pick for

Motorcycle loans with low rates

Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

6.99-23.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on LightStream's website

Our pick for

Motorcycle loans for bad credit

Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

8.49-35.97%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

6.50-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Our pick for

Motorcycle loans for military members

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan
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on NerdWallet's secure website

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

7.74-17.99%

Loan amount

$600-$50,000

Min. credit score

700
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Our pick for

Motorcycle loans from a credit union

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
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on NerdWallet's secure website

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.70-18.00%

Loan amount

$500-$50,000

Min. credit score

660
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

How do motorcycle loans work?

Motorcycle loans help you finance your bike if you can’t afford the sticker price outright. Interest rates and terms on motorcycle loans vary based on the lender, the loan amount, your credit score and income, and whether the loan is secured by the vehicle or unsecured.

Once you apply and receive the loan, you’ll pay it back in fixed monthly installments with interest.

Secured motorcycle loans vs. unsecured motorcycle loans

Secured loans tend to have lower interest rates because the lender takes on less risk by having your motorcycle as collateral. You’ll find secured loans more often at banks and credit unions.

Secured loans may require — or have an optional — down payment. A down payment reduces the loan amount and the interest you’ll pay on the loan. Unsecured loans don’t require down payments.

Unsecured loans take into account your credit rather than requiring you to pledge the bike as collateral. This means the lender can’t take your motorcycle if you fail to make payments.

These loans are more commonly offered by online lenders, which usually let you pre-qualify for a loan to see the amount, rate and term you may qualify for without impacting your credit score.

Motorcycle manufacturer financing

Some motorcycle manufacturers offer financing at lower rates than the rates on unsecured or secured motorcycle loans. Harley Davidson, for example, offers financing options for its bikes at local dealers. According to the company, rates start at 3.75% over seven years for new motorcycles.

How to compare motorcycle loans

Here are the key features to compare between motorcycle loans:

  • Lender requirements: Most lenders look at your credit score and debt-to-income ratio to determine whether to lend to you and at what rate. Some lenders require good or excellent credit, while others will lend to borrowers with bad credit. It may be easier to qualify for a secured loan than an unsecured loan, since the collateral helps guarantee the loan.

  • Annual percentage rates: A loan’s APR is its interest rate plus any fees, like an origination fee. APRs on most unsecured personal loans fall between 6% and 36%; starting rates on secured motorcycle loans may be lower. The loan with the lowest rate is often the best choice.

  • Repayment terms: Most unsecured loans have repayment terms between two and seven years, but some lenders have more limited options. A longer repayment term means you’ll have lower monthly payments; a shorter one means you’ll pay less in overall interest. Use a personal loan calculator to estimate your rate and monthly payment based on your credit score.

  • Other loan features: If you have multiple loan offers at affordable rates, a loan's unique features could influence your decision. Some lenders offer next-day funding, access to your credit score, or a mobile app to manage your loan. These features shouldn’t trump the offer with the lowest rate, but they can help make the process of getting and repaying your loan more convenient.

Motorcycle loan frequently asked questions

Where can I get a motorcycle loan?

Motorcycle loans are offered through some motorcycle manufacturers, banks, credit unions and online lenders. Compare offers from multiple lenders to find the lowest rate.

How do I get a motorcycle loan?

Getting a motorcycle loan starts with comparing multiple loan offers. You'll then submit an application, typically with documentation like W-2s and pay stubs. The application will trigger a hard credit pull. Once approved, you'll typically receive the loan within a week, though some lenders can send you the funds that same day or the next business day.

Can I get a motorcycle loan with bad credit?

Minimum credit score requirements can vary, but some lenders specifically offer unsecured loans for borrowers with bad credit (FICO score of 629 or lower). However, the higher your credit score, the more likely you'll be approved for a low interest rate. Borrowers with good to excellent credit (FICO score of 690 or higher) receive the lowest rates.

How long are motorcycle loans?

Motorcycle loans typically have repayment terms from two to seven years. A longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.

What are motorcycle loan rates?

Rates on unsecured personal loans from online lenders range from 6% to 36%. Rates for secured loans may be lower, and federal credit unions cap interest rates at 18%.

You can see what rate you qualify for on an unsecured personal loan by pre-qualifying. Doing so with NerdWallet lets you see potential rates and terms from multiple online lenders and doesn’t affect your credit score.

Last updated on July 6, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Motorcycle Loans of 2023