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RV Loans in 2023: Compare RV Financing Options

RV loans are personal loans from online lenders, or secured vehicle loans from banks and credit unions, that pay for your camper, motorhome or trailer.

By Annie Millerbernd and  Jackie Veling 

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Purchasing a new or used camper, motorhome, trailer or other type of recreational vehicle is a large expense that many people can’t afford outright.

Whether you’re looking for unsecured or secured loan options, here’s how to finance an RV with a personal loan, plus tips on where to find the best RV loans and how to apply.

RV Loans in 2023: Compare RV Financing Options From Our Partners

Our pick for

Unsecured RV 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

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

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

How do RV loans work?

RV loans are installment loans, meaning you’ll receive the loan in a lump sum, then pay it back in fixed monthly installments that include interest. Repayment terms range from one to 20 years.

Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer RV loans. The type of lender you choose will probably depend on whether you want a secured or unsecured loan.

Before hitting the road, consider that most financial experts don't recommend using a personal loan for discretionary purchases. So unless you’re going to live in your RV, carefully consider the costs of financing — including monthly payments that you may owe longer than the life of the vehicle. If you do take a loan, have a solid plan to pay it off.

Secured RV loans vs. unsecured RV loans

The biggest differentiator between RV loans is whether they’re secured or unsecured. Secured RV loans use collateral — in this case, the RV itself — to guarantee the loan. Each type of loan has its advantages.

Secured RV loans

Since the loan is guaranteed by collateral, secured loans typically have lower rates than unsecured loans. Lenders may also be more willing to approve your application if you secure the loan with the RV, so if you have a lower credit score, it may be easier to get approved or to finance a larger loan amount.

But secured loans come with a big risk: If you fail to make payments, the lender can repossess the RV. Lenders may also require a down payment, which means you’ll need money upfront, but it also means you borrow less and pay less overall for the RV.

Unsecured RV loans

Unsecured loans do not require collateral. Instead, approval is based on your credit score, income and existing debt. For some borrowers, rates may be higher on an unsecured loan.

Online lenders that offer unsecured loans usually allow you to pre-qualify, so you can compare rates and terms with no impact on your credit score. This isn’t as common with secured loans, because their rates are determined by the vehicle you’re financing.

You also won’t lose your RV if you fail to repay an unsecured loan (although there are still consequences to not paying). It may also be possible to finance an older RV or one with more miles on it, which are limitations on some secured RV loans.

Pros and cons of secured and unsecured RV loans

Pros

Cons

Secured RV loans

  • May carry lower interest rates and longer terms.

  • If you have a low credit score, you may have an easier time qualifying.

  • You may need to have cash on hand for a down payment.

  • If you fail to repay the loan, the lender can seize your RV.

Unsecured RV loans

  • Can usually pre-qualify to preview potential rate and term.

  • No collateral is required, so you won’t risk losing your RV.

  • Interest rates may be higher and terms shorter.

  • You’ll need a strong credit score and solid finances to get the best offer.

  • If you fail to repay the loan, the lender can take you to court.

Who gives RV loans?

The online lenders listed above provide some of the best unsecured RV loans. If you want a secured RV loan, you’ll probably need to apply with a bank or credit union.

Secured RV loans from banks

Bank of the West

Bank of the West offers RV loans in all 50 states but not in Washington, D.C. You can apply for a loan online. Then, you'll be assigned a sales representative who will work with you to close the loan.

Loan amounts: $10,000 to $2 million.

Rates: 4.24% to 10.49%.

Terms: 4 to 20 years.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank’s RV loans are available in the 25 states where the bank has branches. You may have to visit a branch to close an RV loan, but the bank says it can give you an approval decision on the same day you apply.

Loan amounts: $25,000 to $150,000.

Rates: Starting at 5.24%.

Terms: 1 to 15 years.

USAA

USAA offers RV loans to military members and their families. Members can apply for an RV loan online but will need to call USAA to close the loan.

Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

Rates: Starting at 6.20%.

Loan terms: 1 to 15 years.

Secured RV loans from credit unions

Credit unions also offer secured RV loans and tend to look more favorably on applicants with fair or bad credit (689 FICO or lower). You’ll need to become a member to apply.

Check with your local credit union first. National credit unions also offer RV loans. First Tech Federal Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union have financing up to $400,000 with rates starting below 4.5%.

How long are RV loans?

The length of an RV loan will depend on the lender, loan amount and whether the loan is secured or unsecured. Terms usually range from one to 20 years.

You’ll want to select a loan term where you can comfortably afford the monthly payments while keeping in mind overall interest costs. A longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.

For example, a $30,000 loan at 6% APR with a five-year repayment term would have monthly payments of $580 and cost $4,799 in total interest. The same loan with an eight-year repayment term would have monthly payments of $394, but cost $7,847 in total interest.

Use NerdWallet’s RV loan calculator to calculate your RV payments.

What is the current interest rate for RV loans?

Similar to repayment terms, the annual percentage rate on RV loans varies.

An unsecured RV loan will have an APR ranging from 6% to 36%. See the table below for average unsecured interest rates based on your credit bracket. If you’re unsure what credit bracket you fall into, you can check your credit score for free on NerdWallet.

How's your credit?

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850.

11.3%.

Good

690-719.

15.6%

Fair

630-689.

22.3%.

Bad

300-629.

25.2%.

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from July 1, 2022, to Oct. 31, 2022. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender. The lowest credit scores — usually below a 500 credit score — are unlikely to qualify. Information in this table applies only to lenders with APRs below 36%.

Secured loans typically have lower annual percentage rates, with many lenders offering single-digit rates.

How to get an RV loan

To get an RV loan, you’ll need to apply for the loan with the lender. Most applications are online, but you may need to close the loan in person at a branch or by phone, especially if it’s a secured loan.

Loan applications require you to submit personal information including your name, address, contact details and Social Security number. You may also need to provide supporting documents to verify your identity, employment and income.

If you’re applying for a secured RV loan, you’ll need to supply vehicle information, like the vehicle year, make, model and model number.

Unsecured loans can be funded as quickly as the same or the next day after you’re approved. Secured loans may take one to two weeks.

Last updated on April 27, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's RV Loans in 2023: Compare RV Financing Options

  • SoFi: Best for Unsecured RV loans
  • Upgrade: Best for Unsecured RV loans
  • Upstart: Best for Unsecured RV loans
  • LightStream: Best for Unsecured RV loans

Frequently asked questions