BEST OF

5 Best Motorcycle Loans of 2021

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

Annie MillerberndApr 29, 2021
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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 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.

Summary of Best Motorcycle Loans of 2021

Our pick for

Unsecured motorcycle loans

Lightstream
Check rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

3.99 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

660
Check rate

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that vary based on loan purpose.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers .5% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Special features including rate beat program and satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history; excellent-credit borrowers have at least five, according to LightStream.

  • Multiple account types within your credit history, like credit cards, a car loan or other installment loan and a mortgage.

  • Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.

  • Investments, retirement savings or other evidence of an ability to save money.

  • Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. AutoPay discount of .50% points is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay will be .50% points higher. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which may affect your credit score. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 6.14% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.85. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2021 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

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Our pick for

Motorcycle loans with low rates

SoFi
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi

Est. APR

5.99 - 19.63%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

680
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

SoFi offers online personal loans with consumer-friendly features for good- and excellent-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Offers co-sign and joint loan options.

  • Offers .25% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Offers unemployment protection.

  • Provides mobile app to manage your loan.

Cons

  • No secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Must legally be an adult in your state.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or visa holder.

  • Must be employed, have sufficient income or have an offer of employment to start within the next 90 days.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 19.63% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 30, 2021 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

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Our pick for

Motorcycle loans for bad credit

Upstart
Check rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

6.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

580
Check rate

on Upstart's website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Upstart is a good option for those who have short credit histories and promising financial futures.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with some debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum credit history: None, this lending platform accepts borrowers with credit history too limited to produce a FICO score.

  • Minimum gross income: $12,000.

  • Employment: Full-time job, full-time job offer starting in 6 months, a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income.

  • Must have U.S. residential street address where borrower resides (unless military personnel on active duty).

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Valid email account required.

  • Personal bank account with U.S. routing number required.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 24.4% and 36 monthly payments of $36 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

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Our pick for

Motorcycle loans for military members

USAA Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

USAA Personal Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
USAA Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.49 - 17.15%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $20,000

Min. Credit Score

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

USAA offers small loans, flexible terms and minimal fees to active and retired military members and their families.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among good-credit lenders.

  • No origination or prepayment fee.

  • Existing customers can get a .25% rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Option to include a co-signer.

Cons

  • Must be a USAA member.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Offers a small range of loan amounts.

  • Charges late fee.

Qualifications

  • USAA does not publicly disclose many of its borrower requirements. Borrowers with good and excellent credit scores will likely qualify for the lowest rates.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: 5% of payment amount.

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Our pick for

Motorcycle loans from a credit union

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

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

None
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

First Tech offers loans for its members, with low starting rates and no origination fee.

Pros

  • Offers co-sign, joint and secure loan options.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • No option to change your payment date.

  • Exclusive to credit union members.

Qualifications

  • No minimum credit score required.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment fee: None.

  • Late payment: Up to $15.

  • Returned payment: $28.

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Unsecured vs. secured motorcycle loans

Unsecured loans take into account your creditworthiness 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.

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; some large banks offer unsecured loans for motorcycle financing.

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.

Motorcycle manufacturer financing

Some motorcycle manufacturers offer financing at lower rates than 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 3.99% 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 bad-credit borrowers. Requirements on a secured loan may be softer than on an unsecured 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. Upstart loans have three- or five-year repayment terms, for example. 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 can help break the tie. 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 one to five business days.

What credit score do you need to get a motorcycle loan?

Minimum credit score requirements vary among lenders, but the higher your credit score, the more likely you'll be approved for a low interest rate. Borrowers with good to excellent credit scores (690 or higher FICO) receive the lowest rates, though some lenders offer bad-credit loans.

What are repayment terms on motorcycle loans?

Motorcycle loans typically have repayment terms between one and seven years. A longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.

What are motorcycle loan rates?

Rates on personal loans from online lenders range from 6% to 36%, while unsecured bank loans can have rates between 7% and 25%. 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 April 29, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 30 lenders. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences. 

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Motorcycle Loans of 2021