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RV Loans: How to Finance an RV Purchase

Steve NicastroJuly 31, 2020

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RV loans are personal loans from online lenders, or secured vehicle loans from banks and credit unions.

RV loans can be unsecured personal loans that you get from online lenders, or secured vehicle loans from banks and credit unions. Rates and terms vary by lender, and the rate you receive will depend on your credit score and income, the age of the vehicle, and if the loan is secured by the RV, or unsecured.

Before hitting the road, consider that most financial experts don't recommend taking 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.

Here’s where to find RV loans, how to calculate the costs and questions to ask before you take a loan.

Summary of RV Loans: How to Finance an RV Purchase

Our picks for

RV loans

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

5.49 - 20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream offers unsecured loans you can use to pay for an RV. Rates are lower on RV loans than other types of LightStream loans.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

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

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on existing assets and the reason for the loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com, which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust now Truist is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust®, Truist, LightStream®, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust now Truist Bank.
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Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

6.99 - 19.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

Marcus offers unsecured personal loans for borrowers with good or excellent credit. These loans can be used to finance almost anything.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

  • Rate discount with autopay.

Cons

  • No option to include co-signer.

  • Reports payments to one of the three major credit bureaus.

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico).

  • Valid U.S. bank account, Social Security number or tax ID.

  • 680+ credit score.

  • For debt consolidation loans, you may be required to send part of the loan directly to your creditors.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 6 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans). Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.
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Wells Fargo Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

5.49 - 24.49%

Loan Amount

$3,000 - $100,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Wells Fargo offers secured RV loans. Rates may be higher than the lowest rates on unsecured personal loans.

Pros

  • Offers secured loan option.

  • Offers free credit score access.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Borrowers without existing Wells Fargo accounts required to apply in person.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; most borrowers have scores above 660.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
U.S. Bank Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

U.S. Bank Personal Loan

U.S. Bank Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

6.49 - 16.49%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $25,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

U.S. Bank offers secured RV loans for up to $150,000. The bank provides larger loans through dealerships.

Pros

  • No origination fee.

  • Co-sign option.

  • Offers autopay discounts.

Cons

  • Charges prepayment fee.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Must be an existing bank customer.

Qualifications

  • Good or excellent credit.

  • U.S. Bank account open for at least 120 days.

  • Stable, sufficient income.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $29 after 5-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $25.

  • Prepayment fee: 1% of loan amount, ranging from $50 to $100 if loan is paid off within first 12 months.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
USAA Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

USAA Personal Loan

USAA Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

6.99 - 17.65%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $5,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

USAA's secured RV loans have low rates, but are exclusive to military members and their families.

Pros

  • Low rates.

  • No origination fee.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Hard credit pull.

  • Must be a USAA member.

Qualifications

  • No minimum qualifications disclosed.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: 5% of payment amount.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

7.70 - 18.00%

Loan Amount

$500 - $50,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

First Tech's secured RV loans come with low rates and large amounts.

Pros

  • Does not charge origination fee.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Option to directly pay off creditors.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • Must meet membership requirements.

Qualifications

  • No minimum credit score required.

  • 2 years of credit history.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment fee: None.

  • Late payment: Up to $25.

  • Returned payment: $28.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

8.19 - 18.00%

Loan Amount

$0 - $50,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

Navy Federal is a good option for existing members, with low rates and no origination fee.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among credit unions.

  • No origination fee.

Cons

  • Must be a member of Navy Federal.

  • No option to pre-qualify.

Qualifications

  • No minimum qualification requirements.

  • Must meet membership requirements.

Available Term Lengths

1 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review

Where to get an RV loan

When comparing RV loans, use the loan’s annual percentage rate, which includes the interest rate and fees. The loan with the lowest APR is the least expensive.

Online lenders

RV loans from online lenders are typically unsecured and quick to fund, and you can pre-qualify to check your rate with no impact to your credit score.

LightStream offers unsecured personal loans for RVs or trailers priced up to $100,000, with funding as fast as the same day. APRs start at 4.29% for borrowers with excellent credit (720 to 850 FICO) and include a small discount for automatic payments.

Marcus personal loans can be used for any purpose, including RVs. Its maximum loan amount is $40,000, and APRs start around 6% for good-credit borrowers.

Banks

Banks have competitive rates and terms for RV loans. They typically don’t offer pre-qualification and may require an in-person visit to apply.

Wells Fargo provides secured vehicle financing up to $100,000, including RV loans for campers, motorhomes and travel trailers, with funding in one to two business days. Rate discounts are available for setting up automatic payments from a Wells Fargo checking account, and for being a Wells Fargo customer.

U.S. Bank offers secured loans from $5,000 to $150,000 for new or used RVs, travel trailers, pop-up campers and truck campers. You can apply online, by phone or at a branch.

U.S. Bank also provides secured RV loans through dealerships, with loan amounts from $10,000 to $500,000 and repayment terms of up to 20 years. However, the bank may require a down payment of at least 10% on dealer loans.

USAA is a financial services company serving members of the military and their families. It offers secured RV loans for motorhomes, pop-up campers, fifth-wheel RVs, campers and trailers. APRs start at 5.49% for borrowers with excellent credit.

Credit unions

Credit unions are nonprofit organizations serving members who live or work in a particular area or are associated with a certain group. Potential benefits may include lower rates for borrowers with fair or bad credit.

First Tech Federal Credit Union offers secured loans from $1,500 to $300,000 for new and used RVs (up to 10 years old), campers and travel trailers. Rates start at 5.34% APR and are slightly higher for older models.

Navy Federal Credit Union members can apply for secured loans up to $500,000 for campers and RVs, with rates starting at 8.09% APR.

RV loan calculator

Use this calculator to determine the affordability of an RV loan. Enter your expected loan amount, repayment term and APR to see estimated monthly payments, interest costs and total payments.

Financing your RV: Unsecured loans vs. secured vehicle loans

RV loans, whether unsecured or secured, are repaid in fixed monthly installments, typically over a period of two to 20 years. Compare the potential benefits of financing an RV with an unsecured personal loan or a secured vehicle loan.

Reasons to finance an RV with an unsecured loan

  • Pre-qualification: Online lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a personal loan, to compare your potential rates and loan terms with no impact to your credit score.

  • Fast time to funding: Online loans can be funded as fast as the same day, depending on how quickly you submit the required documents.

  • Less risk: You may not lose your RV if you fail to repay an unsecured personal loan (although there are still consequences to defaulting).

Reasons to finance an RV with a secured vehicle loan

  • Lower rates: Some secured vehicle loans may have lower rates than unsecured loans, as the loan is guaranteed by collateral.

  • Approval for bad credit: Lenders may be more willing to approve your loan request if you secure the loan with the RV.

  • Larger loan amounts: You may also be able to finance a larger RV purchase.

RV loans: Questions to ask yourself before applying

What is the RV's true cost? Factor in expenses such as gas, RV insurance, storage, sales tax, repairs and maintenance to determine the RV's total cost.

These costs should fit within a budget that covers your needs, wants, savings and debt payments. Aim to keep savings and loan payments at 20% or less of your income.

Should I build my credit score first? Credit score is a major factor in loan approval, and it impacts your rate and loan terms. Consider building your credit score before applying for an RV loan.

Can I rent an RV instead? Renting an RV may be a faster and more affordable way to get on the road. It also lets you test out a vehicle before committing to a purchase. RVs can be rented from local dealerships or through peer-to-peer rental marketplaces.

Last updated on July 31, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's RV Loans: How to Finance an RV Purchase

Frequently asked questions