BEST OF

RV Loans in 2021: Compare RV Financing Options

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

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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 an unsecured 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 secured and unsecured RV loans, and what to consider about each option.

Unsecured RV loans:

  • Lightstream: Best unsecured RV loan rates.

  • Marcus: Best unsecured RV loan repayment terms.

  • Upgrade: Best unsecured RV loan for co-signers or joint borrowers.

  • OneMain: Best unsecured RV loan for low credit scores.

Secured RV loans: 

  • Bank of the West: Best overall secured RV loan.

  • Alliant Credit Union: Best secured RV loan for preapproval.

  • U.S. Bank: Best secured RV loan for existing customers.

  • USAA: Best secured RV loan for military members and their families.

  • First Tech Federal Credit Union: Best secured RV loan for new and gently used RVs.

Secured RV loans

Secured loans require collateral — in this case, the RV that you’re purchasing — and you may be able to add a down payment to lower the loan amount. This type of RV loan is more commonly offered by banks and credit unions.

Here are five lenders that offer secured RV loans.

Lender

Best for

Loan amounts

Starting APR

Repayment terms

Bank of the West

Best overall secured RV loans.

$10,000 to $2 million

4.29%

4 to 20 years

Alliant Credit Union

Best secured RV loan for preapproval.

Up to $300,000

4.24%

10 to 20 years

U.S. Bank

Best secured RV loan for existing customers.

$25,000 to $150,000

5.24%

1 to 15 years

USAA

Best secured RV loan for military members and their families.

$5,000 to $35,000

5.75%

1 to 15 years

First Tech Federal Credit Union

Best secured RV loan for new and gently used RVs.

$1,500 to $300,000

4.40%

5 to 15 years

Bank of the West

Bank of the West has branches in 19 states across the Midwest and West, but it offers RV loans in all 50 states. You can’t add a co-signer with Bank of the West, but you can get a joint loan, perhaps with someone you’ll share the RV with. The bank requires a down payment of 10% to 30%, depending on the loan amount.

Loan amounts: $10,000 to $2 million. For loans less than $10,000, the bank recommends a personal loan.

Rates: 4.29% to 9.99%. Rates vary by repayment term and amount financed.

Terms: 4 to 20 years. The longest terms are available for large loan amounts only.

Qualifications: To qualify for an RV loan, Bank of the West requires:

  • Asset information, like how much you have in savings and retirement.

  • Two years’ verifiable income history.

  • Existing debt information.

  • Social Security number or individual tax identification number.

The bank says it prefers borrowers with credit scores of 700 or higher.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union offers preapproval, which you can use to negotiate an RV purchase. The credit union says it can usually approve and fund a loan the day you apply. The RV can’t be over 15 years old or have more than 75,000 miles on it to qualify for financing, according to a customer service representative.

Loan amounts: Up to $300,000.

Rates: 4.24% to 23.74%. Ranges vary slightly depending on the repayment term you choose.

Terms: 10 to 20 years.

Qualifications: You have to be an Alliant member to apply for a loan. Your credit profile and the vehicle you’re purchasing affect your ability to qualify for an RV loan.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank says it can tell you the day you apply if you’re approved for an RV loan. It offers a 0.5% APR discount for existing customers who set up autopay from a checking account. This is the only lender listed here that charges a fee for paying off the loan early: 1% of the original loan amount if it’s paid off within the first year, up to $100. Borrowers can add a down payment, but it isn’t required. RVs over 12 years old won’t qualify for financing, according to a customer service representative.

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

Rates: Starting at 5.24%.

Terms: 1 to 15 years.

Qualifications: You must live in one of the 25 states where U.S. Bank has branches to apply for a loan. Approval is based on your credit, income, existing debts and the RV.

USAA

USAA is a bank and insurance company that serves military members and their families. The lender says it offers a 0.25% rate discount for setting up autopayments. No down payment is required, and there’s no maximum mileage or age requirement for a vehicle to qualify, according to a customer service representative.

Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000.

Rates: Starting at 5.75%.

Loan terms: 1 to 15 years. Repayment term options vary based on the loan size.

Qualifications: You must meet USAA’s membership requirements to qualify for a loan.

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech is mostly for tech company workers and their families. Members can finance an RV up to 10 years old with up to 100,000 miles on it.

Loan amounts: $1,500 to $300,000.

Rates: Starting from 4.40% to 5.30%, depending on loan amount and repayment term.

Terms: 5 to 15 years.

Qualifications: Borrowers must meet First Tech’s eligibility requirements. Membership is also available for those who work for the state of Oregon and members of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.

Approval for an RV loan is based on the vehicle you’re financing and your credit information, but credit unions tend to base part of your loan decision on your history as a member.

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 one to 20 years.

Unsecured RV loans

  • Pre-qualification: Online lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a personal loan, to compare your potential annual percentage rates and loan 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.

  • No collateral: You may not lose your RV if you fail to repay an unsecured personal loan (although there are still consequences to defaulting). 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. The no-collateral aspect of these loans means rates are often higher, but some lenders, like LightStream, offer special rates to finance RVs.

Secured RV loans

  • Lower rates: Some secured vehicle loans 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.

  • Down payment: Some lenders require a down payment, while others make it optional. A down payment means you’ll need money upfront, but it also means you borrow less and pay less overall for the RV.

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 May 5, 2021

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 in 2021: Compare RV Financing Options

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