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How Can You Get Motorcycle Financing Bad Credit Options?

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Getting any loan when you have bad credit is going to be difficult and expensive compared to what someone with good credit can expect. Motorcycles are particularly notorious for this because they are seen as a “toy” expense by most lenders, making them less likely to provide motorcycle financing bad credit options. You do have options, though.

Put More Down

When you put more money into your down payment, you are telling the lender that you are willing to back up your ability to pay with a sum upfront. By showing that you also have a vested financial interest in making your payments, you show the lender that you are serious.

Since lenders often view motorcycles as a luxury purchase, they see them as high risk. Because of this, a typical 20% down payment may not be enough. You may need to come forward with 30-40% of the purchase price as a down payment to get approval. The good news is that you can also expect lower interest rates, the more you pay upfront. Depending on the rate you get, this could save you thousands throughout the loan.

Shop Around Outside the Dealership

Car and motorcycle dealerships have a network of lenders that they work with when financing customers. Some, like Harley Davidson, offer their own in house financing. The exact terms of the loan still vary, but these programs often have low credit requirements and can offer lower interest than some third party lenders.

Just because a dealership offers motorcycle financing bad credit options through them does not mean that you have to use their lenders. Check with your local bank and credit union before you start looking. Find out how much they can pre-qualify you for based on your down payment, then start looking for your dream bike.

Shorten The Loan Duration

While a longer duration may seem like it would be easier to approve because of the lower payments, it can decrease your odds of approval. The longer the loan is open, the more chance there is that the lender could lose money or that the borrower could stop making payments.

The other reason to go with a shorter loan duration is less interest. In addition to sometimes including lower interest rates, a shorter loan duration also results in you paying interest for a shorter period. For example, if you have a loan at 10% interest for 24 months and another for the same 10%, but for 36 months, the longer loan ends up paying almost 50% more in interest.

What if I Still Can’t Get Motorcycle Financing Bad Credit Options?

If you still cannot get a loan, maybe it is time to consider a cosigner. If you have never used a cosigner before, it is precisely what the name suggests. Someone else with excellent credit also signs your loan, saying that they can make the payments if you cannot.

If you have a willing cosigner, this is one of the easiest ways to get motorcycle financing with bad credit. Be careful, however, and make sure you can make the payments. Nothing ruins friendships quite like ruined credit.


Getting motorcycle financing with bad credit is often more difficult than getting approved for an auto loan or debt consolidation loan. Most lenders view a motorcycle as an unnecessary expense and the first thing a borrower is likely to stop paying if they can’t afford their bills.

While it is more challenging to get a motorcycle financing bad credit loan, it is not impossible. Some of the best ways to improve your odds are to search around with other lenders, make a larger down payment, or find a cosigner with good credit.

If you need more advice, you can look through our blog to read more helpful articles.

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