How hard is it to finance a motorcycle? Most people prefer to make payments on big purchases rather than shelling out a chunk of their savings, but motorcycle financing just isn’t something you need very often. So if you’re thinking about buying a new or used Harley®, you might be asking what credit score do you need to qualify, particularly if your credit score has taken some recent hits.
Experian collects and aggregates information on credit and credit usage for more than a billion people and businesses. Their recent article sums it up when it says, “There's no minimum credit score required for a motorcycle loan, but the better your score, the easier it may be to qualify for better rates and terms. In general, a higher credit score will lead to a lower interest rate on your loan and, therefore, less spent on interest charges over the life of the loan.”
Here at Dallas Harley-Davidson®, we want to make it easy and affordable to take home the bike you want. You can apply online so you know your options before you even visit the dealership. Or, you can come in and let one of our finance experts walk you through.
How Lenders Process Your Motorcycle Loan App
Your credit score is important, but that’s not all lenders look at when they decide whether to loan you money and what interest rate to charge. Lenders weigh the following:
- Your credit history – The record of what types of loans you have, how long you’ve had credit and whether or not you typically pay on time.
- Your debt to income ratio – Lenders compare what you owe to what you make.
- How much you’re trying to borrow – The total cost of your new bike, minus any down payment.
- Your down payment – Putting down some of your own cash often helps make lending more attractive to finance companies because it shows you have some skin in the game and you’re able to save.
- How long you will take to pay back the money – Your loan term affects interest rates and payments.
- Information about the bike you’re buying – They factor in the age and value of the bike you’re buying since it’s loan collateral. They also look at whether or not you’re trading in an old bike.
What’s Considered Bad Credit?
There's not one set bottom number for how low is too low. Most lenders give their best rates to people with credit scores between 670 and 850. The better your score, the less interest you'll typically pay.
Badcredit.org says almost 20 percent of Americans, a fifth of the population, have not-so-great credit. That means their scores fall between 580 and 669. About the same number have been "past due" on a bill in the past year. And 16 percent of Americans have a very low credit score, one between 300 and 579.
Can You Buy a New Harley With Bad Credit?
Every week we help people with low credit scores get loans for the bike they really want, at payments they can afford. You can definitely buy a Harley with bad credit, and when you pay your loan on time, that loan can help you improve your credit over time.
Your income and current debt will determine whether or not you can buy a new Harley with bad credit. Obviously, it's going to be easier to qualify for $3,000 than it is to qualify for $30,000. If a new model steals your heart, we'll do everything we can to make sure you get to take it home, and we're almost always successful in securing new motorcycle loans.
Do They Make Motorcycle Loans on Used Harleys?
One reason Harley-Davidson® motorcycles have been so popular for so long is that they last. They just keep going. Their classic looks never go out of style, and it's not hard to find replacement parts. All that means used Harleys® get riders a great bike at a lower price tag than buying new. And now we offer Certified Pre-Owned Harleys® that come with a 110 point quality assurance inspection, a limited 12-month and unlimited mileage powertrain warranty, a 12-month H.O.G. membership and more.
And the good news is, lenders do make motorcycle loans on used Harleys. When you search our pre-owned inventory, you'll even see estimated monthly payments next to each bike, so you know what you're looking at from the beginning.
Each bike also has a link that allows you to instantly pre-qualify. When you click it, all the bike info is pre-filled on your application so all you need is your personal info.
You can do all your shopping online (even shop by payment), but that's not what we recommend. It's better to see all your options in person, to test ride before you commit. Book your free test ride now then head this way.