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There’s nothing like feeling the open air all around you when riding a motorcycle. The thrill of carving up canyon roads on a Sunday ride or the pleasure of cruising with your friends on the highway are some of the best experiences that you can have on two wheels. But first, you’ll need to buy a motorcycle. Luckily, you can finance one, but is that possible if you don’t have any credit history?

Your credit score and history play a large factor when financing a motorcycle

 A salesman arranges one of the Harley-Davidson's bikes on display
A salesman arranges one of the Harley-Davidson’s bikes on display at the first authorized dealership in China, at the showroom in Beijing on 07 April 2006. | (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Just like with car loans, motorcycle loans are highly dependent on your credit score and history. Generally speaking, lenders like to see a credit score of 620 or above in order to get a good rate. However, they do lend out loans to those lower than a 620, but just note that it could mean a higher interest rate. If you want the lowest interest rate, then having a credit score of 720 or above would be ideal.

Do you have to have credit to finance a motorcycle?

Technically, no. While it is good to at least have some type of credit history and score for lenders to work with, it is possible to finance a motorcycle without it. Just note that getting a loan could be a little bit harder and your interest rate will most likely be higher compared to a scenario where you have some credit to work with.

A good co-signer or a good down payment could help you with financing

Harley-Davidson motorcycles outside a Harley-Davidson dealership in South Edmonton.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles outside a Harley-Davidson dealership in South Edmonton. | (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto)

If you’re currently in a situation where you want to finance a motorcycle but don’t have any credit history or a verifiable score, then you can have someone co-sign with you. A co-signer is typically someone that has a good credit history and score, which will improve your odds of not only getting a loan but also a good rate. A co-signer is usually a close friend or family member who can rely on you to make the payments regularly and on time. If you don’t, then the payment delinquency can have a negative impact on their score.

Also, if you don’t have any credit to finance a bike, then one other factor that can help is having a good down payment. Generally, having at least 20% or more to put as a down payment is ideal since that will show the lender that you can have a good chunk of the bike’s initial price paid for. Also, don’t tack on other accessories – gloves, a helmet, etc. – to your financing bill as those will just increase the total amount that you owe unnecessarily. Pay for the extra gear in cash and just finance the bike instead.

Be realistic about the bike that you’re looking for and shop around for the best rate

A used Harley-Davidson motorcycle for sale with an $18,500 price tag is displayed on June 26, 2001
A used Harley-Davidson motorcycle for sale with an $18,500 price tag is displayed on June 26, 2001, in the showroom of Chicago Harley-Davidson on Chicago’s Northside. | (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

When shopping for a motorcycle with no credit, it’s important to note that you should look for a bike in a realistic price range. Most lenders probably won’t loan someone with no credit $20,000 for a bike. However, they will be more likely to lend out money for a bike that costs less than $10,000. The reason being is that there is less liability involved since they’re loaning out a small amount.

Either way, if you’re shopping for a bike and looking for a loan, it’s always a good idea to shop around. Just like with cars, your local credit union could give you the lowest rate out there. After finding the best loan and bike for you, you’ll get to experience the many open-air thrills that lie ahead.


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