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While a motorcycle generally costs less than a car or SUV, the price for the average bike rider is $3,000 to $6,000, according to JD Power. If you can't pay for a bike in cash, a motorcycle loan is one solution. You can use an unsecured motorcycle loan like a personal loan or opt for a secured motorcycle loan. 

Learn how motorcycle loans work to decide if it's the right fit for you. Below we’ll look at some of the best motorcycle loans, explain how they work and provide tips on choosing the right one for you.

Can You Use a Personal Loan to Buy a Motorcycle?

Yes, lenders will generally allow you to use a personal loan for many purposes, including to finance a motorcycle or for auto repairs. However, it's always best to check with a lender first to see if there are any restrictions on using loan funds for a motorcycle before applying. Some lenders post this information on its website, while others may require that you contact them directly to verify.

How Does a Motorcycle Loan Work?

When you take out a motorcycle loan, a lender generally issues you a lump sum of money, which is typically deposited directly into your bank account. You can then use the money to purchase your motorcycle at the dealer or through a private seller.

As with all personal loans, you must repay the loan in fixed monthly payments, including interest and fees. Your loan rates and fees will depend on many factors, such as the lender, your credit score, and repayment terms.

5 Best Motorcycle Loans

If you think a personal loan is the right choice to finance your motorcycle purchase, here are a few worthy considerations:

Loan results will vary based on creditworthiness, loan purpose, loan amount, and other factors.

Best for Flexible Repayment Terms: LightStream

LightStream offers longer repayment terms than some other lenders, although your actual term may vary.


  • Loan Amounts$5,000 – $100,000
  • Loan Terms24 – 144 months
  • APR Range7.49% – 25.49% (with autopay)
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    660 or above More Info

    A credit score is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant, but it is only one of several factors considered for approval. These credit scores alone are not guarantees for approval and should only be used as guidelines.

LightStream is a solid online lender offering no fees, high loan maximums and low-rate personal loans for several purposes.


LightStream offers personal loans for several purposes, including debt consolidation, medical expenses, home improvement, weddings, car purchases and more, making this worth considering for those seeking flexibility. The lender offers relatively low rates compared to competitors, including autopay discounts. Its personal loans also have no origination fees or late fees, which can help keep borrowing costs low. However, borrowers will likely need to have good-to-excellent credit in order to be approved for a LightStream personal loan. Overall, it’s a good lender to add to your shortlist if you’re looking for flexible funding, no fees and a low APR. Lightstream may also disburse loans as soon as the same day you’re approved, making this lender a worthy choice if you need fast funding.

Read the review


  • Low minimum APR
  • No origination fees, no late fees
  • High loan maximum of $100,000
  • Autopay discount
  • Joint applications allowed


  • Rates and terms vary by loan purpose
  • No soft pull prequalification
  • Must have good-to-excellent credit
  • No physical branches

Best for Bad Credit: Avant

If your credit score isn't high, Avant can work with borrowers who have credit scores in the bad-to-fair range.


  • Loan Amounts$2,000 – $35,000
  • Loan Terms12 – 60 months
  • APR Range9.95% – 35.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    580 or above More Info

    A credit score is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant, but it is only one of several factors considered for approval. These credit scores alone are not guarantees for approval and should only be used as guidelines.

Avant offers small personal loans that are accessible to borrowers with fair credit, with funding available as soon as the next day.


Avant is known for its personal loans that can be used for a wide range of purposes and are accessible for those with fair credit. Funding can be completed as soon as the next business day once approved. The minimum APRs tend to be higher than competitors, but the maximum APR is comparable to other online lenders. A unique feature offered by Avant is their flexible payment due date, which allows a 10-day grace period without incurring a late fee.


  • Loan terms up to 60 months
  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Flexible payment due date
  • Next day funding available


  • No physical locations
  • Origination fee of up to 4.75%
  • Relatively low maximum loan amount ($35,000)
  • High minimum APR
  • No joint applicant or co-signer

Best for Minimal Credit History Profiles: Upstart

Borrowers with minimal or no credit history might find Upstart a good match because it considers non-traditional factors outside of your credit score, like your employment history, educational background, and income.


  • Loan Amounts$1,000 – $50,000
  • Loan Terms36 or 60 months
  • APR Range7.8% - 35.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    300 or above More Info

    A credit score is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant, but it is only one of several factors considered for approval. These credit scores alone are not guarantees for approval and should only be used as guidelines.

Using artificial intelligence to help evaluate borrowers, Upstart is a unique lending platform that looks beyond your credit score for personal loan approval.


Upstart is a first-of-its-kind online lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to help make smarter lending decisions. This means the company considers factors beyond a borrower’s credit score to help determine creditworthiness. Upstart indicates its model has resulted in 43% lower rates for borrowers than traditional credit score models.

Beyond your credit score, Upstart will also look at your employment history, income and level of education when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. The company states that borrowers with credit scores as low as 300 might be able to get approved for a personal loan, though that loan may come with a relatively high APR.

Upstart’s rates are fairly competitive and loan funds are disbursed as soon as one business day after approval. This lender charges origination fees, so it’s important to read the fine print before applying.

Read the review


  • Considers factors beyond your credit score in lending decisions
  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Fast funding time
  • Check rate without affecting credit score
  • Low minimum credit score requirement


  • No physical locations
  • Limited repayment terms
  • Has origination fees
  • High maximum APR
  • Not available in Iowa or West Virginia

Best for Competitive Rates: Discover

Discover offers personal loans with competitive annual percentage rates (APRs) and flexible repayment terms.

Discover Personal Loans

  • Loan Amounts$2,500 - $40,000
  • Loan Terms36 - 84 months
  • APR Range7.99% - 24.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    660 or above More Info

    A credit score is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant, but it is only one of several factors considered for approval. These credit scores alone are not guarantees for approval and should only be used as guidelines.

Discover offers personal loans up to $40,000 and no origination fees or prepayment penalties.


Best known for its credit cards, Discover also offers a range of banking and lending products, including personal loans. Its maximum loan amount is just $40,000, which is relatively low compared to certain competitors. A notable perk of Discover personal loans is that borrowers benefit from no origination fees or prepayment penalties, and an APR range that’s comparable to what other lenders offer. 

Discover also provides a credit score range of 660 to 850 on its personal loan page, suggesting its willingness to work with prospective borrowers with fair credit. Many lenders require good or excellent credit, so this accessibility sets Discover apart. Just be aware that if your credit isn’t great, your loan’s interest rate will likely be higher. 


  • Competitive APRs
  • May be available to fair-credit borrowers
  • No origination fees


  • Low maximum loan amount
  • No co-borrowers permitted

Best for No Fees: SoFi

SoFi offers personal loans up to $100,000 without fees and unemployment protection.

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Loan Amounts$5,000 – $100,000
  • Loan Terms24 – 84 months
  • APR Range8.99% – 29.49%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    680 or above More Info

    A credit score is used to indicate the creditworthiness of an applicant, but it is only one of several factors considered for approval. These credit scores alone are not guarantees for approval and should only be used as guidelines.

SoFi's personal loan offering comes with no fees required and a high loan maximum that may be a good fit for those seeking large loans.


SoFi offers a competitive personal loan product that boasts no origination fees, no late fees, and a high maximum loan amount of $100,000. SoFi is one of only a handful of lenders offering loans as large as $100,000. If you need a substantial loan to cover a considerable expense, like a home renovation, SoFi’s high maximum can be a strong option. One standout feature of SoFi is that it offers unemployment protection, which might allow you to pause payments if you lose your job. Same-day funding is also available for qualified borrowers

Read the review


  • No origination fees, no prepayment penalties and no late fees
  • Loans up to $100,000
  • Unemployment protection available
  • Autopay rate discounts
  • Co-borrower allowed
  • Same-day funding available


  • No physical branches
  • High minimum loan amount
  • Good credit likely required

Pros and Cons of Using a Personal Loans for a Motorcycle

Before you take out a personal loan for a motorcycle, weigh the pros against the cons. Here are some things to consider.


  • No collateral required
  • Quick funding
  • Flexible use of funds


  • Must have good credit for low rates
  • Fees
  • Can hurt your credit if you miss payments


  • No collateral required: With an unsecured personal loan, you aren't required by most lenders to offer the motorcycle as collateral.
  • Quick funding: Some lenders can provide funds as soon as the same or the next business day.
  • Flexible use of funds: Personal loan spending is generally flexible and can be used towards many different types of expenses. You can use it towards your motorcycle, and spend any remaining funds on something else (as long as it doesn't violate the loan agreement).


  • Must have good credit for low rates: If you don't have good credit, you may face extremely high rates that can make it more expensive than credit cards.
  • Fees: Some personal loan companies charge origination fees, application fees, late fees and other personal loan fees.
  • Can hurt your credit if you miss payments: As with most loans, if you miss a payment, your credit score can take a dive.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Loan

When searching for a motorcycle loan, here are some key factors to keep in mind: 

  • Annual percentage rates (APR). Research and compare APRs from multiple lenders to find the cheapest borrowing option. Prequalify with a lender — if they offer it — to get estimated rates and terms you might receive if you were approved for a loan.
  • Fees. When comparing lenders, look for fees that can increase the cost of your loan, such as origination fees, late fees and prepayment fees.
  • Repayment terms. Repayment terms vary by lender. Select a lender that offers terms that fit your budget. Keep in mind that the longer the repayment term, the more interest you'll pay over the life of the loan.
  • Loan amounts. Every lender will offer different loan ranges, with some only offering smaller loans while other are able to offer larger loans. Choose a lender that offers a loan amount you need to finance your bike.
woman working on computer Related Article

How to Prequalify for a Personal Loan, and Why It Can Be a Good Idea

Read More

Unsecured vs. Secured Motorcycle Loans

Two types of motorcycle loans exist: secured and unsecured. Secured motorcycle loans require you to pledge the bike as collateral, which means a lender can take it if you don't repay it. By contrast, unsecured motorcycle loans don't require collateral.

Since a secured motorcycle loan is backed by your bike as colleratel—meaning they can seize your bike when you default on the loan—they often charge a lower interest rate than an unsecured loan. But lenders can't take your bike with you if you use an unsecured motorcycle loan like a personal loan to purchase it, at least not without a court's permission.

Below is a table that breaks down some key differences between an unsecured and secured motorcycle loan.

Unsecured Motorcycle Loans vs. Secured Motorcycle Loans

Is collateral required? Can a lender take your motorcycle if the loan isn’t repaid? Who owns the motorcycle title? Down payment required?

Unsecured Motorcycle Loans


Not without a court’s permission



Secured Motorcycle Loans

Motorcycle is used as collateral


Lender owns it until you pay off the loan

Lender may require a down payment

Alternatives to Motorcycle Loans

If you don’t think a motorcycle loan is a good fit for you, below are some alternatives.

  • Save up for the motorcycle. If you don’t need to purchase a motorbike immediately, consider opening a high-yield savings account and making regular monthly contributions so you can pay for it in cash in the future.
  • Home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). If you have enough equity in your home, you may qualify for a home equity loan or HELOC. These loans allow you to borrow against your home’s equity, but you’ll risk losing your home if you fail to repay the loan.

Is a Motorcycle Loan Right for You?

Whether a motorcycle loan is right for you depends on your financial circumstances. Using a motorcycle loan could be a good solution if you can comfortably afford to repay the loan. But using a motorcycle loan wouldn't be the best idea if it significantly strains your budget. If you decide that taking out a motorcycle loan is the right choice for you, always shop around to find the best deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Borrowers who have excellent credit and solid incomes may find it easier to get a motorcycle loan than someone with bad credit. But your eligibility will depend on many factors, such as your credit score, income, and a lender's eligibility requirements.

  • Yes, although your options may be more limited, finding a lender that will approve you with bad credit is possible. But keep in mind that if you qualify, a lender will likely charge you a high interest rate and fees.

  • If you have good credit and can comfortably afford to repay a motorcycle loan, then taking out a personal loan can be worth it. But on the other hand, if doing so would put a strain on your budget, it's best to explore other financing options.

  • The best way to pay for a motorcycle is with cash to avoid paying interest. But if you can’t pay for a bike out of pocket, the best way to finance one depends on your financial situation. Before applying for a motorcycle loan, compare rates, terms, and fees across multiple lenders to find the best deal.

  • Repayment terms vary by lender, but according to JD Power, terms often range from three to five years. If you need a longer repayment term, some lenders may offer repayment terms as long as seven years. But note that taking out a longer repayment term usually means paying more interest over the life of the loan.


Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown is a personal finance writer and owner of the Peerless Money Mentor blog. He's written for major publications, such as Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, Business Insider, and Rocket Mortgage. Financial products he enjoys covering include credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages.

Awards & Distinctions

Jerry was nominated for the 2020 Plutus Award for Best Social Media for personal finance, where he was also a presenter.