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Where is a good place to get a motorcycle loan? - Straight Dope Message Board



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03-03-2008, 06:10 PM

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Where is a good place to get a motorcycle loan?

Wow, I'm on a posting hot-streak lately! Anyways, my car has a bad alternator and is currently (har-har) up for sale. My fiancee's car just got T-Boned yesterday by a girl with a learner's permit. I drive an hour to work everyday, and being able to use the HOV lane would be great. I've always been in love with motorcycles, and have ridden a little bit in the past. I would love to get one, but am not sure where to get a loan for it. Here is the deal: I have bad credit. I made some mistakes when I didn't have stable employment or a stable woman in my life (the ex was a money-hog), and I had a bankruptcy that got discharged last June. My bank is reluctant to talk to me, and their smallest loan is $7500 for a bike. I'm looking for something used in the $2500 to $3500 range. Is there anyone who will deal with someone like me? I am a high school teacher now, so my employment (and payment from them) is stable. I have a student loan which is in rehabilitation and a small balance on a credit card.

I found http://www.motorcycleloancenter.com, but I'm not sure how reputable they are.

Any words of wisdom?

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 09:52 PM

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Have you tried the bank or credit union where you have your checking account? They may be may comfortable with you since you have a history there.

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 10:06 PM

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Like I said, the smallest MC loan at Chase (the bank I deal with) is $7500. I just don't want a bike that expensive. I'd rather get something used that would be cheaper to insure.

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 10:07 PM

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It seems to me that every Spring and Summer the Japanese manufacturers (particularly, IIRC, Yamaha and Honda) have low-interest loans for their rides. But there's a catch. When I bought my YZF-R1 I got a really great rate for a year. After a year it would have shot up to 18%. I paid it off with a month to spare. (And the dealer was really great. They discounted the MSRP -- rare, IME, for motorcycle dealers -- and my new bike was a previous year's model (2002) so it was $500 less than the 2003s. And the sticker price included tax, license, dealer prep, etc. The sticker price was the 'out-the-door' price.)

I'm not familiar with the current line-ups, but you might be able to get a new bike for $5,000 or $6,000 with factory financing. Just pay it off within a year.

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Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 10:32 PM

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Johnny, you tempt me so. I want to avoid the big payments, but the new Suzuki M50 (in black and yellow) would look sooooooooo good in my garage.

I'm worried about getting financing with my bankruptcy, though. I found a guy on Craigslist who may be willing to trade his 1987 VFR700 for my Kia, though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 10:38 PM

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Man, if you're worred about your credit or if there's the slightest chance that you might be late on a payment do not finance anything through a motorcycle/ATV/snowmobile etc dealer. They will fuck you 10 ways from Sunday as soon as possible. Most of those loans seem written to take advantage of 18 year old kids with little to no financial sense.

For the kind of cash you're looking at why not see how much you can borrow unsecured from a bank? The rate is sort of higher, but you run much less risk of ever getting seriously screwed over the whole thing.

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 10:41 PM

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Cluricaun, that's probably a good suggestion. I may try that with Chase this week.

I'm not worried about missing a payment; my fiancee is too good with money to let that happen. I'm just worried about getting approved in the first place. She would co-sign for me, but I don't want that to have to be the solution.

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 11:06 PM

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Well your bankruptcy has been discharged, as long as you have a decent job (ie enough over and above your living expenses to buy a bike) you shouldn't have too hard of a time. I see people coming through work all day long that simply appear to walk on every amount of credit that they've ever had and they're still borrowing more. Do you have any current lines of credit, if I may ask?

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 11:19 PM

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Like I said in my OP, I have my federal student loans, which I'm rehabilitating, and a small balance on a credit card. I could pay the card off with my next check, if I felt like it. Oh, I also have a small loan I'm co-signed on and have never missed a payment on. I always forget about it because I left my mom an envelope of cash to pay it with when I moved from Michigan to here in Arizona.

The credit card and small loan are about $4k combined. Four paychecks would wipe both out with room to spare, and we might do that once we're more settled into our new house. My name isn't on the house at all, either.

Reply With Quote 03-03-2008, 11:33 PM

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You should be in better shape than you might think. It's those first lines of credit that are hard. If you've got 6 to 12 months of regular payments down and steady income you shouldn't have any problems having a bank do your financing for you.

Reply With Quote 03-04-2008, 08:47 AM

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Have you tried a credit union? I know that here in Maryland there is at least a State employee CU, and I think there's a teacher's CU as well. They might be more willing to deal with you. You might be able to deal with the bike shop if they go through a bank and not the manufacturer, the rates would be higher then the 2% or whatever, but even at 7% from the bank it's not that much worse.

I put my first bike on a credit card, but it was only $4000. The next one I got a loan through the dealer at one of the smaller local banks.

Reply With Quote 03-04-2008, 02:23 PM

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$2500 is an amount so piddling I'd put it on my credit card and pay off the balance immediately. But you should be able to get a line of credit -- and if approval really is a problem, get your fiancee to cosign. That's what she's for, right

Sounds like your bigger problem is just handling money. Credit card balances are bad debt -- high interest and you get nothing for it. If the minimum your bank is willing to lend you for a motorcycle is $7500, you'd actually be better off getting that loan, paying off your credit card in full immediately, then using the remainder for your used bike.

Reply With Quote 03-04-2008, 06:56 PM

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It's not just me. The smallest amount Chase will loan for a motorcycle to anyone is $7500. I think that's kinda silly, since that eliminates most used bikes. Alas, it is how their loans are structured.

I'm going to go tomorrow and find out about my options. Thank you all for your opinions; I'll post again when I find out more.

Reply With Quote 03-04-2008, 07:02 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbarian

$2500 is an amount so piddling I'd put it on my credit card and pay off the balance immediately.

$2500 as a loan means I get a bike now. $2500 as cash means I get a bike in about 6-8 weeks. I'm impatient!Reply With Quote 03-04-2008, 10:51 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wmulax93

$2500 as a loan means I get a bike now. $2500 as cash means I get a bike in about 6-8 weeks. I'm impatient!

When I was in L.A. I'd put thousands of miles a year on bikes. Up here... not so much. Should be a little above freezing tomorrow morning. It's going to be six to eight weeks before I can even think about riding comfortably.Reply With Quote 03-04-2008, 10:54 PM

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Join a CU. Trust me.

Reply With Quote 03-05-2008, 02:19 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wmulax93

$2500 as a loan means I get a bike now. $2500 as cash means I get a bike in about 6-8 weeks. I'm impatient!

Wah wah wah. I've got 25 cm of snow and ice falling from the sky today. You think I've ridden lately?Reply With Quote 03-05-2008, 02:50 PM

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Hehe... I always forget that I'm lucky to live in the desert! It's a chilly 74F today.

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