Purchasing an RV is expensive, and not something people can afford outright. For this reason, more and more of us are looking at ways of getting finance to acquire that moving home of our dreams.
RV financing, however, can be a bit confusing as lenders find it difficult to classify what type of purchase an RV is and where it fits into their lending structure. It isn’t a house, but it isn’t a vehicle either.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to know what you are looking for when heading to a dealership to buy an RV. Read this guide to give you a head start on RV funding and to let you know some of our tips on how to finance an RV purchase of your own.
What are the most common ways of financing an RV?
Financing anything can be complicated, and RV financing is no different. One of the main reasons it’s so confusing is because there are so many ways to do it. Here are some of the best ways:
Loans from a dealership
Like when you buy a car, dealerships will offer finance for an RV. Most loans handed out by dealers are bank loans, with the dealership acting as an intermediary. The problem with dealer loans is that interest rates can be quite high as both the bank and the dealer want to make a profit. It’s not always the case, but it’s certainly something to bear in mind when purchasing. As we always say, read the small print and know precisely how much you are paying back before buying.
Secured bank loan
You could just cut out the dealership middleman and go directly to a bank for a loan for your RV. It can be a cheaper option but could be a less convenient way of getting finance as you have to do all the legwork instead of the dealer. Bank loans can be pre-approved, so it’s always worthwhile visiting your bank before you go to a dealership. This way, you will, in essence, have the money needed and know what it will cost before buying.
With secured RV loans, interest rates can be a little more favorable, and you’ll tend to have more negotiating power than with the dealer who will likely just have fixed options for available finance.
Unsecured personal loan
If you don’t want to secure your RV against the loan, you can still go to your bank and ask for a personal loan. Obviously, without the security, it is more challenging to get this type of loan, and you’ll need to have a good credit rating and be willing to pay at least some form of deposit upfront.
One thing to bear in mind with an unsecured personal loan is that interest rates are generally higher than secured loans and can lead to far higher repayment amounts.
Home equity loan
If you own your own home, you could look at getting a home equity loan. This type of loan uses the value of your home as collateral. If you’ve already paid off part of your mortgage or your house has risen in value, this may provide enough equity to get a loan to cover the cost of the RV.
The obvious downside to this loan is that if you fail to make payments, your house can and will be repossessed.
Speak to a Credit Union
Credit unions are non-profit organizations that provide loans to members who live or work in a particular area or field or are associated with a specific group. As they are non-profit, one of the main benefits of getting a loan from a Credit Union is that interest rates are generally lower even for people with a poor credit rating.
If you’re looking at buying a cheaper new RV or maybe a used one, then a credit card may be a financing option. This is one of the less complicated methods of RV funding as you can swipe your card and be on your way. You will, of course, need a decent credit limit to make the purchase, but if you do this, it could be a convenient method of financing.
The downside to a credit card is that interest rates are high, with credit cards often charging far more than most other forms of financing.
How long can I get finance?
Well, this depends on the type of finance you use. Dealership loans and bank loans usually range from 5 to 10 years. Personal loans and home equity loans have a wide variety of lengths from one year up to 15 or more.
Credit cards don’t have a term length and can be paid off as and when you want. The issue with this is the longer the debt runs the more interest you will end up paying.
Any tips on how to save money when financing an RV?
Regardless of how you finance your RV, there are ways to save money. Here are a few that we recommend:
- Pay a bigger deposit. This reduces the amount of money you need to borrow.
- Haggle for a lower interest rate.Most financing options give you a little bit of negotiating power. Speak to the dealer or the bank and ask them for their best rate. You could save thousands in the long run.
- Make larger payments.If you have a loan that doesn’t penalize you for overpaying and you can afford to overpay, do so. This again will save you thousands of pounds in interest payments.
- Get the shortest loan term you can.The shorter the loan, the less you’ll need to pay in interest. Keep the money in your pocket, not in the bank managers.
- Plan ahead and have all the facts before making a decision.Work out how much you can afford in advance and stick to your budget.
- Shop around.Search for what financing deals are available to you and don’t settle for the first one you find, which if you don’t plan will probably be the dealerships.
After reading this short guide, you should feel better armed to head out and buy an RV that will keep you happy for many, many years to come.