An RV loan allows you to purchase a new or used RV and pay for it over time. Typically RVs, including motorhomes, travel trailers, and 5th wheels are expensive. This means most people will need to finance the purchase.
An RV loan often involves repayment over an extended period of time ranging from 10-20 years. This helps keep your monthly payments low.
Since most people can’t pay cash for an RV, they need financing. But not all banks or credit unions are up for financing an RV purchase. Keep reading to see what your options are, including Good Sam RV loans. Before you start shopping for your RV, be sure to check our tips to be prepared.
How do RV loans work?
There are two types of RV loans, unsecured and secured. Both have pros and cons which we’ll go over next.
An unsecured loan has no collateral against the loan. This means if you don’t pay your loan, the lender cannot necessarily repossess your RV.
Because they are higher risk for the lender, unsecured loans typically have higher interest rates. They may also have shorter repayment terms. Since an RV is a substantial purchase, high-interest rates over the life of the loan could mean paying thousands more in interest. With a shorter repayment period, on the other hand, you will save on interest but raise your monthly payment.
An unsecured loan may be easier or faster to obtain compared to a secured loan.
A secured loan has collateral against the loan. In the case of an RV loan, the RV will be the collateral. This means if you don’t make your payments on time, your RV can be repossessed.
A benefit to secured loans is that they typically offer lower interest rates, saving you money over the long term. Most often, you’ll obtain a secured loan through a bank or credit union. You may also need pre-approval and a credit check for a secured loan.
How to choose the best RV loan for you
To decide what the best choice is for RV loans, you need to look at your personal circumstances. For example, how much can you afford to spend? What repayment length do you want? What is your credit score? Keep reading to find out where to start.
Set a budget
The first step to choosing the best RV loan is to set a budget (and stick to it!) By deciding the range of what you can afford beforehand, you won’t be tempted to overspend on that shiny new RV the dealer “just wanted to show you”.
When considering your budget, keep in mind that an RV loan likely has a 10-20-year repayment plan. What will your job situation look like in that length of time? Can you afford the monthly payment for an extended period? What if you lose your job suddenly? Do you have an emergency fund to cover payments while you get back on your feet?
Also consider additional RV costs such as insurance, maintenance, repairs, gas, etc. While these factors won’t be included in your loan, they are expenses that you need to account for in your budgeting.
Decide what kind of loan you want
Once you decide on a budget, you need to decide if you want an unsecured or secured loan. Most often, if you qualify for it, a secured loan will be a better financial decision. You will likely have lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, and access to a larger loan amount.
You will need to save up for a down payment for most secured loans though, so start saving in advance.
Shop your RV
Once you know what you can afford to spend, you can start shopping for RVs in your budget. Take time to consider what size RV you want. Also, consider the RV layout and what you will be using your RV for (pleasure versus full-time living).
Then, to make sure you find the perfect RV for you, shop around. Look at different makes and models as well as different sizes.
You might even consider going to an RV show to maximize your time. An RV show will allow you to look at hundreds of different RVs in a fairly short amount of time. Plus, you won’t feel as much pressure to buy as you might at a dealership.
Choose your lender
Before making your RV purchase, you may want or need to get pre-approved for a loan. That way you know exactly what you can spend. Plus, the dealer or private party gets their money right away. The last thing you want is to sign on the dotted line and have your loan fall through. Some RV dealers may also offer to finance.
Taking time to shop around for a lender will help you get the best interest rate and loan terms that fit your needs. You can look online for many local banks and credit unions or call them to ask what their options are.
Another great option is to consider a Good Sam RV Loan.
Good Sam RV Loan Benefits
Good Sam RV loans have a ton of benefits that you might not see with other lenders. This is because they are specifically designed with RVers in mind. This is the same Good Sam from the RV club.
Good Sam charges the same interest rates for refinancing as it does for new or used vehicles. With interest rates at historic lows, you may benefit from an even lower interest rate by refinancing to a Good Sam RV loan.
Good Sam will make loans to full-timers, though there is additional paperwork involved. Not all companies are willing to take on the risk of someone living in an RV full-time. Good Sam is the place to go if you are looking to become a full-timer.
They will also refinance a vehicle, even though the owner is upside down on the existing loan. If you find yourself unable to keep up with payments and owe more than your RV is worth, you could be in deep trouble. Luckily, Good Sam offers refinancing options for this situation. You may qualify for a lower interest rate or longer repayment term to help you get your finances straightened out.
Good Sam also offers RV loans as low as $50,000, while some other institutions begin at $100,000. If you want a used or less expensive RV, this could be a great option.
They also try to refinance units up to 10 model years in age; other lenders usually stop at eight years. This gives more flexibility to owners of older RVs.
You also have the added convenience of the option to apply online.
There are lots of loan options out there for RV enthusiasts. Banks, credit unions, and Good Sam RV loans may all offer you an excellent rate and terms for your RV purchase. Shop around to see what choice is right for you.
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