Best RV Loans

How to finance an RV

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Many people in the U.S. choose to purchase recreational vehicles (RVs) to bring the comforts of home with them when they travel, reduce travel costs, and enjoy frequent mini-vacations. According to the RV Industry Association, RV shipments in September 2020 were 31.2% greater than in September 2019. While many factors may be spurring the RV industry growth, one potential factor is people wanting to take advantage of a potential IRS tax deduction on the loan interest.  

We evaluated nearly 20 RV loan providers using factors such as reputation, rate, credit scores, permissible use, RV age, and more to identify the best ones. The best RV loan providers offer competitive rates, as well as financing on new and used RVs. Some can even help people without perfect credit.

The 8 Best RV Loans of 2021

Best Overall : GreatRVLoan

GreatRVLoan

 GreatRVLoan

GreatRVLoan, a SeaDream, Inc., company, is a national RV lender headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. The company has been in business since 2002 and has an excellent A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It also has a great 4.47-star BBB customer rating. 

We chose GreatRVLoan as the best overall RV loan because not only can you get financing for RVs (e.g., travel trailers, fifth wheels) up to $2,000,000, but GreatRVLoans also offers up to $10,000,000 in motorhome financing (e.g., Class A, B, C). Plus, it has financing options for new and used RVs as well as loans for people with good and bad credit, all with competitive rates. 

You can expect an RV loan with GreatRVLoan to meet these basic requirements:

  Standard RV Loan Bad Credit RV Loan
Loan Amount $10,000 to $2,000,000 $10,000 to $75,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 3.99% to 5.99% 7.95% to 17.95%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months 180 months
Minimum Credit Score Expect to need good credit 550
Maximum RV Age 15 years old 15 years old
Permissible RV Use Recreational use only Recreational use only
Approval Speed Typically within 72 hours Typically within 72 hours

Runner-Up, Best Overall : Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

 Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is a national RV lender headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. A BBB-accredited business, Alliant Credit Union has an excellent A+ rating. Customer satisfaction ratings are mixed, with Trustpilot giving Alliant an average 2.6-star rating. Even so, Alliant is a highly regulated financial institution, operating since 1935. 

Although Alliant Credit Union doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements, you’ll likely need a good credit score to qualify. We like Alliant Credit Union because you can finance both new and used RVs, with the maximum RV age extended to 15 years. Plus, even those individuals who plan to live in their RVs full time can qualify. For these reasons, we chose Alliant Credit Union as offering the runner-up to the best overall RV loan.

You can expect an RV loan with Alliant Credit Union to meet these basic requirements:

Loan Amount Up to $300,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 4.24% to 5.24%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months
Minimum Credit Score Expect good credit to be required
Maximum RV Age 15 years old
Permissible RV Use Recreational or full-timer (primary residence)
Approval Speed Usually the same day

Best for Good Credit : Bank of the West

Bank of the West

 Bank of the West

Bank of the West offers RV loans for fifth wheels, travel trailers, and motorhomes nationally through its Essex Credit division. Headquartered in San Ramon, California, the division has a good A+ rating with the BBB. 

We selected Bank of the West for the best RV loan for good credit because it clearly discloses its minimum credit scores—a score of at least 700 is preferred. Many lenders simply say you need a good credit score, which can make it confusing for potential borrowers.

Customer reviews on Bank of the West are mixed, with Trustpilot giving it a low 2-star rating and most customer complaints centered around fees and poor customer service. However, those complaints are for the bank in general rather than their loan department specifically. It’s still a good idea to weigh your options carefully before selecting a loan provider. 

You can expect an RV loan with Bank of the West to meet these basic requirements:

Loan Amount $10,000 to $2,000,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 4.29% to 9.99%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months
Minimum Credit Score Good credit (at least 700 preferred)
Maximum RV Age No older than a 2009 model
Permissible RV Use Recreational or full-timer (primary residence)
Approval Speed 1-2 days

Best for Bad Credit : My Financing USA

My Financing USA

 My Financing USA

My Financing USA helps people with good and bad credit across the nation find the best RV financing options. The company has been in business since 2003 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. As a BBB-accredited business, My Financing USA has an excellent A+ rating with the agency. It also has an excellent 4.7-star customer review rating with Trustpilot.

Unlike many of the RV loan providers we reviewed, My Financing USA has options available for people with good and bad credit scores, which is why we chose it as the best RV loan for bad credit. You can get financing with a credit score as low as 570 and at a competitive rate. Plus, its minimum good credit score of 680 is lower than the other providers we reviewed. 

You can expect an RV loan with My Financing USA to meet these basic requirements:

  Good Credit Bad Credit
Loan Amount $10,000+ $10,000+
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 3.64% 7.95%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months 180 months
Minimum Credit Score 680 570
Maximum RV Age No older than a 2008 model (older case-by-case) No older than a 2008 model (older case-by-case)
Permissible RV Use Recreational use only Recreational use only
Approval Speed 2-3 business days 2-3 business days

Best for a Used RV : Southeast Financial Credit Union

Southeast Financial Credit Union

 Southeast Financial Credit Union

Southeast Financial Credit Union is a national RV lender headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and has been in the RV lending business since 2002. Although Southeast Financial Credit Union doesn’t have a current rating with the BBB, it has an excellent 4.3-star rating with Trustpilot. 

We chose Southeast Financial Credit Union for the best RV loan for used RVs for several reasons. Not only does Southeast Financial Credit Union offer the largest maximum RV loan amount of all the lenders we reviewed (you can get up to $4,000,000 in financing), but it also doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. It also offers financing on RVs (i.e., Class A and C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-ups) that are up to 15 years old. Many of the other providers only offer financing on models newer than 2008 or 2009. 

You can expect an RV loan with Southeast Financial Credit Union to meet these basic requirements:

Loan Amount $10,000 to $4,000,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 4.24%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months
Minimum Credit Score No minimum credit score required
Maximum RV Age 15 years old
Permissible RV Use Recreational use only
Approval Speed 24 hours

Best for an RV as Primary Residence : Good Sam

Good Sam

 Good Sam

Good Sam is a club offering discounts to RV-ers across the nation. In addition to RV loans, Good Sam offers discounts on services like extended warranty plans, insurance, roadside assistance, and more. The company has an A+ rating with the BBB and has been in business since 1966.

In addition to the club benefits, one detail that makes RV loans from Good Sam stand out is their availability to full-timers, which is not the case with most other lenders. For this reason, we chose Good Sam as best for RVs used as a primary residence. Note that loans offered by Good Sam are issued by Bank of the West and the qualification criteria is the same. 

You can expect an RV loan with Good Sam to meet these basic requirements:

Loan Amount $10,000 to $2,000,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 4.29% to 9.99%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months
Minimum Credit Score Good credit (700+ preferred)
Maximum RV Age No older than a 2010 model
Permissible RV Use Recreational or full-timer (primary residence)
Approval Speed 1-2 days

Best for Quick Funding : LightStream

LightStream

 LightStream

LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank (now Truist Bank) that offers unsecured RV loans on a national basis. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a banking pedigree dating back to 1891. A BBB-accredited business, Truist Bank has an excellent A+ rating with the agency. 

The RV loan offered by LightStream is different from the other providers on our list in that it’s unsecured. This means you don’t need to offer your RV as collateral and therefore you don’t need to provide any documentation about the RV. It also means it’s possible to get same-day approval and funding. This is why we chose LightStream as the best RV loan for quick funding.

You can expect an RV loan with LightStream to meet these basic requirements:

Loan Amount $5,000 to $100,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 4.29%
Maximum Loan Term 84 months
Minimum Credit Score Good to excellent credit
Maximum RV Age No restrictions
Permissible RV Use No restrictions
Approval Speed Same day approval and funding

Best for a Large Motorhome Loan : SunTrust

SunTrust

SunTrust

SunTrust Bank (now Truist Bank) offers RV loans nationally (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Vermont). The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has an excellent A+ BBB rating. Although its Trustpilot rating of 1.06-stars isn’t great, SunTrust is a highly regulated bank, operating since 1891.

We chose SunTrust as best for a large motorhome loan because of the number of options for financing as well as the loan limits. You can get an unsecured RV loan up to $100,000 from SunTrust’s LightStream division. If you need $100,000 or more to finance a Class A or C motorhome (not a fifth wheel, travel trailer, etc.), the secured financing (i.e., the RV is collateral) offered by SunTrust is a good option. You can also get $100,000 to $1,500,000 in financing on a new or used motorhome. 

You can expect an RV loan with SunTrust Bank to meet these basic requirements:

Loan Amount $100,000 to $1,500,000
Starting Interest Rate (APR) 4.74% to 5.74%
Maximum Loan Term 240 months
Minimum Credit Score Expect good credit to be required
Maximum RV Age 10 years old
Permissible RV Use Recreational use only
Approval Speed Initial application review within 24 business hours

FAQs

What Is an RV Loan?

An RV loan is financing intended specifically for a recreational vehicle. Some lenders place restrictions on the types of RVs eligible for funding (e.g., Class A, B, or C motorhomes; travel trailers; tent trailers; fifth wheels). It’s also common for lenders to only lend on RVs that are newer than 10 to 15 years old. Also, many RV lenders will only provide financing to people who intend to use the RV for recreational purposes. Individuals who want to use their RVs as their primary residences need to make sure this is allowed by their lender before the loan is finalized. 

Who Should Get an RV Loan? 

People who like to go on vacation and want to take advantage of reduced travel costs might want to consider purchasing an RV. This is because research suggests that cost savings could be as high as 53% for a couple and 64% for a group of four. Even though there’s the potential for vacation cost savings, there are many RV loan factors to consider before buying one, such as your ability to afford the RV and how long you plan to keep it. 

Getting an RV loan is a good idea for people who have plenty of disposable income, enough money for a sizable down payment (10% to 30% of the RV cost), and plan to keep the RV for a long time. Remember, you also need to consider the RV insurance costs, as many lenders will require you to insure the RV even when it’s not in use. If you can’t afford the total cost, then an RV loan is not right for you.

It’s not a good idea to get an RV loan if your financial condition is poor, since you’ll pay a higher interest rate, or if you don’t have very much disposable income. You also need to make sure you’re capable of driving the RV; many people return their RV after they realize they’re not capable of driving it. Furthermore, make sure you’re not planning to take the RV outside the continental U.S., which many lenders prohibit. 

What’s a Good Credit Score for an RV Loan?

A good credit score is generally a FICO score of 670 or better. Many lenders consider a good credit score for an RV loan as one greater than 680 to 700. As with all types of financing, people with better qualifications may benefit from more favorable interest rates, larger loan amounts, and longer repayment terms. 

While you can get an RV loan with bad credit, you can expect your APR to be higher and your repayment terms to be shorter than if you had good credit.

How Much Do RV Loans Cost?

Interest rates on RV loans are fairly competitive, with the best-qualified borrowers benefiting from APRs starting at 3.5% to 5.5%. In addition to an interest rate, most RV loans are secured by the RV that’s being purchased. This means you can expect to pay closing costs associated with the collateral, as well as an origination fee (these costs are included in the APR calculation). Some lenders may also charge a prepayment penalty if the loan is paid off early. 

Make sure to thoroughly and completely read the terms of the loan agreement before you sign the paperwork. 

How Do RV Loans Differ From Car Loans? 

Unlike cars, most people purchase RVs for recreational purposes. For this reason, there is more risk associated with an RV loan, as people will often choose to stop paying their RV loans when they experience financial troubles versus loans on their cars or home. Since there is more risk, lenders typically require people to meet stricter qualifications for RV loans than they do for car loans. For instance, good credit is usually required for an RV loan whereas it’s relatively easy to get a car loan with bad credit

In addition to qualifications, the other major difference between an RV loan and a car loan is the repayment term. While car loans typically need to be repaid within three to seven years, it’s not uncommon for repayment terms on RVs to stretch to 10 to 20 years. This is because the cost of an RV is often a lot more than the cost of a car, as is the useful life of an RV (how long it’s expected to last).  

How We Chose the Best RV Loans

To select the best RV loans, we reviewed nearly 20 RV loan providers to understand their reputations, APRs, minimum credit scores, collateral requirements, approval speed, and more before making our decisions. The best RV loan providers on our list offer competitive rates on RVs up to 15 years old, you can get you approved quickly, and offer a variety of RV loan options.

Article Sources

  1. RV Industry Association. "Business Indicators." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  2. RV Industry Association. "September RV Shipments Up 31 Percent." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  3. Better Business Bureau. "SeaDream Inc." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  4. Better Business Bureau. "Alliant Credit Union." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  5. Trustpilot. "Alliant Credit Union." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  6. Better Business Bureau. “Essex Credit Corporation (A Division of Bank of the West).” Accessed February 21, 2021. 

  7. Trustpilot. "Bank of the West." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  8. Essex Credit Bank of the West BNP Paribas. "RV Rates for Friday, 13 November, 2020 As Low As." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  9. Better Business Bureau. "My Financing USA." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  10. Trustpilot. "My Financing USA." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  11. Trustpilot. "Southeast Financial." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  12. Better Business Bureau. "Southeast Financial." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  13. Better Business Bureau. “Good Sam Enterprises, LLC.” Accessed February 21, 2021.

  14. Better Business Bureau. "Truist Bank." Accessed February 21, 2021.

  15. RV Industry Association. "Families Save Money When Owning, Using RVs Compared to Other Types of Vacations." Accessed February 21, 2021.