Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Exploring RV loans for a motorhome or camper

By now, everyone knows that I have been exploring RV loans for a motorhome or camper. I never expected to enjoy camping as much as I do. My goal is to get something bigger than the travel trailer that we have now. My motorhome or RV dreams are delayed until we can get my latest car repair resolved. That gives me extra time to research options for RV loans.

Buyers like myself aren't limited to traditional bank or credit union loans any longer. There are plenty of online companies that offer RV loans. It looks like the first thing that I need to do is check my credit score. This determines how much can be borrowed and what the interest rate will be. After that, the search can begin.

I found that Southeast Financial will make RV loans in amounts as low as $7,500. They say that they will consider customers in a broader range of credit scores than some companies will risk.

As you can see from my pop-up camper photo, my RV serves as an on-the-go and (sometimes) an at home office. The types of loans that are available for upgrades are dizzying.

For years, Good Sam has been thought of as the gold standard in RV and camping services. It's no surprise that they have financing options for campers, fifth wheels, recreational vehicles and everything in-between.  Loans range from five to twenty-five years. A credit score of at least 690 is ideal.

One of the sales people that we talked with said something intriging. He urged us to think of an RV or motorhome loan as a mortgage. The amount borrowed is higher and the terms are typically longer that what you will see on a car note. So far, this seems to be good advice.

Our credit union will finance some RV loans. Like other lenders, they typically want to see at least 20% down. When we financed our camper, our credit union came in with the best interest rate that we could find. When it comes to borrowing money for a motorhome or camper trailer upgrade, they are probably going to be the first people that we speak with.

Banks are also willing to lend money for a motorhome. The rates seem to be competitive but the credit union beats most banks.

It took three months of research to fine tune my decision of what minivan to purchase few years ago. That amount of time was a drop in the bucket compared to buying my PT Cruiser. Camping is too important and too much fun to leave to chance. Except for the car repair, I'm glad for the additional time to research loans for an RV or motorhome. Something tells me that I will need the extra time.