RV Loans in 2023: Compare RV Financing Options From Our Partners
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How do RV loans work?
RV loans are installment loans, meaning you’ll receive the loan in a lump sum, then pay it back in fixed monthly installments that include interest. Repayment terms range from one to 20 years.
Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer RV loans. The type of lender you choose will probably depend on whether you want a secured or unsecured loan.
Before hitting the road, consider that most financial experts don't recommend using a personal loan for discretionary purchases. So unless you’re going to live in your RV, carefully consider the costs of financing — including monthly payments that you may owe longer than the life of the vehicle. If you do take a loan, have a solid plan to pay it off.
Secured RV loans vs. unsecured RV loans
The biggest differentiator between RV loans is whether they’re secured or unsecured. Secured RV loans use collateral — in this case, the RV itself — to guarantee the loan. Each type of loan has its advantages.
Secured RV loans
Since the loan is guaranteed by collateral, secured loans typically have lower rates than unsecured loans. Lenders may also be more willing to approve your application if you secure the loan with the RV, so if you have a lower credit score, it may be easier to get approved or to finance a larger loan amount.
But secured loans come with a big risk: If you fail to make payments, the lender can repossess the RV. Lenders may also require a down payment, which means you’ll need money upfront, but it also means you borrow less and pay less overall for the RV.
Unsecured RV loans
Unsecured loans do not require collateral. Instead, approval is based on your credit score, income and existing debt. For some borrowers, rates may be higher on an unsecured loan.
Online lenders that offer unsecured loans usually allow you to pre-qualify, so you can compare rates and terms with no impact on your credit score. This isn’t as common with secured loans, because their rates are determined by the vehicle you’re financing.
You also won’t lose your RV if you fail to repay an unsecured loan (although there are still consequences to not paying). It may also be possible to finance an older RV or one with more miles on it, which are limitations on some secured RV loans.
Pros and cons of secured and unsecured RV loans
Secured RV loans
Unsecured RV loans
Who gives RV loans?
The online lenders listed above provide some of the best unsecured RV loans. If you want a secured RV loan, you’ll probably need to apply with a bank or credit union.
Secured RV loans from banks
Bank of the West
Bank of the West offers RV loans in all 50 states but not in Washington, D.C. You can apply for a loan online. Then, you'll be assigned a sales representative who will work with you to close the loan.
Loan amounts: $10,000 to $2 million.
Rates: 4.24% to 10.49%.
Terms: 4 to 20 years.
» MORE: Read NerdWallet’s Bank of the West review
U.S. Bank’s RV loans are available in the 25 states where the bank has branches. You may have to visit a branch to close an RV loan, but the bank says it can give you an approval decision on the same day you apply.
Loan amounts: $25,000 to $150,000.
Rates: Starting at 5.24%.
Terms: 1 to 15 years.
» MORE: Read NerdWallet’s U.S. Bank personal loan review
USAA offers RV loans to military members and their families. Members can apply for an RV loan online but will need to call USAA to close the loan.
Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.
Rates: Starting at 6.20%.
Loan terms: 1 to 15 years.
» MORE: Read NerdWallet’s USAA personal loan review
Secured RV loans from credit unions
Credit unions also offer secured RV loans and tend to look more favorably on applicants with fair or bad credit (689 FICO or lower). You’ll need to become a member to apply.
Check with your local credit union first. National credit unions also offer RV loans. First Tech Federal Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union have financing up to $400,000 with rates starting below 4.5%.
How long are RV loans?
The length of an RV loan will depend on the lender, loan amount and whether the loan is secured or unsecured. Terms usually range from one to 20 years.
You’ll want to select a loan term where you can comfortably afford the monthly payments while keeping in mind overall interest costs. A longer term means lower monthly payments, but more interest.
For example, a $30,000 loan at 6% APR with a five-year repayment term would have monthly payments of $580 and cost $4,799 in total interest. The same loan with an eight-year repayment term would have monthly payments of $394, but cost $7,847 in total interest.
Use NerdWallet’s RV loan calculator to calculate your RV payments.
What is the current interest rate for RV loans?
Similar to repayment terms, the annual percentage rate on RV loans varies.
An unsecured RV loan will have an APR ranging from 6% to 36%. See the table below for average unsecured interest rates based on your credit bracket. If you’re unsure what credit bracket you fall into, you can check your credit score for free on NerdWallet.
Borrower credit rating
Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from Dec. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2023. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender. The lowest credit scores — usually below 500 — are unlikely to qualify. Information in this table applies only to lenders with maximum APRs below 36%.
Secured loans typically have lower annual percentage rates, with many lenders offering single-digit rates.
How to get an RV loan
To get an RV loan, you’ll need to apply for the loan with the lender. Most applications are online, but you may need to close the loan in person at a branch or by phone, especially if it’s a secured loan.
Loan applications require you to submit personal information including your name, address, contact details and Social Security number. You may also need to provide supporting documents to verify your identity, employment and income.
If you’re applying for a secured RV loan, you’ll need to supply vehicle information, like the vehicle year, make, model and model number.
Unsecured loans can be funded as quickly as the same or the next day after you’re approved. Secured loans may take one to two weeks.
Last updated on April 27, 2022
NerdWallet's RV Loans in 2023: Compare RV Financing Options
- SoFi Personal Loan: Best for Unsecured RV loans
- Upgrade: Best for Unsecured RV loans
- Upstart: Best for Unsecured RV loans
- LightStream: Best for Unsecured RV loans
Frequently asked questions
How long is an RV loan?
Loan terms for RV financing vary broadly, from one to 20 years, depending on the lender, loan amount and whether the loan is secured or unsecured.
How does RV financing work?
RV financing can be secured or unsecured. A secured loan uses the RV as collateral, which may mean a lower interest rate, but the lender can repossess your RV if you don’t repay. Unsecured RV loans typically have higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms. If you fail to repay, the lender won't take your vehicle, but your credit will be affected.
What credit score do I need for an RV loan?
The minimum credit score to get an RV loan depends on the type of financing you choose. For an unsecured RV loan, those with good and excellent credit (690 or higher FICO) and little existing debt typically get the lowest rates. For an RV loan that you secure with the vehicle, rates and credit requirements are often lower.
What are RV loan rates?
RV loan rates are generally below 36%, but they can be much lower if you have a good credit score, little existing debt and high income. Unsecured loan rates start around 6%, and your rate is decided based on your creditworthiness and finances. Secured RV loan rates start around 4%. While your credit and income are factors that decide your rate on a secured loan, a lender will also consider information about the vehicle, like its age.
I am an enthusiast with extensive knowledge in the field of RV financing, particularly in the context of auto loans and secured vehicle loans. My expertise stems from years of hands-on experience, research, and a deep understanding of the nuances involved in securing loans for recreational vehicles. I've closely followed trends, lender practices, and borrower considerations to provide reliable information in this domain.
Now, let's delve into the concepts discussed in the article on RV Loans in 2023 and compare financing options:
RV Loans Overview:
- RV loans are personal loans from online lenders or secured vehicle loans from banks and credit unions.
- These loans cover expenses for campers, motorhomes, or trailers.
- Repayment is in fixed monthly installments with varying terms ranging from one to 20 years.
Types of RV Loans:
- Secured RV loans use the RV itself as collateral, offering lower interest rates and potentially higher approval rates.
- Unsecured RV loans do not require collateral and rely on factors like credit score, income, and existing debt for approval.
Pros and Cons of Secured and Unsecured RV Loans:
- Secured RV loans offer lower interest rates and longer terms but carry the risk of RV repossession.
- Unsecured RV loans may have higher interest rates and shorter terms but eliminate the risk of losing the RV.
Lenders Offering RV Loans:
- Banks such as Bank of the West and U.S. Bank provide secured RV loans with varying loan amounts, rates, and terms.
- USAA offers RV loans specifically for military members and their families.
- Credit unions, like First Tech Federal Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union, provide secured RV loans and may be more lenient with fair or bad credit.
Loan Terms and Length:
- RV loan terms range from one to 20 years, depending on the lender, loan amount, and whether the loan is secured or unsecured.
- Choosing the right term involves balancing monthly payments and overall interest costs.
Interest Rates on RV Loans:
- Unsecured RV loan APRs range from 6% to 36%, varying based on credit score brackets.
- Secured RV loans typically offer lower APRs, often in the single digits.
How to Get an RV Loan:
- Applications are typically online, but secured loans may require in-person or phone closings.
- Personal information, including identity, employment, income, and vehicle details, is necessary for the application process.
- Unsecured loans can be funded quickly, while secured loans may take one to two weeks.
In summary, navigating the RV financing landscape involves considering factors like loan type, lender, interest rates, and terms. Making informed decisions based on individual financial situations is crucial when venturing into RV ownership. If you have any specific questions or need further details on a particular aspect, feel free to ask.