How do I Finance a Harley-Davidson with Bad Credit?

Your credit doesn't have to be perfect for you to finance a Harley-Davidson.
Image Credit: Ljupco/iStock/Getty Images

While owning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle may be your dream, everyone goes through rough times. How can you get a loan for a Harley with bad credit? Like most vehicles, a Harley-Davidson bike may be too costly for most working-class people to buy in cash. You'll probably need to take out a loan to cover the remaining cost after making a down payment. If you've been through a hard time financially and your credit score is low, you may think this is impossible. As it turns out, there are several options you may have to look through in order to get your dream bike on the road as soon as possible.


What Counts as Bad Credit?, one of the main credit reporting companies, explains what counts as bad credit when it comes to financing and loans. Credit scores, which are a measure of your credit history and determine how you appear to lenders, usually fall between 300 and 850. If your calculated FICO score is above 740, you have nothing to worry about.

Video of the Day

A FICO score between 670 and 739 is considered good. Scores between 580 and 669 are considered fair, and anything below 579 is considered poor. Credit scores below 670 may stand in your way when asking for a loan. Furthermore, you may end up with less advantageous terms.


Cost of a Harley-Davidson Bike

Biker's Rights lists the price range for different models of Harley motorcycles as anywhere from $6,000 to $44,000 (in 2019); 2021 models range from $22,000 to $49,999. Obtaining a loan to pay for a motorcycle will depend on the final price of the bike, your credit score and how much cash you can put into a down payment (a sum paid on the day of purchase, which is taken out of the price before financing terms are applied).

For example, if you buy a $20,000 Harley-Davidson bike and put $6,000 as a down payment, you'll only need to finance $14,000 through a loan.


The credit needed for Harley-Davidsons will vary depending on the lender you work with. There are plenty of bad credit Harley loans on the market.

Harley-Davidson Finance Requirements

When it comes to looking for Harley financing with bad credit, you should start with existing relationships. The first place you may look for a vehicle loan is through whatever banking corporation you use for your checking and savings accounts. Most institutions offer good terms to their current customers and many also offer deals or bonuses if you open a line of credit. However, you'll need to be in good standing with your bank, with no overdue payments on your credit cards or mortgages and no unpaid fees. You'll also need a credit rating that's good or above.


The next place you may look is through Harley-Davidson themselves and the dealerships that sell Harleys. The Harley-Davidson company has financing offers for certain models that change as the market changes. They may offer you a zero-dollar down payment, low APR (the percentage you're charged on the loan) and loan periods that can stretch over seven years. A manufacturer is also more likely to offer you a loan with credit that's less than good; one dealership mentions that there's no minimum credit score required in order to be offered a loan option.

If you're set on a Harley, you may want to start at a dealership to discuss your options. You're more likely to get approval if an event in your past was partially responsible for damaging your credit score and you may show that you currently have a more reliable income and better credit usage.