Can You Find RV Financing With Bad Credit? - RV LIFE (2023)

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Can You Find RV Financing With Bad Credit? - RV LIFE (1)

Here’s How to Buy the RV of Your Dreams

Can you find RV financing even with bad credit? The simple answer is YES!

But there are many factors that will impact your loan. If you have bad credit and want to purchase an RV, it would be wise to get pre-approved so when you go shopping for your new rig you’ll know what type of RV will fit into your loan budget and how much payment you can afford.

Being pre-approved will also give you more negotiating power since the dealer or seller will know you’re serious and that you can afford whatever you’re thinking about purchasing.

What credit score do you need for an RV loan?

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 and a really low credit score will disqualify you from almost all financing. There are lenders who will finance your purchase even if you have a prior bankruptcy and a credit score as low as 550. I listed a few lenders at the bottom of this article that may provide financing, if all the rest of these listed conditions meet their standards.

(Video) Bad Credit RV Financing: RVs for those with bad credit

  • The type and age of the RV you want to finance,
  • The down payment and length of the loan period,
  • The applicable interest rate,
  • What state you live in,
  • How you intend to use the RV,
  • What your recent credit history is,
  • And the stability of your income.

You should be aware that a low credit score will definitely raise your interest rate. Many RV lenders have interest rates as low as 4.29% but a low credit score could raise that rate all the way to 24.99% which will significantly increase your payments and limit your total loan amount. Additionally, the lower your score the more they may require for a down payment. After all, they want you to have some skin in the game and bear some of the risk.

The online app Credit Karma is not an accurate indicator of your credit score. Lenders use several different credit scores depending on their underwriters’ requirements, but Credit Karma is not as detailed and accurate as the lenders need to determine your credit worthiness and their risk. My experience with both a car lender and an RV lender indicates that Credit Karma was many points higher than the FICO score the lenders pulled for my applications.

Know your score before you contact a lender

If you have a Credit Karma score that hovers around 550 to 575 you might be disappointed to learn that your FICO score is too low to obtain RV financing. Or, if your Credit Karma score is in the mid-500s, before contacting any of the lenders you should probably get the free credit reports from the three credit bureaus, so you know where you stand.

And if you still don’t know what your FICO score is, you might be able to get that information from your bank or credit union and there are a few places on the internet that say they will provide a free FICO score.

Approach the internet resource with caution. It might be a way to scam you out of all your personal information which would be worse than being denied credit by a reputable lender.

Can You Find RV Financing With Bad Credit? - RV LIFE (2)

A motorhome may be more difficult to finance than a travel trailer. Photo by P. Dent

(Video) How to buy a RV with bad credit

Can you get RV financing if you plan on full-timing?

There is one other thing you must know before contacting an RV lender. Most lenders will not fund an RV that you intend to use as a full-time residence. Even if you have nearly perfect credit, it’s virtually impossible to obtain financing for a rig in which you intend to live.

There are many obvious reasons why lenders won’t finance full-timers. The first concern is if you default on your loan, how can they find you and repossess the rig? The second concern is what kind of work will you be able to do in your RV that will produce the long-term stable income they require to secure the loan.

I get it. I live and work in an RV and I am able to support my lifestyle with my income, but being able to document that to meet a lender’s requirements is very difficult. They have specific thresholds of risk and even with excellent credit, the lender’s risk is considered too great when financing full-time RVers.

If your intention is to take your newly acquired RV on the road for a full-time RV experience, I suggest you buy your RV well in advance of selling your home, because you certainly will not get financing with poor credit and no permanent residence.

Where to Find RV Financing When You Have Bad Credit

There are several different places to look for RV financing if you have poor credit. You can look at any of the online resources listed below. These folks can determine quickly if you qualify for a loan and for how much of a loan.

They can advise what interest rate you will be paying, and the terms of a loan, but the online lenders offer an impersonal option. They have criteria, and if you fit within their criteria you will obtain financing. If you don’t fit, your loan application will be denied. It’s a rapid, cut and dry process.

On the other hand, if you are a member of a credit union or have a good relationship with your bank, you might try them for a more personal experience. If they know you, and have seen you working your way out of a financial hole, that might factor into their decision making process and help override the bad credit score.

Document your credit history

Whether you use a face-to-face lender like a credit union or an online lender, the more you can do to document that your poor credit history is just that, history, and that your current work/life/debt situation has improved, the more likely you will be to obtain RV financing even with poor credit.

(Video) MUST HEAR Insider Info on RV Financing!!

There are many reasons a person’s credit score can go down. You’ve lost your job, had emergency medical problems in your family, suffered through the death of a spouse, or had a child go off course requiring significant unexpected investments in therapy or treatment. Whatever caused the decline in your credit score needs to be behind you before any financial institution will be willing to finance your RV.

Buy from a dealer or private seller

You can buy an RV from a dealer and work with them to obtain financing but that may not be your best choice. Buying a used RV from a private party may be a better deal. You may find a better rig for less, but financing that purchase could be more difficult than purchasing from a dealer.

In that case, I would direct you to National Vehicle. I wrote a Camper Report article about selling an RV and covered the benefits of National Vehicle in that article which you can read here.

This organization is my personal favorite RV financing resource because they do more than just secure financing. They will also help you hire an inspector to confirm that the rig you’re interested in purchasing is as it has been described. National Vehicle will also help you with the logistics of moving your purchase from the seller to your location if you happen to be in remote locations.

The staff at National Vehicle works with both the buyer and the seller. They help with the transition of ownership. This can be a difficult thing to accomplish when the seller and buyer are both private parties. Most lenders don’t get that involved in the sale. National Vehicle is a notch above and worth your consideration if you’re looking for RV financing. And that’s even if you have poor credit.

RV loans for people with bad credit

Don’t even bother with Good Sam if you have poor credit since they require a minimum FICO score of 700 points. But you may be able to find RV financing even with poor credit at one of these other online resources.

Learn more about RV loans

To learn more about RV financing, check out our previous article,RV Loans Video Explains How Financing Works.

(Video) Looking to Buy a RV with Bad Credit, Bankruptcy, Low Credit Score? Paul Sherry RVs can Help!

You may also like this Do It Yourself RV article on 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Finance Your RV.

Can You Find RV Financing With Bad Credit? - RV LIFE (3)

Peggy Dent

Peggy Dent is an author, writer, and full-time RVer, traveling around the US and Canada. She’s traveled more than 130,000 miles in a motorhome, over the past 20 years, and is currently writing for the RV industry. You can contact her through her website at

(Video) How to Apply for a RV Loan with Bad Credit


What is the minimum credit score for an RV loan? ›

The specific credit score you'll need to qualify for an RV loan will vary from one lender to another, with the most common score being 660. This is considered an average score, and many people will have no problem meeting this requirement. When considering you for an RV loan, your lender will look at several factors.

Can I buy a camper with a 500 credit score? ›

A score of 670 or better is typically required to qualify for an RV loan. A better score increases your chances of being approved for a loan. However, some lenders will approve you for a loan with just a 550 score.

Can I get an RV with 550 credit score? ›

You may be approved for a motorhome that's up to 12 years old and other RVs that are up to 15 years old if you can prove a stable employment history, a credit score of 550 or higher and a minimum annual income of $20,000 to $30,000. Interest rates are based on credit history.

What FICO score do RV lenders use? ›

The RV financing industry-standard ranges from about 660 to 700 FICO score, but there is a possibility your search for “RV financing with 650 credit score” can be fruitful because there is financing available for credit scores in the 500 to 600 range.

Is it easy to get approved for an RV? ›

Qualifying for an RV loan can be a challenge

Securing financing for an RV could be more difficult than getting approved for a car loan. In fact, depending on the length of your loan term and the amount you're borrowing, qualifying for an RV loan could be similar to qualifying for a home mortgage.

How much is a downpayment on an RV? ›

How Much of a Down Payment is Required? – Most banks and credit unions require a minimum down payment of 20% of the total cost being financed. Lenders who specialize in RV financing can sometimes reduce the required down payment to 10% – 15%, but your interest rates may suffer from the reduction.

What is a normal loan for an RV? ›

On average, RV loans range from 10-15 years, but many banks, credit unions and other finance companies will extend the term up to 20 years for loans of $50,000 or more on qualified collateral. Get a loan term up to 15 years¹ (180 months) for fixed RV loans with Mountain America Credit Union.

How to finance an RV over 10 years old? ›

RV financing for models older than ten years can entail higher interest rates, more restrictive credit score requirements, and down payments of 20% or larger.
Negotiate the RV's Price
  1. Free maintenance options.
  2. Longer warranty periods.
  3. Their length of time in business.
  4. Being willing to wait until the market softens.

What is the average interest rate on RV? ›

The average RV loan has a higher interest rate than the typical car loan, and also tends to be longer. According to data from S&P Global, the average RV loan's interest rate is 6.17% for a new RV purchase and a 36-month loan term, and 6.15% for a 60-month loan on a new RV purchase.

What is a good debt to income ratio for RV loan? ›

A good DTI ratio is 43% or less. If you discover that your DTI ratio is over this amount, you may be able to lower it by paying off some of your current debts. The lower your DTI ratio, the greater your chances of obtaining a zero down payment RV loan.

What can I do if my credit score is 550 and I need a car? ›

Two common ways to do this include:
  1. Adding a cosigner – Not all subprime lenders require a cosigner, but having one on hand doesn't hurt. ...
  2. Making a larger down payment – We recommend that you make the largest down payment you can comfortably afford if you have bad credit.
Nov 25, 2019

Can you get an RV loan with a bankruptcies? ›

The simple answer is YES! But there are many factors that will impact your loan. If you have bad credit and want to purchase an RV, it would be wise to get pre-approved so when you go shopping for your new rig you'll know what type of RV will fit into your loan budget and how much payment you can afford.

Can I buy and RV with 600 credit score? ›

Many sources say that the lowest credit score range at which to qualify for an RV loan is around 650-660. Ideally, your credit score should be closer to (or over) 700. Such a score demonstrates strong creditworthiness, usually through a consistent payment history and low balance utilization.

Do lenders look at FICO or credit score? ›

FICO ® Scores are the most widely used credit scores—90% of top lenders use FICO ® Scores. Every year, lenders access billions of FICO ® Scores to help them understand people's credit risk and make better–informed lending decisions.

What FICO score do most creditors use? ›

FICO Score 5 is an older version that is commonly used in the mortgage and auto loan lending industries. FICO Score 8 was introduced in 2009 and is mainly used by credit card issuers. FICO 5 uses information from Equifax, while FICO 8 takes information from all three credit reporting agencies.

How long does it take to get approved for a RV? ›

Once you apply for an RV loan, it can take 24 to 48 hours or more to get a decision. Plus, the dealer needs time to get the RV ready for you. The whole process can take a week or longer. Also, you should also expect to pay a financing fee, which may range from $100 to $500, depending on the lender.

Is it easier to get an RV loan or a personal loan? ›

Because RVs are considered luxury vehicles, the process to get funding tends to be more complicated compared to regular personal loans. Additionally, repayment terms typically range from one to 15 years — longer than most personal loans.

Can I get prequalified for an RV loan? ›

If you plan to obtain an RV loan from a lender of your choice rather than through the dealership, you can apply and get pre-approved before you go shopping for your RV.

Is it better to buy an RV outright or finance? ›

Not everyone has enough money in savings to buy an RV outright, but if you do, you should consider skipping the loan. Paying in cash can mean huge savings, since you'll skip the lender fees and interest charges. Just be sure you don't deplete your emergency savings.

Will RV prices go down in 2023? ›

In general, RVs are going to continue to decrease in price in 2023, due to an incleased supply of RVs and a decreasing demand for them. Class Bs might be the exception to this, as demand for them from Gen Z, Millenials, and Boomers continues to rise.

Is it financially smart to buy an RV? ›

Is an RV a Financial Investment? The short answer is no. With the exception of some in-demand vintage models, the value of an RV depreciates over time. An RV is an investment in a lifestyle, but you can mitigate the expense by renting it out when not in use through a third-party rental site like Outdoorsy or RVshare.

What time of year is best to buy RV? ›

You'll generally find the best time to buy an RV is during late fall and winter. Fewer people shop during this period, and less competition means you'll have more negotiating power. You can also find bargains right before a new RV model is released, when gas prices are up, and at RV trade shows.

How do people afford RVs? ›

People usually get loans to buy an RV through dealers, a bank, or an online lender. These financial products are far more varied than car loans since they can be secured or not. Having a secured loan means that if borrowers do not make their payments, the lender repossesses the motorhome.

How to get a loan for a RV? ›

What you need to qualify for an RV loan
  1. Credit score. As with applying for any type of consumer borrowing, a solid credit score is an important part of your qualifications. ...
  2. Income. ...
  3. Credit history. ...
  4. Lender-specific requirements. ...
  5. Obtain quotes from multiple lenders. ...
  6. Complete an application. ...
  7. Sign loan agreement.
Jan 17, 2023

What is the RV 10 year rule? ›

The ten-year rule at RV parks. “The Ten Year Rule” is a code that's enforced at many upscale RV parks around the country. The rule implies that RVs older than 10 years are too weathered and worn and should be prohibited. The rule is often enforced regardless of how pristine the RV actually is.

What is the average age of an RV owner? ›

34% are between the ages of 18 – 54 and 66% are 55+.

How much are RV payments per month? ›

Most RV loans are long-term, which can help keep your monthly payments low. Terms will vary depending on several factors, including the RV's age, credit history, et cetera. As for monthly payments, the average monthly payment for an RV will be anywhere from $225 to $650 monthly.

How do I get the best RV loan rate? ›

As with any loan product, the better your credit score, the better the rate you'll typically be offered. In order to qualify for the best RV loan rates, you should aim for a credit score of around 700 or higher. Of course, there are many lenders who also offer RV loans to those with bad credit.

Should I live in an RV to save money? ›

If you live thoughtfully, you can absolutely save money while living in an RV, even while traveling. But, if you're the kind of person who wants to stay at luxury RV parks and spend money on food and experiences, you might find it just as pricey (if not more so) than stationary life. There's no right or wrong here.

Are RV loans tax deductible? ›

Yes, in most states, the interest on your RV financing is tax-deductible. This is typically available whether your RV is your primary or secondary home, though some states may have their own requirements.

How to get a loan with high debt-to-income ratio? ›

How to get a loan with a high debt-to-income ratio
  1. Try a more forgiving program. Different programs come with varying DTI limits. ...
  2. Restructure your debts. Sometimes, you can reduce your ratios by refinancing or restructuring debt. ...
  3. Pay down (the right) accounts. ...
  4. Cash-out refinancing. ...
  5. Get a lower mortgage rate.
Oct 17, 2022

What is an acceptable income to debt ratio? ›

What do lenders consider a good debt-to-income ratio? A general rule of thumb is to keep your overall debt-to-income ratio at or below 43%.

Do lenders consider debt-to-income ratio? ›

Why is debt-to-income important? Lenders use the debt-to-income ratio as a way to measure your ability to manage the payments you make each month and repay the money you have borrowed.

Is a 500 credit score fixable? ›

Fortunately, you don't have to stay at 500 forever. By making timely payments, monitoring how much of your available credit you're using and taking other positive steps, you can be on your way to rebuilding your credit.

How can I get my credit score from 550 to 700? ›

Pay all your dues on time and in full if you wish to increase your credit score from 500 to 700. Missing a repayment or failing to repay the debt will significantly impact your credit score.

What raises credit score? ›

Factors that contribute to a higher credit score include a history of on-time payments, low balances on your credit cards, a mix of different credit card and loan accounts, older credit accounts, and minimal inquiries for new credit.

Do bankruptcies clear loans? ›

Personal loans work like credit cards, and are discharged in bankruptcy. The same general exceptions apply to personal loans as do to credit cards. Payday loans are generally unsecured, and are discharged in bankruptcy.

How big of a loan can I get with a 600 credit score? ›

You can borrow anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $100,000+ with a 600 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.

Is FICO score better than Credit Karma? ›

You've probably heard of Credit Karma – even the name sounds nice, doesn't it? But, despite that, you'd be surprised how many borrowers are shocked that their Credit Karma score is lower than the FICO scores their lender uses.

How do I get my FICO 2 4 and 5 scores for free? ›

You can get your FICO® Score for free from hundreds of financial services companies, including banks, credit unions, credit card issuers and credit counselors that participate in the FICO® Score Open Access program and offer free scores to customers.

Why isn't Credit Karma accurate? ›

This is mainly because of two reasons: For one, lenders may pull your credit from different credit bureaus, whether it is Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Your score can then differ based on what bureau your credit report is pulled from since they don't all receive the same information about your credit accounts.

How accurate is Credit Karma credit score? ›

Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.

Why is Credit Karma score lower than Experian? ›

There are a few reasons your Credit Karma credit score is lower than your Experian score. Some companies only report your credit history with them to one or two credit bureaus. Not all three. So If a negative public record shows on TransUnion but not Experian, that creates the gap between your credit scores.

What's better Equifax or TransUnion? ›

Equifax: Which is most accurate? No credit score from any one of the credit bureaus is more valuable or more accurate than another. It's possible that a lender may gravitate toward one score over another, but that doesn't necessarily mean that score is better.

What is the income to debt ratio to qualify for an RV loan? ›

Most lenders that offer recreational financing will require that your debt to income ratio be less than 40%. You can calculate your DTI ratio by totaling up your monthly recurring debts (total of all of your monthly payments for installment loans and revolving loans), then divide that number by your monthly income.

Can I claim my RV on my taxes? ›

Your main home is the one where you ordinarily live most of the year. This can be a boat or RV even if it doesn't have a permanent location. As long as it contains the required facilities, you can claim it as your main home on your taxes.

How long does it take to get approved for RV loan? ›

Once you apply for an RV loan, it can take 24 to 48 hours or more to get a decision. Plus, the dealer needs time to get the RV ready for you. The whole process can take a week or longer. Also, you should also expect to pay a financing fee, which may range from $100 to $500, depending on the lender.

Is it better to buy RV or finance? ›

If you are considering purchasing a camper and are more patient than wealthy, save for it. A $10,000 loan financed for 5 years at 4% interest would have payment of about $185 per month. If you saved that same $185 you would be able to pay cash in 54 months (4 1/2 years) and save yourself over $1000 in interest.


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