RV Loan Calculator – Forbes Advisor
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A caravan loan is used to finance the purchase of a new or used mobile home, motor home or caravan. RV loans come with various annual percentage rates (APRs), loan amounts, and terms that add up to different monthly payments.
Comparing these rates and terms can get confusing, especially if you don’t understand exactly how to sum up the numbers. This simple, easy-to-use RV Loan Calculator can help you understand and estimate your payments.
How to Use This RV Loan Calculator
To use this RV loan calculator, enter the amount you need to borrow, the interest rate, and the term. Next, click Submit to see your estimated monthly payment and the total interest paid over the life of the loan.
Use the calculator to determine if you can afford the RV loan you’re considering or you may need to find a cheaper option.
RV Loan Calculator
How to get an RV loan
There are two main ways to get an RV loan: you can either take out a personal loan or you can take out a classic RV loan.
A personal loan is typically an unsecured loan, which means you don’t have to put up any collateral — something valuable like a savings account — to secure the loan. Personal loans typically range from $500 to $100,000, depending on the purpose of the loan, and have repayment periods of between one and seven years.
However, personal loans may not always offer sufficiently high loan amounts or long loan terms. In this case, you may need to apply for a traditional RV loan, which is similar to an auto loan for a car or truck. The lender gives you the money to buy the RV and use the RV as collateral on the loan, making it a secured loan. RV loans also often require a down payment of between 10% and 20%; Personal loans don’t.
The loan application process is similar for both: you must meet minimum creditworthiness and potential annual income requirements; submit a formal application to a bank or online lender that includes your personal information, such as your social security number (SSN) and income; signing the loan documents; and start paying off your loan as soon as you receive the money.
What is a Good RV Loan Rate?
The best RV loan rates start at 4% but can go as high as 11%. Interest rates vary based on your credit rating, the amount you borrow, and the total repayment period.
In general, the shorter the term, the lower your interest rate, as long as you have a good to very good credit rating. For example, Compass Credit Union offers an APR of just 4.24% for 48-month new RV loans, while a 180-month new RV loan has an initial interest rate of 7.24%.
Alternatives to RV loans
If you’re not sure if a traditional RV loan is right for you, consider these alternatives.
Personal loans are the most common RV loan alternative because you can use them for almost anything. If you’re buying a cheaper RV, it pays to pre-qualify with some of the best personal lenders to see if you can get a better loan offer.
Loans typically range from $500 to $100,000 and have interest rates as low as 3% and terms ranging from one to seven years, depending on the purpose of the loan. The repayment terms are a major disadvantage of a personal loan. If you plan to pay off your loan beyond seven years, it may be best to consider a traditional RV loan.
If you don’t qualify for an RV loan or get a high interest rate from the lender, you can take out a home equity loan and use the proceeds to buy an RV.
A home equity loan allows you to borrow the value of your home once you’ve built up equity and pay off your loan amount anywhere from five to 30 years. Most lenders require that you currently have between 15% and 20% equity, which is the difference between the home’s current appraised value and the remaining mortgage balance.
Interest rates on a home equity loan, typically between 3% and 7%, can be lower than an RV loan because the lender can use your home as collateral. But that is also the downside of a mortgage loan: If you default on a mortgage loan, the bank can confiscate your house.
Another major disadvantage of home equity loans occurs when your home’s value suddenly drops. In this case, you won’t be able to sell the house for a profit because you owe more than it’s worth.
Before 2018, borrowers could deduct interest paid on a home loan from their taxes, but now they can only do so if they use the funds to improve or repair their home.
Before you take out a home loan, consider whether you plan to move in the next few years. If so, a home equity loan may not be worth the risk.
If you have money in a 401(k) with your current employer, you can borrow from it and use that money to buy your RV. When you take out a 401(k) loan, you pay the interest back into your own 401(k) account instead of paying interest to a bank.
Money withdrawn from a 401(k) loan is no longer invested in the stock market, meaning you could miss out on potential returns, which is one of the main disadvantages of a 401(k) loan.
If you leave your job for any reason before the loan is repaid, you must pay back what you borrowed no later than that year’s tax day, although some employers may require immediate repayment. Otherwise, it will be considered an early withdrawal and subject to all applicable taxes and penalties.
Before taking out a 401(k) loan, talk to an investment professional about the downsides and how to make sure your retirement goals don’t suffer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I have to pay a down payment for an RV loan?
Many lenders require that you schedule a down payment of between 10% and 20% when you take out an RV loan. For example, a $20,000 RV through a lender requiring a 20% down payment would require $4,000 upfront.
What credit rating do I need for a mobile home loan?
Lenders that issue RV loans have stricter requirements than auto loan companies. You typically need a credit score of at least 660 to qualify for an RV loan.
You can check your credit online for free through various credit websites. Some credit card issuers offer free scores to both customers and non-customers, including Capital One, American Express, and Discover.
If your credit score is below 660, you may not qualify for an RV loan. In this case, you should try to find a lender that accepts co-signers to increase your chances of approval and help you secure a lower interest rate. However, most RV lenders do not allow co-signers on the loan, although this varies by lender.
How long is the term of an RV loan?
Since mobile homes usually cost more than a new car or truck, the term of a mobile home loan is significantly longer than that of a normal car loan. While the regular term of a car loan is seven years, the standard term of a mobile home loan is between 10 and 15 years. Some lenders grant 20-year loans.
How do I know what interest rate I’m getting on an RV loan?
Before completing a formal home loan application, you can sometimes prequalify with certain lenders. If you pre-qualify, you submit your personal information and the lender will show you what interest rates and terms you can qualify for without hurting your credit score. Make sure you apply to a few different lenders to compare a variety of offers.