What’s the Minimum Credit Score for an RV Loan?

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Curious how high of a credit score you need to get RV financing?

Let’s look into the minimum credit score you need for an RV loan. We’ll break down minimum credit scores by lender, and show you some options if you have poor credit.

We’ll also show you some tips and tricks for improving your credit score so you can afford that dream RV.

What’s the Minimum Credit Score for an RV Loan?

The process of financing an RV is similar to financing a car, albeit more stringent. You’ll need to fill out a loan application and provide some documentation, such as your driver’s license and proof of income. Once you’re approved, you’ll sign the loan documents and make a down payment.

The minimum credit score required for an RV loan is usually 620. Some lenders have programs for borrowers with bad credit down to 550, depending on income level and employment history. However, the best interest rates are available to borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher.

Most lenders look for a 660-680 FICO credit score when considering RV financing. If your credit score is lower than 660-680, you will likely have to appeal for special consideration, or you’ll have to enroll in a Credit-Challenged program.

For reference, the average FICO average credit score in the United States is about 714. This is a significant increase from the historical average of approximately 690-700. Scores above 800 are considered exceptional.

If your credit score is lower than 620, you may still be able to get a loan, but you will likely have to pay a higher interest rate and may not qualify for the longest loan terms. Some lenders will not accept your application.

Can I Get an RV Loan with Bad Credit?

Yes, you can get an RV loan with bad credit. Some lenders specialize in loans for borrowers with scores as low as 550. However, these loans come with many stipulations, such as a higher down payment (at least 20% in most cases) and much higher interest rates.

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being approved for an RV loan, such as increasing your down payment or finding a co-signer.

Minimum Credit Scores for RV Loans By Lender

Banks

Most banks are conservative lenders and will not accept any applications from borrowers with subprime credit scores.

Alliant Credit Union

  • Minimum Credit Score: Not Stated. However, borrowers with sub-par credit likely won’t be approved for “premium” terms like advances up to $400,000 or 20-year terms.

Southeast Financial

  • Minimum Credit Score: 550/600. Southeast Financial has an entire program dedicated to RV financing for borrowers with poor credit: The Credit Challenge Program. You can finance up to $75,000 from 60-180 months. A FICO score of 600 is the nominal minimum, but you can apply for special consideration down to 550.

Lightstream

  • Minimum Credit Score: 660. Loan amounts range from $5,000 – $100,000. Unlike most RV financing, Lightstream offers unsecured loans. But the interest rates are consequently higher due to the higher risk.

Note: Most other unsecured loans, such as from lenders like Marcus, Lending Club, UpStart, SoFi, etc., will have somewhat similar terms. The repayment periods are short, the interest rates are high[er], and you’ll generally pay a stiff upfront fee as well. Most borrowers with subprime credit should avoid unsecured/personal loans for RV financing.

Bank of the West

  • Minimum Credit Score: 680. These are secured loans with competitive interest rates and terms only available to buyers with good or excellent credit.

GreatRVLoan

Good Sam

  • Minimum Credit Score: 680. These are secured loans with competitive interest rates and terms only available to buyers with good or excellent credit.

Newcoast Financial Services

  • Minimum Credit Score: Not specified.

My Financing USA

  • Minimum Credit Score: 550. My Financing USA will consider applications with credit scores as low as 550. Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000 with terms up to 180 months.

How Does a Poor Credit Score Affect My Loan Terms?

Borrowers with excellent credit scores can receive loans (up to $2 million from some lenders) with low interest rates and long loan terms, up to 20 years! You can get an RV loan with an interest rate as low as 4%!

Borrowers with poor credit scores are usually limited to smaller loans ($50,000 – $100,000) with loan terms from 24-180 months, with 60 months being a common average. Interest rates can be much, much higher, up to 17-19%.

You may also need to provide additional financial income, such as:

  • History of employment
  • Proof of recent income
  • Bankruptcy history
  • Personal credit references
  • Mortgage/rent payments

How Can I Improve a Poor Credit Score for RV Financing?

There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score.

  • One is to make sure you always pay your bills on time. If you know you’ll be late on a payment, reach out to the lender, and negotiate a deal so the lender doesn’t report the loan as late or delinquent. Most lenders have a 10-30 day grace period after the bill is due.
  • You should also try to keep your credit card balances low. Strive for below 10% utilization, and never more than 30% utilization. You don’t need to carry a credit balance from month to month to improve your credit score!
  • Don’t apply for too many loans or credit cards at once. Spread out hard credit checks by at least 5-6 months.
  • Diversify your sources of credit. Lenders like to see you can successfully manage multiple types of debt, such as mortgage payments, auto loans, and revolving credit such as credit cards.
  • If you have moderate-to-good credit, apply for a new credit card or ask your current lender for a limit increase. This may ding your credit score in the short-term, but you’ll significantly improve your utilization ratio in the long term.
  • Don’t cancel old revolving credit accounts. The average age of your credit history is a major ranking factor.
  • Finally, make sure the information on your credit report is accurate. Dispute any charges. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report every year. You can also use a credit monitoring service to alert you if false reports or fraudulent charges are suspected.

Remember, an RV is considered a luxury purchase! You’ll need to demonstrate a high level of fiscal responsibility to qualify for RV financing. Lenders aren’t jumping out of their socks to offer loans on luxury purchases – the onus is on you!

Have you ever financed an RV? What tips would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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