The RV Loan Approval Process
Motorhome and RV loans are considered to be "Recreational Financing". This basically means that they are for "Luxury" items. Things you could live without if best, for some unexpected reason or event, came to worst.
Most people have applied for various types of loans in their lifetime. Student loans when you were younger. Auto loans may also be among the first types of loans that you have become familiar with.
Later in life, you may have encountered home loans, or even business financing, equipment, inventory and other types of credit lines. This list is seemingly endless, all with different criteria in qualifying and underwriting guidelines.
RV Loans vs. Other Types of Financing
Most of these types of loans are considered necessary expenses, such as your home and auto loan. If times become tough, or if you have unexpected medical bills or become unemployed, these "necessary" expenses are usually bills you would find a way to pay.
After all, everyone needs a roof over their head, as well as a means of transportation to get to work, the doctor - or even the unemployment office. You also have other fundamental expenses such as utilities and food. All of these things are considered necessary expenses.
Now, you may be considering purchasing an RV, and are possibly finding it much more difficult to qualify for this type of financing. It doesn't seem to make sense, since in many cases, your home, or even your car cost more than the RV or boat you are trying to finance, yet you easily qualified for these loans.
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Why is it Harder to Buy an RV Than a House?
Once again, lenders have to look at the difference between loans for necessary items and "Recreational Financing". The first being things like home and auto loans. The latter, being recreational items like motorhomes, boats or even other power sport related items such as motorcycles or personal watercraft.
Before the financial crisis and banking system "Bailout", recreational financing was much easier to obtain, just like the sub-prime home loans that led to the financial meltdown in the first place. Loans with zero down payment and "No Doc"Â loans were readily available - even in the field of recreational lending. Those days are long gone. And, if the banks are giving any indications, likely to never return.
Now, RV lenders are much more critical of things like:
1. Credit Score. (Above 700 normally required.)
2. Debt-to-Income Ratio. (Usually no greater than 42% - 45%.)
3. Liquid Assets. (How much money you have in accounts or investments.)
4. Employment & Residence History. (Over 2-years each is preferred.)
Lenders are even looking at a factor called "Payment to Income Ratio". This means that the payment for your new RV cannot exceed roughly 15% of your total monthly income. This is usually not a problem for individuals with higher incomes, but more likely to affect retirees or those on fixed incomes.
So, even though recreational financing is more difficult to obtain, it is not impossible by any means. An RV loan pre-approval can be helpful in determining if you qualify, and what price of RV you can afford - or - at least what the bank says you can afford.
To obtain pre-approval, you will first need to select a particular year, make and model, and establish an approximate selling price. This information is necessary, since part of the approval is based on the "NADA Loan Value" of that particular year, make and model of RV.
Once you have been pre-approved, you can switch to another similar unit and be relatively sure you will qualify, if it is relatively similar to the unit on which you were approved.
If you choose an RV Loan Pre-Approval, just enter the information for your "Subject Unit". We can normally receive a decision from the lender in as little as one day, so you're ready to close your loan as soon as you find the RV that's just right for you.