Play It Safe With Powersport Loans

Get a loan to buy an ATV, UTV, snowmobile or personal watercraft

Financing Powersport Vehicles

Finding the right vehicle for your outdoor sports is essential, and so is finding the right loan. If you’re buying an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), snowmobile or other powersport vehicle, you may find it hard to get a loan, because of how lenders perceive the risk associated with these purchases.

Powersport loans come with higher interest rates and more stringent credit requirements. Why? Lenders consider powersport vehicles luxuries, and there is a greater risk of default. So, for example, you’re making payments on a truck you use to get to work every day, and an ATV that you take out a couple of weekends a month. If you fall on hard financial times, you’re more likely to skip a payment or default on the ATV loan.

Typically, powersport loan terms range from 24 to 72 months, although some lenders may offer loans up to 84 months. As the length of the loan increases, however, borrowers should expect to pay more over the length of the loan in interest.

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Loan Amount


Down Payment

10% to 20%

Loan Term

24-72 months

Types of Powersport Vehicles

The term “powersports” encompasses a wide array of different vehicles, including:

For Recreation
  • Personal Watercraft/Jet Ski
  • All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
  • Snowmobile/Snowmachine
  • Dune Buggy
  • Four-Wheeler/Quad
  • Go Kart
  • Golf Cart
  • Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV)
For Utility
  • Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV)
  • UTV Side-By-Side
  • Cargo Trailer
  • Flying UTV
  • Multipurpose Off-Highway Utility Vehicle (MOHUV)

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Powersport Loan Rates

The rates on a powersport vehicle can vary widely, depending on a number of factors. With solid credit and a good down payment, you may be able to get financing for as low as 5 percent interest. The following factors affect your interest rate.

Lender Type

Credit unions may offer the best rates on powersport loans. On the other hand, larger, national banks may offer specialty loan products geared specifically toward powersport purchases. Compare lenders to find one that can offer the best rates on your powersport loan.

Credit Score

The borrower’s credit has a significant impact on the overall cost of the loan. Borrowers with lower credit scores and more existing debt face higher interest rates and less favorable loan terms because they represent a greater risk to the lender.

Loan Term

Generally speaking, the longer the loan, the higher the interest rate; the shorter the loan, the lower the interest rate. Lenders find shorter loans less risky, which means a lower interest rate for the borrower.

Down Payment

The amount of money the borrower puts down on a loan can have a large impact on the interest rate, as well as the length of the loan term. If you want a lower interest rate or a longer loan term, offer a larger down payment.

Powersport Loans for Bad Credit

Poor credit makes it more difficult to obtain a powersport loan. Consider these options to help you get financing:

  • Offer a larger down payment. For powersport loans, 10 percent down is typical. For borrowers with bad credit, a 20 percent or larger down payment may necessary.
  • Improve your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report from the three major credit reporting bureaus. Dispute any errors, and identify areas that can be improved

Financing for Used Powersport Vehicles

Loans for used ATVs or other powersport vehicles may be more costly than loans for new vehicles in the form of higher interest rates or larger down payments. This is because used powersport vehicles represent a larger risk to the lender, since their value has depreciated.

Keep the following points in mind when purchasing a used ATV.

  • A test ride and inspection by a mechanic are crucial. Powersport users tend to ride their vehicles hard. If the vehicle is in need of any significant repairs, you may be able to negotiate a lower selling price.
  • If possible, test the vehicle in the kind of environment for which it’s suited. If you’re buying a Jet Ski, test it in the water. If you’re buying a snowmobile, test it in the snow.
  • Inspect fluids for clues about how well the vehicle’s been maintained. Oil, coolant and gas give you an idea of whether the owner has been dutifully servicing the vehicle or neglecting it.

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Types of Powersport Financing

When it comes time to purchase the perfect ATV, Jet Ski or other powersport vehicle, it pays to be aware of the different kinds of financing available to you. Before you shop, do a little research to learn about the costs of borrowing, considering interest rates, terms and fees, and which is best for your situation.

Credit Card

A credit card is perhaps the easiest way to finance a powersport vehicle purchase — but it is often the most expensive. Credit cards tend to have higher interest rates than other means of financing, particularly if your credit is less than stellar.

Dealer Financing

You may be able to obtain financing directly from the dealer. Dealer financing may include promotions, such as financing that offers zero percent interest for a certain period of time. Be sure to ask about the rates once that promotional date ends, as it’s often fairly high. Dealers may also offer third-party financing.

Banks and Credit Unions

Banks and credit unions may offer financing for powersport vehicles — in fact, some have loan products specifically designed for powersport purchases. Others may allow for powersport purchases with other loan products, such as recreational vehicle loans.

Commercial Vehicle Loan

If you need a powersport vehicle for a commercial purpose — such as a UTV used by farm employees or clubhouse golf cart rentals — a commercial vehicle loan may be beneficial.

Personal Loan

The benefit of taking out an unsecured personal loan to purchase a powersport vehicle is that you are not offering the vehicle as collateral, so if you fail to repay the loan, the bank can’t repossess the vehicle. On the other hand, offering collateral helps get you a lower interest rate, so taking out an unsecured loan could cost you money in interest over the life of the loan.

Refinancing a Powersport Loan

Because powersport loans are typically for lower amounts than car loans, people rarely refinance them. Lenders are also reluctant to refinance powersport loans because the value of powersport vehicles depreciates quickly. Though powersport refinances are rare, they’re not impossible. If you think you can refinance into a loan with a lower interest rate and save money, it doesn’t hurt to contact lenders to see if they’re able to refinance your loan.

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