Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How to Finance or Refinance a Motorcycle Loan

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If you want to get a loan for your motorcycle or refinance a current loan, follow our simple advice to get you back on the road. Never mind public opinion, obtaining a motorcycle loan can be a straightforward and easy process if you follow the correct procedure. The refinance company or motorcycle loan company can usually get back to you straight away to offer you their best interest rates. When you know what interest rates and repayments will be you can then calculate accordingly how much this will cost you. If you can afford this and think it is at a good rate then you have got another step underway. Check the terms and conditions to make sure there are no hidden costs or extra add ons. When you have found the best package to suit you, then you can send in your application online or over the phone. Even after the application is sent in, you do not have to commit to this. The company will make a customised package for you to work from. It is recommended to stay with you current company if the interest rates will not help you save money and reduce fees or penalties. Many people can usually obtain a secure interest rate if they refinance so it is always good to send applications in so you can compare different companies and find the best one for you.

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Getting the best motorcycle loans rates

The number of months the loan is for, your credit report score, and the price you pay in total for the motorcycle are all factors that can determine the final rate of interest of your motorcycle loan. The company that may lend you the money will rank your credit history is the main criteria of your loan rate. The less you have to pay in interest rates the higher your credit score is. It is ideal to check your credit rating before you apply for a loan and make sure all information is correct or otherwise you may be paying a lot more than you should have to. The number of months you apply to pay of your loan could determine whether you pay more or less. The longer the months the more interest that will be paid. A motorcycle loan taken out for 6o months will have a lower monthly interest rate than a 36 months loan but the overall total for the 60 month loan will be larger. The price paid in total for your loan including dealer adds ons can also determine interest rates. When you research and know the value of your motorcycle you can stop yourself from overpaying the motorcycle loan payments. If you are buying a new motorcycle check the dealers invoice or price he paid for the motorcycle is before you head to the dealer. The best price is between the dealers price and the dealers invoice price. The dealer will always add money on so they can make a profit but it is far greater than the price they brought it for. Lowering the price of your motorcycle could mean lowering the repayments too.

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When purchasing a used motorcycle from a local dealer be aware that the dealer will price the motorcycle at the highest value and this may include the cost of the dealer having the motorcycle reconditioned. Try to find a compromise with the dealer on what is a reasonable price for a bike in your area. The dealer has an asking price is always far more than they may have paid for it, as they like to make a heavy profit. Look around and check out all motorcycle dealers to find a deal that is best for you. When a dealer offers you an option that may be not necessarily needed, take account that this will add to the total value of the motorcycle and increase the repayments and interest rate. Some options that you may be asked to take are sales promotion fund, paint sealant, freight expense, assembly charge and dealer advertising association holdbacks. Compare the best deals that may include these options for the best deal for you. Some options can be removed for an even better price on your motorcycle.

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When I was in the automotive industry I saw the extension of car loans going into 54, then 60, then 72 months and with the extension of the loan installments came the inevitable negative equity. In general the longer the term you finance for the more likely you are to find yourself "upside down". The motorcycle industry is no stranger to this as well and recently with the motorcycle finance companies offering loans that extend payments out as far as 72 months the problem is just getting worse. This is even more common with motorcycles that depreciate rapidly.

Just as with automotive loans when you extend the payments out over more than three years you begin to put yourself in a situation where your debt exceeds the value of your motorcycle. This is even more true if you do not put money down or even worse if you trade in a bike that you still owe on.

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But how does this happen and what can be done to prevent it?

To begin with you need to look at the way the lender determines the interest. Some lenders use the rule of 78 in which you will be paying almost all interest at the beginning of the loan and then you have the other more preferable method of simple interest.

With an installment plan set up on a rule of 78 interest calculation you will be paying almost pure interest for the first couple of years and therefore will have virtually nothing in the way of equity. When you consider that statistically the average motorcycle owner trades bikes more often than every two years you can begin to see how this can be a problem.

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The interest computation of choice is simple interest; as a matter of fact I personally would accept no other option. The way simple interest works is that it is calculated on the balance of the loan and if you keep the length of the loan at a reasonable time frame you will not run into the negative equity problem. If you extend the payments out over more than four years you will still get yourself in trouble just as you will if you skip payments.

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If you have found yourself in a negative equity or upside down situation with your motorcycle don't feel like there is no way out. A lot of people just give up and allow their bike to be repossessed and sold off at auction which just exacerbates their problem, now you owe money on a bike that you don't have and can't ride!

To avoid being caught in the "upside down" predicament on your motorcycle always look for a lender that will give you a simple interest loan on your bike. Secondly, always put some money down upfront to reduce the payments and the terms. Finally, never finance your motorcycle purchase over more than three years.

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Gregg Hall is a consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Get reviews on motorcycle gear and accessories at http://www.motorcyclegearandaccessories.com