News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

How Much Do I Need to Put Down?

Posted by Oakland H-D Contributor on Jan 6, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Down payments are important. Maybe one of the most important parts of buying a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. We get the question all the time, “how much do I need to put down?”

Well that comes down to what your goals are.

If you are trying to keep your payment small...FXFB-BLACK-6.jpg

A larger down payment means you typically finance less, which means smaller monthly payment.

If you are trying to do get away with paying $0.00 down...

Be prepared to pay a little bit higher interest rate. And read up on risk (Financing A Luxury vs A Necessity)

If you are just getting started and are trying to plan for a typical credit situation...

Plan on 10%-20%. 

Most typical Harley-Davidson loans will require 10%-20% down.

This means that if you are buying a $10,000 motorcycle you should plan on putting $1,000-$2,000 down. Here is a quick reference chart for those that sat in math class thinking, "I’m never going to use any of this after I graduate.”

Bike Amount 

10% Down 

20% Down 

30% Down 

40% Down 





































Sky Is the Limit

If you are planning on putting 40% or more down - or if you want to learn some more cool stuff - you should read these next: (Why Finance When I Have Cash). 

Lower Risk Loans

For the rest of us let’s talk about how we can use down payment as a tool to lower risk. Any time you can lower risk for the bank they look more favorably on the loan.

Shorter terms lower risk, but they rise monthly payments. A large monthly payment can increase risk (depending on debt to income) because there is no guarantee you will pay that payment.

New motorcycles lower risk, because the established value is more consistent. Not to mention the factory would always rather sell a new bike than a pre-owned one.

Ideal Monthly Payment

Increased down payment, now we are talking. Cash, greenbacks, $100 bills, hard-earned cash.  The thing we all work so hard to get and never want to give up.  The more of this precious commodity you are willing to part with upfront, the more likely you are to hit your ideal monthly payment amount.

Less than Perfect Credit

Normally you get things like better interest rates when you put more down, but who really cares about that? Right? Well if you are in a situation where your credit isn’t so healthy, then down payment might be the most powerful tool we can use to turn a NO into a YES.  If you can combine a larger down payment with things like a shorter term, and a new asset... it only increases the chances of a yes.  You’ll also need a Trained Finance Expert in your corner to work with you and plead your case. But you already know where to find one of them. 

Hopefully I answered more questions than created. But if not, feel free to ask online or give me a call at the dealership. 

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Ready for more information on buying a motorcycle? We've compiled some of our most popular articles into The Definitive Guide to Buying a Motorcycle.

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Topics: Oakland H-D News, Motorcycles, Finance and Insurance

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