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Why do you need an RV loan calculator?

When applying for a loan to finance an RV, you are essentially looking for a personal loan. Personal loans can be either secured or unsecured.

Since the loan will be for an RV, the lender will use the RV as collateral, meaning that your loan is "secured" by the value of the RV.

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Personal loans are different from mortgages because they generally have a fixed start and end date.

It is possible to negotiate an extension, but unlike a mortgage, you don't renew a personal loan after a set amount of time.

Since an RV is a high ticket item, and your payments will likely be spread out over a greater number of years than an average personal loan.

An RV loan calculator can really help you see what your payments will be and for how years you will have to make theses payments.

Some RV loan calculators have an added feature that breaks down exactly how much of your payment goes towards interest and how much towards the principle.

Instructions for using the loan calculator are below.

Loan Comparison Calculator
This calculator will calculate the monthly payment and interest costs for up to four loans -- all on one screen -- for comparison purposes.

To calculate the payment amount and the total interest of any fixed term loan, simply fill in the 3 left-hand cells of the first row and then click on "Compute." Use the other three rows to see what effects are produced by changing any one of the loan's original variables.

Principal Interest
Rate
# of
Payments
Compute Monthly
Payment
Total
Interest
Reset

How to Use the Calculator

The above RV loan comparison calculator can compare up to four different loans. It's easy to use. Simply enter:

  • the 'Principal' amount of money you want to borrow (the estimated cost of the RV, minus the amount of cash you have to put towards the purchase)
  • the interest rate quoted by your preferred lender
  • the number of payments you will need to pay off the loan (number of years x 12)

You can use the RV loan calculator to compare repayments on different RVs at the same interest rate, too. Simply adjust the principal for each line of the calculator.

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For example, a $120,000 loan spread over 20 years at 3 percent interest will mean monthly payments of $665.52.

Once you see how much your payments will be, you can decide whether or not this amount will fit into your budget. If not, then you can either try to come up with a bigger down payment or find a less expensive RV.

A third option would be to spread out the loan over a longer period of time, but your lender will probably not be willing to do that.  

However, you may qualify for another option. If you have other collateral (equity in your home, stocks, bonds, investments) you are willing to put against the loan, you might still be able to obtain the loan.

Questions to Ask a Lender

An RV loan calculator can give a general idea of what your payments may be, but there are many other questions you should ask before deciding on a lender.

What will my rate of interest be?
Interest rates vary and are dependent on many factors. Some of the things that could affect your rate include how much you want to borrow, the size of your down payment, your credit history, and the value of the RV.

How much of a down payment do I need?
Typically, you will be required to put down 10-20 percent of the purchase price of the RV.

An RV usually holds its value better than other vehicles, but the likelihood of you selling it for more than what you bought it for are very slim. As general rule, lenders will let you borrow slightly less than what you can realistically sell an item for at the time the loan is negotiated.

Are there limits on RV loan amounts?
An RV is a big ticket item, so most lenders don't set a maximum amount. But, the minimum is usually about $10,000.

Do you charge an application fee?
A reputable lender doesn't need to charge an application fee. If the lender answers yes to this question, find another lender.

Do I need insurance?
In most regions it is the law to have insurance on any vehicle driven on public roads or highways. However, a lender will likely insist that you have insurance, whether it is the law in your area or not.

Without insurance coverage to pay off the loan in case of theft, fire or an accident, the lender will worry that the loan won't be paid at all. Many borrows skip out on loans for items they no longer own.

As you research lenders, you will probably think of many more questions. Never be afraid to ask, no matter how silly you think a question sounds.

An RV calculator is an excellent tool to help you make an informed decision about a loan. But nothing beats talking to a live person. Make a point of speaking to your loan company before closing the deal.

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