How To Take Over Payments On An RV Legally – All You Need To Know


When purchasing a used RV, you will most likely need to consider taking over any payments left. You will have to consider how to go about this legally because you will be taking over legal responsibility for paying it down.

How to take over payments on an rv legally? Before taking over any payments, you will need to show your credit history to the company you will be paying back. After you have been approved, you will be able to speak with the seller about taking over their payments.

If you’re about to purchase an RV and will need to take over payments, it’s important that you go about it the right way. Keep reading for more information on how to take over payments on an RV legally.

How to Take Over Payments on an RV Legally

There are several factors to consider when deciding if you would like to take over someone else’s payments.

This can include finding someone with an assumable payment in the first place, as they aren’t all able to be transferred to someone else.

Assumable Lease

The biggest pro to taking over someone else’s lease is that it is a cheaper option than buying your own RV. However, you will need to first locate someone who may have an assumable lease.

Locating A Seller

There are multiple ways to go about this, including digging through used RV ads. However, there are actually websites dedicated to people interested in buying or selling an RV with an assumable RV lease.

You may even be able to locate a seller by checking with dealerships that are leasing RV’s.

This isn’t the most common option, but it is never a bad thing to check with your local dealership.

Identify Qualifications

The biggest issue with taking over a lease is that the leasing company will want to view your financial information prior to approving the lease swap.

The easiest way to go about this is by checking with the seller to see if you may qualify.

This will help save you time from getting rejected later on if you do not have a good enough credit score.

It’s likely that the leasing company will want to check as well, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Inspect The RV

When considering an RV, make sure to remember that this is a used vehicle, and there may be hidden issues with it.

Request for the seller to have the vehicle inspected so you can know any information on the RV prior to swapping leases with the seller.

This is a vehicle you are planning on taking over payments for, so you will want to make sure to consider this, or you may run into issues later.

How To Assume An RV Loan

Another thing to consider is if you are purchasing the RV for someone who has a loan for payments.

This has a similar idea to assume a lease, but instead of a temporary vehicle, you will be making payments to keep the RV permanently. 

rv credit

This has a similar process as assuming a lease, mainly because you will need to have a good credit score and financial history.

The basic step is to make sure you locate someone who has an assumable loan, but you need to keep other things in mind while searching.

Find an Assumable Loan

The majority of RV loans are not assumable, so you will need to find a seller who has one.

Most loans are not assumable due to the original deal being made based on the seller’s situation.

This is why the majority of loans are not assumable.

Do You Qualify?

As I mentioned previously, loans are usually made considering someone’s situation.

This means you would need to qualify for the loan as well, which may difficult if you are going about this method because you can not get your own loan.

However, it is also easier to qualify to assume someone else’s loan than it is to qualify for your own.

Typically, this decision is made by the lender, who will want to view all of your financial histories.

This is because the seller would no longer be held accountable for the loan. This means the lender will want to make sure you are just as qualified to pay down the loan you want to assume.

Should You Take Over A Lease Or A Loan?

Now that we have gone over how to go about taking over a lease or a loan, it’s time to consider what the pros and cons of doing so are.

Are you doing this because you can’t afford a new RV? Or do you just like the idea of having a temporary vehicle without the full lease?

Either way, there are multiple points to consider to make sure this is the best option for you.

Find a More Affordable RV Lease Option

Taking over an RV lease is definitely among the cheaper ways to get an RV. The payments are lower per month, and there is rarely a down payment required.

Make sure to compare different lease prices to make sure you are able to locate the best one for you. Some sellers are able to negotiate a better price than others, so keep an eye out for these.

A loan is going to be more expensive, just like it is with any vehicle.

This is a payment you will be making with the goal of owning the vehicle afterward, so they will be higher. However, the payments that are left will be cheaper compared to getting your own loan.

Related reading: How Do RV Rentals Work: 7 Expert Tips

Make the Commitment

This can be both positive and negative. In terms of a lease, you will be able to enjoy the RV temporarily before giving it back. Some people prefer this, but it could also be considered a con if you find that you want to keep the vehicle.

On the same note, taking over a loan means you will be keeping the vehicle permanently. Again, this is both a pro and a con.

If you don’t mind the upkeep of the vehicle and would like to keep an RV permanently, then this is the best option for you.

Previous Ownership

With both of these options, you must consider that this vehicle is used. So not only will you be taking over their payments, you will be taking over any damage done to the RV.

Specifically, this is an issue if you are planning to take over their lease. At the end of a lease, you will need to pay for any wear and tear they may have caused.

This is why it’s important to have the vehicle inspected prior to agreeing to make any payments on it. Especially when considering you may have limited mileage after taking it over. This may be something to also speak to the lease company about.

Related reading: Does RV Insurance Cover Water Damage? What You Need To Know

Terms & Contract

I have mentioned this previously as well, but reading over the contract is highly important. Making sure you are aware of all the details and knowing what you are signing into.

You don’t want to sign an RV lease contract to later find out that there are barely any miles left.

Along with this, compare contracts where you can see the best deals out there. Don’t take the first one you find; look around a bit, so you are sure it’s the best deal available.

Related: What Does RV Insurance Cover? A Comprehensive Guide

Can I Sell My RV If I Still Owe On It?

The simple answer is yes. If you are sure that you will make enough money to sell your RV to cover the outstanding loan.

The problem comes in because a lien means the seller holds the title of the RV until it is paid off in full. Most buyers would not be interested in selling an RV without a title that is free and clear.

If you can’t pay off your outstanding loan amount, you may still sell your RV by doing the following:

  • If you are planning a private sale, you would need to find an estimated value for the make and model of your RV. You need to figure in aspects such as your mileage and your RV condition to the listing of your model value. Once you have your Rvs value, you need to subtract the amount you owe on the RV from its current value. 
  • When advertising your RV for sale, you would need to let buyers know the lien amount that is outstanding on the RV
  • The buyer may pay you for the RV, and you can use the money to secure the title of the RV to hand over to the buyer
  • Or the buyer may pay to the lender directly and secure your RV title
  • If you are still short of your loan repayment amount after the sale of your RV, you may request a bridging loan from your bank to cover the difference.

How Long Can an RV Be Financed?

Because RVs cost more than average vehicles, the repayment terms generally extend longer than regular vehicle finance and are similar to a home mortgage.

The loan terms may also depend on the loan amount that you are borrowing. 

How long can an RV be financed? Smaller RV loans of between $10,000 and $25,000 may have terms as short as two or three years, where larger, more expensive RVs of $50,000 and above may have repayment terms of up to twenty years. Generally, RV loan terms are between 10-15 years, but some institutions, such as banks and credit unions, may extend the terms up to 20 years for larger travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes.

It is always best to choose the shortest terms you can comfortably pay because interest rates increase over your loan’s lifespan.

By shortening your terms you will achieve equity in your RV sooner as well.

Do You Have To Pay Taxes On An RV?

Do you have to pay taxes on an RV? Yes, you will pay tax on your RV, even though it is not the same as taxes that you are required to pay on the house. The sales tax that you pay on purchases such as cars and RVs are often tax-deductible. The advantage of these deductions is that unlike a mortgage interest deduction, you may deduct the sales tax even if you paid for your RV in cash.

You need to inquire about your particular state laws when determining the tax you will pay on your motorhome.

States such as Montana, Delaware, Alaska, New Hampshire, and Oregon don’t require general sales tax on RVs. You would need to be a resident to befit from these state laws, however.

You may claim your RV as a primary residence will allow you homeowner tax deductions ( unlike a mortgage interest deduction) to decrease your overall tax.

For federal tax purposes, an RV can be your primary or secondary residence and enable you to have the benefit of the same tax deductions as a typical homeowner.

(According to the IRS, a primary residence is defined as having a sleeping area, cooking, and toilet facilities.)

What Credit Score Is Needed For An RV Loan?

What credit score is needed for an RV loan? Although the industry standard requires credit scores between 660 and 700, there are financing options available for those with a 550 or higher score.

If your RV is less than 15 years old and you have proven employment history and a minimum income of $20,000 per year, you will still have a chance for approval.

The higher your down payment, the more likely you will be to secure your RV loan as it decreases the risk to the lender.

The higher the risk to your lender, the higher your interest rate will be over the terms of your loan.

Online lenders are also more lenient when it comes to approving loans with poor credit histories.

They often approve candidates that would not be considered in the traditional banking system, and their soft checks do not affect your crest score as the hard checks from banks do.

You need to bear in mind that the interest rates are usually higher when the lenders calculate potential risks.

Title loans require less credit history and offer high approval rates for lenders, but as always, title loans carry the risk of repossession should your default on your payments.

Where you can, you should try and make a downpayment of at least 20% to lower your interest and to lower your monthly prepayment expenses.

By making a decent downpayment you achieve equity in your vehicle far sooner than if you choose a higher financing amount.

What Banks Give RV Loans?

Some banks offer RV loans at competitive rates in the US. However, you may find that their requirements are much higher than online lending institutions and require a higher credit score.

These banks don’t generally allow pre-qualifications, so you would need to visit the bank in person.

What banks give RV loans? Here are a few of the established banks that  banks offer RV financing:

  • Wells Fargo Bank offers secured vehicle finance of up to $100,000, including RVs, travel trailers, and motorhomes.
  • US Bank provides secured loans from $5,000 to $150,000 for new or used RVs, as well as travel trailers and pop-ups. They offer loan repayment terms of up to 20 years but require a minimum 10% down payment on the loan.
  • USAA provides secured loans for the military and their families for RV’s campers, fifth wheels, and trailers. Their Annual Percentage Rate starts at 5.49%, and they require excellent credit scores for loan approval.

RV Lease Take Over – Complete Guide

Lease Swapping: A Complete Guide to a Lease Takeover >>Check out the video below:

The Pros and Cons of Lease Takeover

Assuming a Lease: The Pros and Cons of Lease Takeover >> Check out the video below:

Final Thoughts

Taking overpayments on an RV is the cheapest option, whether you are going for a lease or loan take over.

The biggest thing to consider is the vehicle’s prior history and if you qualify to take over the payments.

Finding a seller may be difficult, but with today’s technology, you can find almost anything you need online.

Make sure to do plenty of research prior to taking over any payments, and take your time finding a deal that will work best for you.

Recommended Reading

For more helpful articles about RVing please check out our articles below:

Can You Rent RV Space on Your Property? [Is This Legal?]

Do RV Rentals Have WiFi? Your 5 Best Options Explained

Do RV Rentals Include Mileage? (Free Unlimited Miles)

Where to Properly Dump Portable Toilet Waste?

Is it Illegal to Live in an RV in California? (RV Law in CA)

What is the Average MPG for an RV? Crucial Facts & Numbers

5 Practical Ways To Unfreeze Water Lines In RVs (That Actually Work)

What Does Solar Ready or Prep on A Camper Mean?

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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