This article is part of our expert lender review series. Dusty Vegas is a personal finance expert and contributing author for industry-leading finance websites.
essex credit loan review

Essex Credit Loan Review

Are you interested in using Essex Credit loans for an RV? You’ll want to read our review and compare rv loans before you make any final decisions. Let’s get started!

Essex Credit Loan at a Glance

Essex Credit is a division of Bank of the West. They are dedicated to getting you behind the wheel of your “dream boat or RV.” The company’s goal is to get you approved fast and without much hassle.

Essex has been working in the RV lending industry for over 30 years and has a solid reputation. They want to help you find a loan program that works for you. Looking through their online reviews shows that their customer service also is a high priority.

Overall, Essex Credit seems to work best for those who plan to spend a lot of time in an RV; however, they may not be the best option if you want to be preapproved before you borrow.

Pros Explained

Essex Credit offers great rates for your RV loan. They offer 4.29% as their lower APR, with the highest being 7.69%. 4.29% APR (if you can get it) is pretty good. To put it in perspective, the average APR for a new car loan 4.96% if you have good credit..

The maximum loan amount is $5,000,000 – which is a lot! You would be able to have access to just about any RV you wanted to get. Of course, borrowing the maximum is probably not the best idea, but it is still nice to know Essex offers such a high amount to their customers.

All taxes, registration, and title fees are included in the loan. Plus, you do not have to pay a down payment on vehicles that cost under $50,000. There is even a 0.25% rate reduction if you choose an electric RV.

And finally, this company is available to offer you an RV loan all across the country.

Cons Explained

Essex Credit does not have a pre-approval process, which means that your credit score will take a hit when they perform a hard credit check. That is something to consider if you want to keep your credit score up while you shop around and check out the competition’s rates.

You can apply with a fair credit score, but you will not receive the best rate. The best options will go to those with good or excellent credit. This is typical of the industry, but it’s worth pointing out.

Essex Credit also tends to restrict loans on older RVs with high mileage, meaning you might want to go for a newer vehicle instead. This can also be a requirement you see in other RV loan lenders.

The final con is that an inspection may be required on the RV you want to get.

Who is Essex Credit Best For?

Lenders can use Essex Credit for an RV loan up to $5,000,000
Essex Credit’s RV loans are best for people serious about RV living.

Because of the options available through this lender, we recommend it is best for those planning to spend a lot of their time in their RV. The lack of a pre-approval process may give you pause, although they do offer a decent APR that could save you money on living costs.

What Type of RV Loans Do They Offer?

You will find options for seven different types of loans through Essex Credit. They are:

  • Bus conversion RVs
  • Horse trailers that have living space
  • Truck campers
  • Pop-up campers
  • Travel trailers
  • 5th wheels
  • And Class, A, B, and C style motorhomes

One thing worth mentioning: Essex Credit will not give you a loan on “tiny homes,” park models, or toterhomes. If you want a horse trailer through this company, you will need to be sure that it has living quarters attached.

If you want a used RV, it will need to be from 2009 or sooner. They will not let you finance anything before 2009. However, you can still have access to RVs under 60,000 miles or 100,000 miles if it uses diesel fuel.

What Types of Credit Scores do You Need?

To be eligible to get an RV loan from Essex Credit, your credit score will need to be at 690 or better. This number sits at the lower end of the good range of credit. If you can raise it some before applying, you will have a better chance.

What Kind of APR can You Expect?
Essex Credit tends to offer you an APR between 4.29% and 7.69%. This is a good APR, although we always recommend comparing loans before you commit. You may still be able to find something better, depending on your credit score.

Other Financial Products Offered

Essex credit offers boat loans in addition to RV loans.
Essex credit offers boat loans in addition to RV loans.

Essex Credit also offers financing on boats. They could be various types as well – standard, custom, pontoon, electric, houseboats, and high-performance models are all options. However, you can only finance models that go back to the year 2000 – and you will not get the best rate. Essex saves their good rates for models that were built in 2010 at the latest.

Customer Service Experience

From what we have seen, most people have good experiences with the customer service team. They seem to be willing to communicate with customers and make themselves available to work issues out.

Customers mentioned they were responsive to both email messages and phone calls, so you can reach them in any way you prefer.

How to Bank with Essex Credit

You are in luck if you prefer online banking. You can log in to your Essex Bank account from anywhere and have access to all of your information. There is a mobile app, too, if you prefer to take your banking and loan details on the go.

If you want to take care of your banking in person, their locations are in Maryland and Virginia. However, even if you do not live in one of those states, you can still take a loan out with them online and finance your RV that way.

Comparison to other RV Loan Lenders

Essex Credit’s competitive APR makes it an RV loan option worth considering. If you can find another lender to go with, however, you may score a better APR. For example, Alliant Credit Union offers competitive APR from 4.24% to 5.24%.

So, if you happen to fall on the higher end of their rate, it is still lower than Essex Credit’s median rate.

If you have bad credit, you might not be able to go through Essex Credit, while other options may still give you a loan. For instance, Southeast Financial offers a Credit Challenge Program, which only requires a credit score minimum of 550.

Lender Terms

The company offers extended terms, which go up to 20 years on loans over $50,000. This might be a good option if you were planning to invest in an RV that lasts. You can combine this with “full-timer” and “live-aboard” financing plans.

Loan Eligibility Requirements

You will need to meet the following conditions if you want to receive an RV loan from Essex Credit. They are the following:

  • Have a credit score of 690 or higher
  • Have a verifiable source of income
  • Be a US citizen or have permanent residence in the country
  • Be at least 18 years old or older

It is worth noting that you may have a lot more trouble if you have an unverifiable income or low credit. Previous bankruptcy or a history of delinquent credit payments can also harm your odds of being approved to receive the loan.

How to Apply

You can apply with them over the phone, through the mail, or on the Essex website. Applying online is the easiest option at the moment.

To start, visit Essex Credit and hit “Apply Now.” Be sure to read the information offered to you, enter your birthday, then select the RV loan.

The website will walk you through the rest of the application process. Be sure that you have all of your information available- you will want your social security number, a government-issued ID, and proof of employment.

Always review your application carefully before you submit it. That way, you can catch any mistakes that might lower the odds of you being accepted.

Final Verdict

Overall, there are a lot of good qualities to this lender. We appreciated that they were a good option for those who are serious about RV ownership.

It is worth noting that Essex Credit only finances RVs and boats – you will not have luck with anything else. If you are looking for something more, be sure to check out the rest of our reviews. We are confident you will find a company that meets your needs. Be sure to include this lender when you compare RV loan offers.
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