Caravan finance: broker vs bank

By: Peter Quilty


In the second instalment of a six-part series, we ponder broker vs bank when deciding on RV finance.

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So, you have decided to join the ranks of the growing army of grey nomads and even the not so grey nomads who are living the Australian dream of buying a caravan, camper trailer or RV and travelling around the country.

You’ve done your research, spent hours on the internet comparing options and days at caravan shows inspecting countless offerings and finally found your dream caravan, camper trailer or motorhome.

Like many Australians you probably even have a few dream holiday spots picked as your first destination. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can afford to pay cash, you might prefer to keep your savings and finance the purchase. Probably a little less thought, however, has gone into comparing loan options.

Hence, the continual conundrum: broker vs bank.

CW spoke to one of Australia’s leading caravan and RV financiers, Credit One (ERIC Insurance Broker of the Year for the third successive year as well as RACV’s inaugural Finance Broker of the Year), about the differences between banks and brokers and how to get the best deal when financing your dream purchase.

Whilst in the past many Australian caravan buyers thought that their ‘own bank’ would offer the best deal or benefits over dealer financing, more and more savvy caravan buyers are choosing finance brokers to help them make the smart choice when it comes to arranging finance.

Banks generally only offer their own product and will generally be geared to either home loan redraws or personal loans, but brokers like Credit One can arrange finance specifically tailored to caravan buyers etc.

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"When deciding to finance their next caravan, camper trailer or RV, a large percentage of Australians will head straight to their own or nearest bank," said Credit One’s general manager, Jarred Lembo.

"However many finance experts caution that if this is your strategy you may be missing out on some significant savings.

"There are countless reasons why it pays to use a finance broker when shopping for your next ‘lifestyle’ loan and even if you still want to use your own bank, you can still use a broker to help process the application on your behalf.

"But if your heart is not set on using a particular bank, a broker can be your best friend."

Lembo offers the following reasons why a specialist qualified finance broker is better than a bank.

CHOICE

"The foremost advantage of a broker over bank is choice. When you sit in front of a broker you are sitting in front of 12 banks and maybe 50 or 60 of the best available products. Having more choices, you’re more likely to get to ‘yes’ and a loan product most suitable to your needs."

EXPERIENCE

"Ask your bank manager how much experience they have had specifically with caravan loans. Brokers often have many years’ experience specialising in financing certain asset classes (such as caravans) and are committed to their client for the long term. With a Credit One express caravan broker you will deal with the same person from go to whoa. Banks are huge companies and often move their staff around and reward good performers away from their customers."

SPECIALISATION

"If you’re looking for specialised assistance with your loan, it pays to talk to a specialist broker such as Credit One. Bank staff often don’t have the specific training or experience in one area but service whoever happens to walk into the branch."

FOLLOW UP

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"Following up on the progress of your loan application can be frustrating and time consuming. At Credit One there are no voice prompts or long waiting times. Your caravan finance specialist will keep you in the loop throughout the process by phone or email and will generally have a variety of options to choose from presented to you on the same day. This is a great way to save time and of course money."

PERSONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER

"Your finance broker is like ‘your own personal banker’. They know what needs to happen, are aware of time constraints such as your planned holidays and unlike bank staff are in it for the long haul. At Credit One, every caravan finance client is looked after by a dedicated account manager for the life of their loan. Your account manager can assist with payout enquiries, loan balance and early repayment and insurance options."

SAVINGS

"With low fixed rate loans and loan terms of up to seven years you’re sure to find a loan and repayment option that best suits your needs."

SECURITY

"Generally a finance broker will arrange a loan where the only security for the loan is the asset that you are purchasing rather than your bank which requests security over your home or other assets."

CONVENIENCE

"A broker generally provides a dedicated real person to handle your enquiry from start to finish rather than call centres or voice prompts." (Credit One even provides a dedicated account manager for the life of your loan to handle enquiries relating to payouts or even just to assist with annual insurance renewals.)

SPEED

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"In most cases, a specialist caravan and camper trailer finance broker can approve a loan application the same day rather than waiting a week or more with a bank."

When dealing with a broker such as Credit One for your caravan and RV finance, you are provided with the expertise of many years’ experience, personalised service and access to many great options for your situation.

A broker can help from the beginning to the end of the process, whether you are purchasing for the first time or upgrading your existing camper trailer, caravan or RV.

So, when it’s D-Day on RV finance, here are just some of the benefits of using a broker such as Credit One:

Competitive interest rates and products

Flexible loan terms from one to seven years

No obligation quotes

Being affiliated with many reputable lenders, the provision of a wide range of products

Assured quick and no fuss service

In forthcoming issues of Caravan World, we’ll cover the following caravan finance topics:

Broker finance: what are my options?

Securing the deal: How do I know I’m getting the best rate when it comes to RV finance?

Insuring your financed RV: How/where/why/who?

Ready to buy: Getting your finance pre-approved before you hit the shows for the best deal!

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #569. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!