Our Harley Davidson Financing Charges are Ridiculous. How Can We Get Out of It?


Dear Steve,

My husband purchased his dream Harley Davidson and, while we are aware that the 22% is a ridiculous interest rate, we had no idea how bad it would be.

Is it legal to take an entire payment as interest because the payment is a few days late? Three times since the motorcycle was purchased, the balance has gone over the purchase price. Is this legal? Do we have any recourse? Can we take it back? Thank you for your help.



Dear Mary,

Well at least it is a fun bike to learn a tough lesson on.

You can take the bike back and they will hit you with a huge bill because you will essentially have to do a voluntary repossession and they will sell it at auction for a low price.

Early in the loan repayment, the majority of the monthly payment goes towards interest, with a little bit towards the balance due. This is especially true if the late payment resulted in a late fee being added to what was expected to bring the account current for the next month.

This is because the interested is calculated on the outstanding balance due, plus any fees, like late fees.

I took a guess at what the deal you might have and how it gets repaid over the years.

You can always sell the bike but you’d have to sell it for at least what you owe to get the title to transfer. Or you’d have to come up with the difference between the sale price and the loan payoff to get the title to transfer.

The reality is the easiest way to deal with this is probably to double up on your next payment to get the balance down and get at least a bit of your upcoming payments headed towards reducing the balance.

I recommend that you access your account statement online and get to the bottom of what is increasing the balance. Look for hidden fees and charges. There might be something more going on here.

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If you feel the finance company has violated any rules in your state, you can always go to the website of your state Attorney General and file a complaint. They can then look into it for you further.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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4 thoughts on “Our Harley Davidson Financing Charges are Ridiculous. How Can We Get Out of It?”

  1. Thank you Steve. I have went line by line on the account statements and I think they are doing a poor job with the company they have contracted to receive payments. The statements look very basic with very little information. We have listed the bike for sale, in the meantime I think I will contact them and state that I need a more detailed statement from Harley Finance. Thanks again. Mary

    • Something is going on for sure. There should be enough room each month that the payment should not be going all towards interest. When you contact them, ask them for their help to figure out the mystery. We need to solve the mystery before pointing fingers.

      Let me know.


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