Dropping thousands of dollars on a golf cart is not feasible in many cases.
Luckily, most major manufacturers offer financing options. Getting approved for a plan is often as simple as filling out an online application.
Though not as expensive as a house or car, a golf cart is still a huge purchase, and the wrong financing options can mean the difference between spending — and saving — an additional $2,000 or more.
Since you’ll want a piece of mind for months to come, make sure you research as thoroughly as possible. To get you started, I listed some basics about golf cart financing.
6 Popular Golf Cart Financing Options
1. Sheffield Financial
According to their website, Sheffield Financial has provided “financing for outdoor power equipment, Powersports equipment, and trailers for most major brand names in the industry” for over 25 years and is “backed by one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies.”
Lenders using Sheffield Financial can borrow as little as $1,500 and as much as $75,000. With even high-end models typically costing under $25,000, Sheffield makes it possible to purchase carts at all price points.
With a variety of loan offerings, customers have the flexibility to choose a plan that fits their budget and lifestyle.
For example, golfers interested in minimizing interest payments can pay back their loans in as little as 36 months, while those with tighter budgets can take up to 60 months to repay their loans.
People who fall in between can choose a medium-length plan of 48 months.
Working with brands like Advanced EV, Bintelli, Club Car, Doubletake, E-Z-GO, Icon EV, Polaris GEM, and Star Electric Vehicles, Sheffield Financial is likely to come up a few times when researching different golf cart financing options.
But how do their rates compare to their competitors?
Valor — a low-cost golf cart manufactured by E-Z-GO — has been sold for as little as $115 per month when paired with a 10% down payment.
Unfortunately, promotions are always changing. While 1.99% interest rates were offered earlier this year, they may have expired.
For the most up-to-date promotions, contact your local golf cart dealer. Without promo, Sheffield Financial interest rates start at around 8% for top-tier credit scores.
📋 Note: Unlike other lenders discussed in this article, Sheffield Financial does not require a minimum credit score for loan approval.
However, people with low credit can expect to pay interest rates up to 15.99% for most loans.
Regardless of your credit score, Sheffield’s clean, user-friendly website makes researching their prices and product offerings stress-free.
With their golf cart loan calculator, purchasers can enter their product and loan amount and view potential financing options broken down by interest rates and monthly costs.
2. RoadRunner Financial / Octane
RoadRunner Financial is another company specializing in loans for outdoor equipment. They currently work
- Club Car
Their website boasts of quick processes, competitive rates, and a large selection of products and manufacturers.
While RoadRunner Financial offers a leading interest rate of 6.99%, promotions through E-Z-GO and Club Car have brought down interest rates to 1.99% for 48 months and 3.99% for 60 months, identical to other promotions.
Similar to Sheffield, RoadRunner offers a variety of payment plans — with most loan terms falling between 36 and 76 months.
One thing that’s different between Sheffield and RoadRunner:
- RoadRunner requires a minimum credit score of 550, with credit scores above 660 receiving the lowest interest rates.
Since you must fill out an application before receiving a quote, knowing what you’ll pay ahead of time is a little more difficult.
If you have top-tier credit, they’ll likely give you a lower interest rate than Sheffield.
For people with good, but not great credit, it’s unclear which company will provide a lower interest rate.
That said, only the big three manufacturers work with both companies while the others work with either one or the other. In many cases, your options are limited.
3. Yard Card
Yard Card is a credit card program that gives you the option to pay off your golf cart using a credit card.
Like most credit card financing programs, it works by charging your golf cart to a credit card and then setting its price as the maximum line of credit.
If you have okay, but not great, credit and quotes are still giving you a higher-than-preferred interest rate, credit card financing may be a good option for you.
While credit ratings are still taken into consideration when applying for this type of financing, once approved you will pay the same interest rate as everyone else.
Some cards offer lower interest rates than loans.
You’ll also have the added benefit of applying your card to other purchases — as long as you don’t exceed your line of credit.
Partnering with Advanced EV, Club Cart, E-Z-GO, and Yard Card seems to be the most widely available credit card program that finances golf carts.
Plus, their promotional interest rates are very low.
Recently, Advanced EV customers were charged 0% in interest if they paid off their credit card within 36 months.
Club Cart also ran a promotion where interest rates were 1.99% with 48 monthly payments.
Through E-Z-GO, golfers interested in joining Yard Card can enjoy the following financing options until May 2022.
- 1.99% with 48 monthly payments.
- 3.99% with 60 monthly payments.
Yard Card Members also have the option of using their card to purchase mowers, blowers, and other outdoor products at reduced rates. Typical member fees range between $100 and $200.
4. Yamaha Financial Services
In addition to partnering with Sheffield Financial, RoadRunner Financial, and Yard Card, Yamaha offers in-house financing.
That means instead of going through another company, you can get everything taken care of by Yamaha itself, using customer service reps uniquely positioned to solve your problems.
According to Yamaha’s website, their team is a “trusted partner who always acts with speed, agility, and innovation to provide all aspects of professional financial services to our customers.”
Offering both credit card and installment loans, Yamaha customers have up to four main options for golf cart financing.
Their credit card — the industry’s only factory-based card — can be used to buy golf carts, parts, accessories, and other product lines.
Yamaha also sells apparel, musical equipment, and other merchandise, making shopping for the entire family more convenient. Cardmembers also have access to exclusive loyalty benefits.
📋 Note: Those who aren’t interested in a credit card can apply for their in-house installment plan, which accepts anyone regardless of their credit score.
Customers choosing their service will enjoy fixed monthly payments, a quick and simple application process, and exclusive Yamaha loyalty benefits.
To get a quote on your monthly payment, contact a Yamaha dealer near you.
5. Lesser-Known Providers
While most manufacturers only give one option for financing, E-Z-GO and Club Cart have partnered with smaller companies to give you more financing options.
If RoadRunner and Sheffield Financial are not giving you the rates you want, consider looking into financing options from lesser-known providers.
6. Dealership Financing
Depending on where you buy your golf cart, you may be able to take advantage of a dealer-specific financing plan.
Sometimes, when a dealership wants to attract customers with poor credit, they will offer rent-to-own financing.
📢 Need to Know: In rent-to-own financing, customers pay a monthly fee to rent a golf cart until they have completed all their payments. Once the cart has been paid in full, customers will have official ownership.
Golfers who fail to make their monthly payments will have to return their cart to the dealer, where it can be rented to a new customer.
Because your monthly payments end up exceeding the cart’s retail price, rent-to-own financing is not a good option for those who wish to spend less money. However, if you have poor credit, it may cost less than a loan.
Golf Cart Financing 101
Depending on which golf cart you purchase, you may have access to multiple financing options. Your options will usually fall into two categories.
- Installment Loans
- Credit Cards
Installment loans involve borrowing money from a 3rd party lender, then paying it back over a set time period. Credit cards work in a similar way, but may be used to purchase other products.
With both options, you will be sending monthly payments to your lender. This eases the financial burden of a large ticket item but costs more in the long run due to interest rates.
For example, if you take 48 months to repay a $7,000 purchase, and your interest rate is 6% your total will cost around $7,890.97 or $890.97 in interest.
The same plan with a 3% interest rate only adds $437.13.
What you end up paying may vary heavily depending on the provider, your financial circumstances, and any ongoing promotions. As a general rule, the longer you spend paying off your golf cart, the higher your total cost.
If a monthly expense of $100-500 seems like too much right now, you should consider waiting until you are more comfortable with your finances.
There is also the option of purchasing a used golf cart, which can run a little less depending on the year of the model.
Whatever you choose to do, financing can get complicated. To ensure a great deal, it’s important to do your research and purchase through a trustworthy dealer.
Since a lot of manufacturers offer financing through the same companies, you’ll probably feel more confident navigating your purchase once you’re familiar with a few key players.
4 Things To Consider Before Buying a Golf Cart
As we’ve learned, the cost of taking out a loan or credit card varies based on your credit score, payment plan, and dealership promotions.
If you are concerned about overpaying for your golf cart, do your due diligence and shop around before purchasing. You may even want to take some time to review your monthly budget.
Sticking to the following guidelines will help you minimize interest payments.
- Pay off debt as quickly as possible. If you are taking out a loan, be sure to select the shortest possible payment plan as longer plans tend to charge more in interest.
- Explore all options. Lenders will determine your interest rate based on your credit score. While RoadRunner Financial charges a lower interest rate for top-tier credit scores than Sheffield Financial, prices vary for other consumers.
- Ask your dealer about any promotions. An active promotion may mean the difference between a 1.99% interest rate and one that is much higher. If interest rates are high, you may save money by waiting.
- Improve bad credit before purchasing. Waiting until your credit score reaches above 620+ could save you thousands in loan repayments.
Have any other tips for financing your golf cart? We’d love to hear them!
What credit score is needed for a golf cart?
The credit score needed for a golf cart may vary depending on the lender and the financing option you choose, but generally, a score of 650 or higher is considered good. Some lenders may offer financing options for borrowers with lower credit scores. It’s best to check with the lender or dealership for specific requirements.
Is it hard to get approved for a golf cart?
Getting approved for a golf cart depends on several factors such as your credit score, income, the lender, and the financing option you choose. A good credit score and steady income can make it easier to get approved, while a low credit score or limited credit history may make it more challenging. It’s best to research lenders and financing options and check your credit score before applying.