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Old 05-17-2017, 01:27 PM   #1
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Anyone Financed a used Skoolie?

I am looking a few used Skoolies on Graig's list and Ebay.
Has anyone tried to finance the purchase of a used Skoolie?
If so, where and what was the process?
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lonejack View Post
I am looking a few used Skoolies on Graig's list and Ebay.
Has anyone tried to finance the purchase of a used Skoolie?
If so, where and what was the process?
Financing is for suckers. A running bus is like a grand or two.
I did buy my buses on my Discover card, so technically that IS financing. But I had the cash to pay for them, only used the card because it was an online auction.
The bus stealerships in tampa will let you do layaway. But they charge you literally 5-10 times what the bus is worth for the privilege.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:50 PM   #3
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I took out a personal loan from PenFed for the whole conversion. The small monthly payment is an eighth of what my rent was previously.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:21 PM   #4
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Thanks warewolff,
Are You finished with Your conversion?
As a senior, I once had resources to build my bus. No more, since 2008.
Did You have a hassle about financing the bus or did they ask?
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:50 PM   #5
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Most of us here save up a few grand and buy a bus for a few grand at a bus barn. The alternative is going to a dealership where you'll pay multiple times the cost of a bus from the bus barn. Some people feel more secure buying from a dealer, and as mentioned dealers can often provide financing. I guess it kind of depends on which side of the tracks you're from.

Now that you're retired you're on the same playing field as many of the rest of us. It's not only possible, but it's a good long term project for retirees. Then you can go out and drive around the country, visit the big parks or whatever you need a home on wheels for.

So financing is available, but the cost of the vehicle will likely be four to five times the cost at the bus barn. It's not a hard choice based on low incomes.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:00 PM   #6
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I got a 401k loan.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:07 PM   #7
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I used a HELOC to purchase the entire project. Interest rates are super cheap and with HELOC rates being a couple point above prime im paying like 5.5ish percent. Since I am paying for the bus as it gets built the overall price that is being assesed for interest is low and the interest is low.

So while I have a 10k HELOC it just now hit its highest mark of like $5.4k. Another nice feature is I leverage Home Depot's interest free and then when the time is up on the Home Depot promotion I simply pay it off with the HELOC. I also will never miss out on a great deal because I have the money at hand anytime I need it.

My monthly payment is like $60 bucks a month or something and I even have a debit card attached to make online orders simple. We do buy some stuff with our regular monthly money and each time we consider it as a payment on the bus since we are not charging that expense nor paying interest on it.

Hell I even charged the bus on the debit card when I won the online auction. This project has been super easy to afford and manage handled this way.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:11 PM   #8
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you shouldn't have to work on anything you finance. the finance company doesn't want a project. be prepared for a couple-four grand for the bus and a couple-four grand a year afterwards.

5 years at 4k per is a $20k rig

i've owned my 7 now and its still as expensive as it was at first.

without cash to make the project move forward its just a money pit in your driveway that eats your soul.

i had to raise my income to meet my bus needs.

do it! convert a bus! it'll be cheap! i thought. its not.

finance a new finished rig.... probably cheaper in the long term.

build your own if you got time, skills, and cash.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:57 AM   #9
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you shouldn't have to work on anything you finance. the finance company doesn't want a project. be prepared for a couple-four grand for the bus and a couple-four grand a year afterwards.

5 years at 4k per is a $20k rig

i've owned my 7 now and its still as expensive as it was at first.

without cash to make the project move forward its just a money pit in your driveway that eats your soul.

i had to raise my income to meet my bus needs.

do it! convert a bus! it'll be cheap! i thought. its not.

finance a new finished rig.... probably cheaper in the long term.

build your own if you got time, skills, and cash.

I think this all depends on intended use. If it was my home it would be built a lot differently. Financing though is a valid option. The Bank doesn't want a project however I could sell my bus today for more than I have into it easily and I do not have to wait or change my lifestyle to afford it. Secondly if the Bank uses the bus as colateral then sure your going to have a huge interest rate because they dont want the bus project and thats why I used a HELOC. I have a lower interest rate than most people have for their cars.

For example we were looking at travel trailers and to finance a trailer that would only depreciate, that was already used, and wouldnt last 10 years I was looking at almost $200 a month. The bus has only appreciated and has cost me like $60 bucks a month which is hardly noticeable. Leverage special financing options from the orange and blue stores and your money goes farther.

Obviously if your building a monster Skoolie and a new chasis then sure 20k+ is expected. I have a modest 95 Amtran direct from the school district with low milage and 70% of the materials purchased and even with solar and possible mid-ship door I will have a sub 10k price tag. It will last much longer than the travel trailer we were looking at and worth more.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:48 PM   #10
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Thanks warewolff,
Are You finished with Your conversion?
As a senior, I once had resources to build my bus. No more, since 2008.
Did You have a hassle about financing the bus or did they ask?
No hassle, good credit, $15k in a week. Picked up the bus with 65k miles for $2650 and I have way more than that invested, but I've done a pretty nice job so far and I'm confident I could sell it and still make a profit. Make sure you do an excellent job and don't half ass anything if you are ever considering to sell it to someone else. I dumped ~$5k alone into my off grid electrical setup. It could power a small house.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:47 PM   #11
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if you have good credit and a decdent income, go sign up for one of the "no interest for 18-24 months" on purchases credit cards... these will give you 18-24 months of interest free and you can buy the stuff you need.. once you are nearing thje end of your interest free period you can assess whether the remaining balance you havent paid off yet and the interest rate the card will charge is worth continuing to pay on or whether its worth rolling as a blanace transfer (often at a 3% transfer fee!) to another card for longer financing.. or in the best scenerio you have paid the card off by then...

use someone elses money for free if you can, dont use high rate personal loans or high rate extended terms on credit cards..

if you have very low income or bad credit then you are out at the vultures who will finance you but at rates you will never be able to pay off...
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:14 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input.
My work life was for Freightliner Corp. in R&D. Not a bit afraid to tackle a skoolie; in fact, looking forward to it.
I worked for a good friend for about 7 years, (after being forcibly retired from Freightliner, they didn't want me to work after 60, increased retirement,) building mobile dental offices. We used commercial Winnebago coach bodies. The Winnie bodies were JUNK, even though they were supposed to be Winnie's commercial chassis. This is why I am drawn to the skoolie. In my experience, all RVs are JUNK, built to be used maybe a couple of times a year, then the rest of the time deteriorate in the driveway or in a storage lot.
Another advantage, I can customize a skoolie to fit my needs. This is the rub, even though I might buy an existing project, I would still want to, "remodel," it; even if I bought a cheap RV.

I have been planning the build, if I pull the trigger; of course this depends upon the bus I buy.
I have prioritized it so the basics would be done first - starting with a complete gross design; (meaning major placement of functions, such as, sleeping, bath/toilet, kitchen, living and etc.) - remove seats - remove, repair and replace old floor - any other items that need to be repaired, particularly structural - electrical - plumbing.
I want to get to the point where I can live in it while I then concentrate on the finish details.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:26 PM   #13
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Well your in the right place. The knowledge here is great and vast... actually its harder to find one way to do something as there is such a variety.

My advice to anyone looking is to goto the School auction sites and contact local schools. Buy directly from the fleet of a school and not a church or project bus. Secondly always pull up the floor if you plan to spend any actual money in it.

You sound handy and between this site and youtube you have all the knowledge to complete the project. Craigslist and habitat restore sites are usually gold mines. Harbor Freight is also a great place for tools that are not going to be needed long term.

Good luck and make sure to create a build thread with lots of pictures for folks like me.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:58 PM   #14
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Check these out. http://canyonstatebus.com/school-buses/used-buses/


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Old 06-28-2018, 04:48 PM   #15
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Hi there, I have an account with Penfed too. How do I apply for a loan when I'm going to be moving out of my apartment to live in the bus conversion full time? The payment will be less than 1/2 of my rent, so the debt/income ratio should not be the problem. I have a score in the low 700s, it's the address thing I think will give me trouble. Ideas??
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Calypso View Post
Hi there, I have an account with Penfed too. How do I apply for a loan when I'm going to be moving out of my apartment to live in the bus conversion full time? The payment will be less than 1/2 of my rent, so the debt/income ratio should not be the problem. I have a score in the low 700s, it's the address thing I think will give me trouble. Ideas??

buy the bus and get the loan before you move.. typically the loan company doesnt care as long tas they are getting their payments.. esp if its a personal loan.. they are going on your income and credit.. if its a true collateral loan where the bus is collateral like a standard auto loan it might become an issue.. now if you move first or tell them you are moving then likely they will get skiddish.


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Old 02-09-2019, 07:07 PM   #17
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U have to own a house to get a help. Right?
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