Guide to Solar Financing

This guide is customized for you

Financing numbers shown are not samples. They are tailored for you.

Who said solar is expensive? Finance your system and the monthly payments may be lower than your current electric bill! And unlike leasing, you own the system, and you get the 30% Solar Tax Credit.


About the 30% Solar Tax Credit

A tax credit is much better than a tax deduction.

Tax Deduction: Only reduces your taxable income.
Tax Credit: Your tax liability drops by the amount of the credit.

For example, suppose your tax liability is $10,000 and your solar tax credit is $6,000. Then, your tax liability will drop to $4,000.

And if your tax liability is smaller than the tax credit, you can carry over the residual balance of the tax credit for another year.


Get low interest rates with Service Finance

Get 18 months of interest-only payments. Then, apply your 30% Tax Credit towards the financing and get low monthly payments right from the beginning.

Service Finance 18 Months + 15 Years 18 Months + 20 Years
Interest 3.79% 3.79%
Financed Amount $24,390.24 $24,844.72
Initial Monthly Payments $77.03
(First 18 Months)
$78.47
(First 18 Months)
Subsequent Monthly Payments
(Assumes tax credit is applied to financing)
$124.50
(Remaining 15 Years)
$103.47
(Remaining 20 Years)
Early Payment Penalty No No

The initial monthly payment is interest-only. Subsequent payments assume that the 30% Solar Tax Credit is applied to the financing. For 15 Year financing, the tax credit amount is $7,317.07, paid before Month 13. For 20 Year financing, the tax credit amount is $7,453.42, paid before Month 19. Contract price is $24,390.24 for 15 Year financing and $24,844.72 for 20 Year financing.


Or, pay by cash and get a discount

And by cash, we include checks as well.

Make a one-time payment and get a discount from the financing price. Cash offers the fastest return of investment and the lowest total costs. Paired with the 30% Solar Tax Credit, cash offers the lowest net costs.

Cash Price $20,000.00
30% Solar Tax Credit $6,000.00
Net Cost $14,000.00

Finance at the Cash Price with Provident

Provident is a local credit union that finances solar systems in California. By financing the cash price, Provident offers competitive monthly payments even if interest rates are higher.

Availability: Provident Credit Union members with 6+ months of membership may finance solar installs anywhere in California. Newer members and nonmembers may finance solar installs in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, or within a 5 mile radius of Provident’s Folsom, CA branch.

Provident 20 Years
Interest 6.50%
Financed Amount $20,000.00
Initial Monthly Payments $149.11
(First 12 Months)
Subsequent Monthly Payments
(Assumes tax credit is applied to financing)
$102.89
(Remaining 19 Years)
Early Payment Penalty No

The subsequent payments assume that the 30% Solar Tax Credit is applied to the financing. The tax credit amount is $6,000.00. Upon payment, Provident will re-amortize, or recalculate the remaining monthly payments. Provident charges $155 to finalize financing. However, there is no charge to apply.


Or, Finance at the Cash Price with Travis

Travis is a local credit union that finances solar systems in California. By financing the cash price, Travis offers competitive monthly payments even if interest rates are higher.

Availability: Travis Credit Union members may finance solar installs anywhere in California. Nonmembers may finance solar installs anywhere in California provided that they meet 1 of the 3 requirements for membership:

  • Live, work, or worship in the following counties: Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, Merced, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, or Yolo
  • Military and civilian personnel of Travis Air Force Base
  • Immediate family and/or household member of a current Travis member
Travis 15 Years
Interest 6.99%
Financed Amount $20,000.00
Initial Monthly Payments $179.65
(First 12 Months)
Subsequent Monthly Payments
(Assumes tax credit is applied to financing)
$122.93
(Remaining 14 Years)
Early Payment Penalty No

The subsequent payments assume that the 30% Solar Tax Credit is applied to the financing. The tax credit amount is $6,000.00. Upon payment, Provident will re-amortize, or recalculate the remaining monthly payments.


For the best rates, consider a HELOC loan

Like Provident, finance at the cash price.

HELOC, also known as home equity loans, allow solar customers to tap into the equity of their home to get the best interest rates for their solar project. Contact your bank for more information about their offerings.


Other Ways to Finance at the Cash Price

Redwood Credit Union also offer long-term solar financing products in select California regions. For short-term financing, LightStream offers low interest rates.

Lender Redwood LightStream
Max Term 20 Years 3 Years
Interest 6.99% 4.99%
Finance at Cash Price Yes Yes
Min Borrow Amount $1,000 $10,000
Max Borrow Amount $50,000 $24,999

Choosing the Right Financing

Each financing option varies slightly with their features and terms. When choosing the right financing, ask yourself a few questions:

If I add up all my monthly payments together, how much in total am I paying to the lender?

It is temping to compare financing options by interest rate. However, the lower interest financing options (such as Service Finance) have a catch. They require you to finance a higher amount than the cash price.

Therefore, for payments, financing options where you can finance at the cash price (such as Provident and Travis) can be very competitive, even if interest rates are higher. This is because the financed amount is smaller.

To get an accurate picture, add up all the monthly payments together to see which financing option offers the best value.

Is there a chance I pay be paying off the financing early?

Suppose 1 month after your solar system is installed and your financing is complete, you decide to pay off the financing completely. None of the financing options have early payment penalties. However, you will owe the lender the financed amount plus the very small amount of accumulated interest.

Between the various lenders, the financed amount can vary by several thousand dollars. If you think there is a good chance you will pay your financing off early, it may be better to go with a lender where you can finance the cash price. This will avoid the several thousand dollars in sunk costs.


Closing Thoughts

We have listed the best solar financing products we are aware of. While there are other financing options, such as PACE programs and other solar loans, their rates are not competitive compared to what we have listed.

While we do our best to keep the calculated monthly payments accurate, please treat this information as a guide and not as a guarantee for credit or as the actual payment schedule. Upon applying, the lender will provide official rates, terms, and payment schedule. The lender may factor in credit score, debt-to-income, and other information for determining financing terms.



Free Quote Email Us

Yelp - 5 Stars BBB A+