Compare boat loans and interest rates for April 2019 | finder.com
unsecured personal loan

Compare boat loans

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Finance your summer fun for years to come by comparing loans with low rates.

Between interest rate and large loan amounts, finding a boat loan isn’t the easiest process. But if you’re looking to purchase a boat and need a little help covering the costs, there are a range of options available for you to consider so you can hit the water in style.

Our top pick: Upgrade Personal Loans*

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 620
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • APR: 7.99% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, valid email address
  • Flexible loan options
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Quick turnaround

Our top pick: Upgrade Personal Loans*

Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 620
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • APR: 7.99% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, valid email address
Promoted

How does a boat loan work?

Boat loans are meant to finance the purchase of a boat. However, this can take different forms. They can be secured by the boat itself, or you can opt for an unsecured personal loan that doesn’t use your new watercraft as collateral. And while there are loans specifically designed to finance a boat, there are plenty of options that offer large loan amounts at competitive rates for those who qualify.

Rates typically start around 4%, but you may not qualify for such a low rate — only borrowers with absolutely stellar credit, high income and low debt-to-income ratios can qualify for the lowest rates. For everyone else, you can expect APRs up to 36%, though you’ll need to make sure such a high rate is legal in your state.

Boats can be expensive, so you’ll find these loans are typically for larger amounts and may allow you to pay over multiple years, rather than just three to five. Many lenders specializing in boat loans offer terms of up to 20 years. With a 20-year loan, your monthly repayments will be low but you’ll end up paying much more in interest. It’s more financially viable to borrow for the shortest amount of time possible to keep your interest down, even if that means larger monthly payments.

Where can I get a boat loan?

It depends on the type of loan you’re looking to borrow, but in general, you may be able to find a boat loan from a variety of sources:

  • Dedicated boat dealerships
  • Personal loan lenders
  • Peer-to-peer lenders
  • Banks and credit unions

Keep in mind that not every lender will allow you to use your loan funds for a boat. Be clear when submitting your application that you intend on financing a boat to avoid a surprise rejection.

What types of financing is available for boats?

Although you can finance your boat multiple ways, you’ll find the most common — and often most simple — options are generally enough to get you on the open water.

  • Leisure vehicle loans. Some lenders like USAA offer leisure vehicle loans, which are designed to finance large vehicles like boats and RVs. Terms tend to be quite long, and you may find that the rates are more competitive because your loan is secured by your boat.
  • Secured personal loans. Secured personal loans may require you to use your boat as collateral, but it could also request an item of similar value — like your home. Just like leisure vehicle loans, you may be able to score a better rate, but if you default, you’ll lose that collateral — making them much more risky.
  • Unsecured personal loans. An unsecured personal loan won’t require you to use your boat as collateral, but this comes with its own drawbacks: You may not be eligible for as much financing as you need, and you’ll find that your rates are much less competitive than with a secured option.
  • Dealer financing. Some dealers may provide their own financing, usually through a bank or private lender. These typically work the same as leisure vehicle loans, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for rates. Just like car loans, dealers have a tendency to increase a loan’s APR to make a few extra bucks off you each month.

Compare lenders to finance a boat purchase

Updated April 22nd, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
5.34% to 35.99%
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
550
$100,000
3.99% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
620
$50,000
7.99% to 35.89%
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
640
$40,000
6.95% to 35.89%
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
680
$100,000
5.99% to 16.24%
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
550
$10,000
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
640 FICO®
$35,000
5.99% to 29.99%
A prime lender with multiple repayment methods.
550
$100,000
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I compare boat loans?

Finding the right financing for your boat is important. When you’re comparing your options, keep the following questions in mind:

  • What is the interest rate? The interest rate for a boat loan varies depending on the lender, but rates for secured loans are generally lower. In addition, dealer financing may be more expensive than getting a loan in advance, so be sure to compare your rates before hitting the water.
  • What is the repayment schedule? Boat loans generally have fixed interest rates, meaning you pay the same amount every month, but you may find some that have variable rates. Which you choose is up to you, but understand the difference between fixed and variable rates before investing in a boat.
  • How much can you borrow? Just because you’ve found the boat of your dreams doesn’t mean you can find financing. Many lenders require a down payment of 10% to 20%, and most won’t offer more than $100,000 for a boat loan.
  • How long will your loan term be? The longer the loan term, the more you’ll pay in interest. However, this also means you may have lower monthly repayments. Calculate how much you can afford to pay and negotiate terms that suit your budget.
  • Is the loan secured or unsecured? Boat loans can be secured or unsecured, so you’ll need to consider which one offers you better benefits over the long run.

Must read: Be cautious when borrowing large amounts

Boats can be expensive, and that translates to a larger loan amount. Choose a term that keeps your monthly payments manageable, and save up before you buy so you have a down payment that lowers the amount you need to borrow. Boats are more like cars than houses. Once you make a purchase, your vessel will begin to depreciate. If you’ve invested too much into a boat, you may end up paying much more for a boat than it’s really worth.

When searching for a boat loan, compare the APR you’re given with your term. If it will cost too much month-by-month or if you’ll pay thousands of dollars extra in interest, keep searching. Getting buried in debt is easy if you start adding features to your vessel. Know what you want and how much you can spend before making such a big purchase.

How much does a boat cost?

Every boat has its own purchase price, but that isn’t the end of the costs. You’ll need to prepare you budget for the ongoing expenses of boat ownership before your set sail.

  • The boat purchase. The actual cost of a boat can vary greatly depending on the type of vessel and its age. You can expect to pay anything from $25,000 for a new motorboat to well over $1 million for a new yacht.
  • Boat equipment. Consider the costs of decking out your boat. Electronics, water toys, accessories and safety equipment could set you back $1,500 or more.
  • Operating costs. This cost will vary by the type of boat you choose and how you use it, however, the price of fuel should be a big part of your budget.
  • Boat maintenance. The older your boat is, the higher its maintenance costs. But all boats need regular maintenance to remain safe, so do your research when selecting a model and mechanic.
  • Storage. Mooring fees are calculated by the length of your boat and if you store it in a high rate area.
  • Boat insurance. Depending on the type of boat you have and where you store it, insurance can cost you $100 or more every year.

What types of boats can I finance?

How do I apply for a boat loan?

While every lender will have its own unique application process, in most cases, you’ll need to provide the same information when applying for a boat loan.

  1. Start by comparing your options in the table above.
  2. Click Go to Site once you’ve found a lender with good terms.
  3. Fill out the application with details about yourself and your income.
  4. Apply for the loan and see if you’ve been preapproved.
  5. If you have, work with the lender to discuss your needs and finalize your loan.

Once you have financing, you can start to shop for a boat that suits your needs — just don’t let a salesperson talk you into buying more than you can afford.

What do lenders look for in a borrower?

There’s more to purchasing a boat than finding a good deal. Making yourself a good candidate for lenders will go a long way in getting you low financing for your big purchase.

  • Steady source of income. The first thing every lender looks at is your income. How much do you earn? Can you afford a large monthly payment? These are important questions that may make or break your application.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio. Your current debts will also play a role. Lenders want to make sure you won’t be overextending yourself — and putting yourself at risk of default — when you borrow a boat loan.
  • Liquid assets. Some boat loans may not require security beyond the boat itself, but lenders will still want to see that you can handle payments should your employment or income situation change drastically.
  • Good to excellent credit. A high credit score indicates you know how to handle your debts. Lenders look for borrowers with good to excellent credit because they know it means you pay your loan bills on time.
  • Experienced boat owner. Experience with a boat isn’t a must, but it may make a lender more confident when issuing a loan. Having had a boat in the past means you likely know the full cost and are prepared for a new boat.

Bottom line

A boat can be a major source of summer fun. From fishing to watersports, boats are versatile and may be a good leisure investment for your family and friends. However, the quick depreciation and large loan amount necessary to finance them may make it difficult to afford this type of luxury. Budget carefully and compare your personal loan options so you know you’re getting a good deal.

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

US Personal Loans Offers

Important Information*
Credible Personal Loans

Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

Even Financial Personal Loans

Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site