Best Marine Lending Specialist: Trident Funding
Our choice for the best marine lending specialist is Trident Funding because they offer competitive rates, specialize in custom marine financing, and have been in business since 1996.
Trident has worked with over 40 banks and lenders so you can rate shop to offer the most competitive rates and terms which vary based on the type of vessel, down payment amount, loan type, and borrower qualifications.
They offer fixed- and variable-rate loans and both short- and long-term boat loans up to 25 years. Typically, they approve loans within 48 hours and a down payment of 10 to 20% is standard. They finance new and used boats that are no older than 25 years and only used for recreational purposes.
Trident Funding has positive customer service reviews and a solid industry reputation. Customers raved about the excellent service, timely responses, and marine industry knowledge.
Trident Funding was founded in 1996 by boat enthusiasts for boat enthusiasts with the goal of connecting borrowers to lenders so they can finance their passion. It is the U.S.s largest independently owned boat and yacht loan origination company. Trident also finances RVs and provides marine resources and tips on its website.
Dont finance boats more than 25 years old
Dont finance live-aboard vessels
You usually need a down payment
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union offers loans for new and used boats and personal watercraft, with terms of up to 180 months. Military members with direct deposit may qualify for a rate discount. Service members in all branches of the armed forces, along with their families and household members, are eligible for credit union membership.
More About Ausloans Boat Financing
Your boat finance questions answered
What type of boat can I finance?
At Ausloans we can help you get approved for a secured boat loan for personal use or a chattel mortgage loan for commercial use. Unfortunately, lenders will not consider secured financing on sailboats. For those of you looking to purchase a sailcraft using finance take a look at our personal loans for boats.
Can I get approved for boat finance if I dont have a deposit?
Don’t worry, at Ausloans we offer no deposit boat finance, which means 100% of the purchase price is included in the boat loan package. So, if you don’t have the funds upfront to buy the boat or camper trailer of your dreams, you still have the chance of getting your boat loan approved depending on your specific circumstances.
Do I need comprehensive insurance on my boat?
Yes, most of the time we require comprehensive insurance on your boat. Our team of asset finance brokers can help you arrange comprehensive insurance if you wish.
Can I get approved for boat finance if I have poor credit?
Yes, you can get approved for a poor credit boat loan. At Ausloans we believe in assessing your circumstances and finding a solution that best suits you, so if you have bad credit we might be able to help you. To assist bad credit boat finance applicants, we created 1800Approved, an established car finance brand specialising in credit rehabilitation for mid and subprime lending for both consumer and commercial applicants.
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How To Refinance A Boat Loan
Many lenders that offer boat loans also allow you to refinance a boat loan with them. You may want to do this if they can offer you cheaper rates, for example, or if you need to lower your monthly payment by extending your loan over a longer term.
Here are the general steps you need to follow to refinance a boat loan:
- Shop for rates. Check your rates with as many boat refinance lenders as you can. The more you consider, the better your odds of finding a better boat loan.
- Apply for the new boat loan. When you find a lender, complete your application for a new boat loan.
- Keep an eye on the money transfer. If approved, your new lender may pay your old lender directly, or they might send you a check or direct deposit to repay the old loan.
- Retitle the boat. Your old lender should release the lien on your boat, and your new one should file a new lien until the loan is paid off. Make sure its titled correctly by checking with your states boat registration department, whether thats the department of motor vehicles or the fish and wildlife agency.
- Pay off the new loan. Sign up for automatic payments on your new loan until its paid off.
Pros And Cons Of Used Boats
- Used boats are cheaper to buy than new.
- Used boats are cheaper to insure than new.
- There is potentially a higher resale value because the depreciation is lower than a new boat.
- Used boats will require more maintenance and upkeep right out of the gate.
- Youll have to pay for a marine survey if you require a loan.
- You wont always know what youre getting.
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Best For Bad Credit: Southeast Financial
For borrowers with bad credit, Southeast Financial is a good choice for a boat loan. This lender has no minimum credit score requirements, and loans are available even for borrowers with past bankruptcies.
No minimum credit score requirement
Discharged bankruptcies okay
Rates starting at 3.74% APR
Not available in Alaska or Hawaii
$20,000 minimum loan
High debt ratios may be a limiting factor
With a history dating back to 1936, Southeast Financial has been providing loans and other financial products to customers across the country for over 80 years. When it comes to boat loans, though, Southeast Financial excels at connecting borrowers with poor credit to lenders willing to finance their purchase.
Through Southeast Financial, subprime borrowers can access boat loans ranging from $20,000 up to $4 million, with no published credit score minimum. Borrowers with low credit scores or high debt ratios may not qualify for the best possible rates, but loans are available even to those with past bankruptcies.
New and used boat loans are not available in Alaska or Hawaii, and borrowers are only allowed to finance their purchase if the boat is intended for recreational useno full-timers or liveaboards allowed. Repayment terms may vary according to the loan amount but are available for up to 15 years.
How Boat Loans Work
Most of us cant afford to dip into our savings to buy a boat, especially more expensive options like houseboats, pontoon boats and yachts. Thats where boat loan lenders come in. But how does a boat loan work? A boat loan is quite similar to a car loan, so if youve already financed an automobile, the process should feel familiar.
And just like with cars, you can take out loans for both new and used boats.
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How To Get Good Credit 6 Months Before Getting A Boat Loan
Its obviously better if you have a good credit score, but what if you dont? If you want to get a boat loan soon, can your credit score go up in time? Here are some things you can do to build your credit 6 months in advance of getting your boat loan.
Pay Your Monthly Bills On-Time
The single most important thing on your credit score is your payment history. According to the regulating authority FINRA, your payment history is responsible for 35% of your entire credit score! Because of this, the best thing you can do to build your credit score , is to always make your payments on time.
While having a one-day-late payment really wont affect your credit score, anything over 29 days late can have a gigantic impact on your credit score. Depending on how late your payment is, you could end up losing up to 100 points on your credit score. This can be absolutely devastating and could take years to rebuild. Along with your credit score dropping, you will also have to pay late fees and potentially more interest.
While not paying your bills on time can be devastating, paying them on time is the best way to increase your score. Make sure you budget enough money to make your payments so that you always have enough money to deal with them. Make automatic payments or constantly remind yourself to make your payments. Do anything and everything you can to make these payments on time!
Pay Existing Credit Bills
Dont Open or Apply for New Credit Cards
Set Aside Money for a Down Payment
How To Calculate How Much Boat You Can Afford
To decide how much you can afford a boat, consider factors like the following:
The APR: Look into what your interest rate is likely to be so that you can get an estimate of how much your monthly payments will be.
Your monthly income and expenses: You should know how much of your income is currently used up. How much will you be able to put into living expenses and savings if you have a loan?
Other current debts: If you have other debts that you could try to pay off sooner, you may want to factor those in.
Repairs and maintenance: How much will it cost you to keep a boat? Determine where will you store it, how much will boat insurance cost, what any needed repairs will cost and so on.
Once you figure out how much you can afford to pay for a boat, look into the cost of boats around you to make your decision.
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Get Prequalifed Before You Start Boat Shopping
The process of buying a boat may go more smoothly if you already have an idea of how youre financing the purchase. As is the case with other loan types, you may be able to apply for prequalification for a boat loan or personal loan. And since prequalification typically only requires a soft credit check, it shouldnt hurt your credit scores.
Getting prequalified with several lenders may make it easier to pick the one with the best terms. It can also help you determine if the financing terms the boat dealer offers are competitive.
How Much Boat Can You Afford
Because a bad credit boat loan will cost you more, its especially important to understand how much boat you can afford. Use a boat loan calculator to understand exactly how much money you can spend on a boat. Your bad credit boat loan payment must be affordable because total costs of boat ownership include insurance, off-season storage, winterizing, launching/mooring/docking fees, fuel, maintenance and repairs.
On the calculator, plug in your potential loan amount, estimated interest rate and the length of the loan youd like to get to see what your payment would be. Change any of the inputs to see how the payment changes.
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Best Boat Loan Rates For January 2023
Aylea Wilkins is an editor specializing in personal and home equity loans. She has previously worked for Bankrate editing content about auto, home and life insurance. She has been editing professionally for nearly a decade in a variety of fields with a primary focus on helping people make financial and purchasing decisions with confidence by providing clear and unbiased information.
- Annual percentage rate: The interest rate percentage on the loan. Your rate will depend on individual factors like your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio.
- Loan term: How long the loan lasts and, as a result, how long a borrower has to pay back a loan.
- Loan amount: The amount of money the loan is for.
Bankrate has also identified each boat lender highlighted as “best for” particular situations based on our research. Comparing these and other factors will help you find the right lender for you and determine if a boat loan is the right choice for your finances.
Best Overall: Bank Of The West
Bank of the West
Bank of the West is our top overall pick for a boat loan. The lender features low rates, flexible loan amounts, and widespread availability, making it a great choice for borrowers with good credit looking to purchase a boat.
Loans up to $5 million
Repayment terms between One and seven years
Available in all 50 states
Full-time and liveaboard accepted
Fees can be rolled into loan
Rates as low as 3.74% APR
No cosigners allowed
Bank of the West is arguably one of the most popular watercraft lenders. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West, also known as Essex Credit, operates and provides loans to creditworthy borrowers in all 50 states. Boat loans through Bank of the West can range from $10,000 all the way up to $5 million, with repayment terms from four to 20 years depending on the loan amount.
While the wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms is great, this lender wins our best overall spot because of the types of boats it accepts. Bank of the West offers to finance for boat model year 2001 or newer. Allowed boats include standard and custom power, sailboats, multi-hull boats, pontoon boats, electric boats, high-performance boats, houseboats, and wood hull boats. One of Essexs few exceptions is boats capable of speeds of 99 mph or higher.
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The Process For Getting A Bad Credit Boat Loan
This article will give you the information you need to determine if you should apply for a boat loan and what to expect in terms of the process if you do apply. As to be expected, a boat loan for a person with challenged credit is more involved than if the credit was perfect but its not as difficult as you might expect. If you understand the process and youre dealing with a reputable lender, it wont be long before youre on the water and rebuilding your credit as a bonus.
Tips When Applying For Used Boat Loans
Regardless of where and how you obtain a loan to pay for your used boat purchase, it is important to shop around. You want to choose a loan that has the most favorable terms for you despite your credit situation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when applying for a used boat loan.
- Know your credit score Your credit score will determine your options when it comes to financing your purchase. By knowing your credit score, you know where you stand financially and what your options are. Make sure there are no errors on your report that could hurt your score and your ability to get a loan at a more favorable interest rate.
- Pay off other debts If you have other pending debts, it might be a good idea to pay those off first before getting a new loan for used boat purchase. This will help you maintain a healthy debt-to-income ratio that will increase your chances of getting approved for your loan application.
- Get prequalified Save yourself the effort and time. Make sure you are prequalified for a used boat loan. This will not necessarily guarantee that you can get approved for the loan however, you will know what else you need to improve your chances of approval. It will also help you determine the best financing terms for your intended purpose.
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Average Boat Loan Rates And Terms
The interest rate for a boat is usually fixed and depends on many factors, such as the type of boat, loan, lender, and the customers credit history. The more money a borrower requests, the more the monthly payment will be. Since August 2021, some lenders have offered annual percentage rates of 4% to 6% on secured boat loans. However, as we mentioned, qualifying for an APR depends on many variables.
Depending on the loan amount, customers can usually apply for a secured boat loan with a term of up to 20 years. Unsecured loans, also known as personal loans, come with a shorter term. The longer the term, the more a customer pays in total interest.
Boat Loans Are Available To Allow You Even Smoother Sailing
Boat Loans from AMS Financial are a stress free way to happy ownership. If you are a prospective buyer whoâs dream is to own a boat, youâve come to the right place. If you made a decision to bring a little bit of luxury into your life and shopping around for the right model you can be assured that we can provide you with a boat financing thatâs right for you.
Whether youâre looking for financing that will cover the full cost of a brand new boat of a used model, we can finance the full amount and provide you with a used boat loan. We understand that taking advantage of an offer can require a fast action, which is why our applications are quick and simple. We provide most of our customers with a 30 second approval. We process paperwork quickly, effectively and without unnecessary hassle, so you donât miss out on an opportunity.
If youâre upgrading your existing boat to a better model, our boat loans are the perfect solution to cover the price difference between both boats. Also, if your dream model is slightly out of your budget, we offer financing to cover the difference between the price and your current savings. Our most popular 0% credit card program will give you the option to make flexible monthly repayments and pay the remaining amount in full whenever youâre ready with no extra charge.
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Options For Bad Credit
All isnt lost if you want to be on the water and dont have the cred to match. Think about the elephant in the room first. Youll likely get the best price if you go to sites like Sailboat Trader, Craigslist, and eBay to negotiate directly with the owner. They dont want to finance. They want the greenbacks.