Which Lender Is The Most Trustworthy
We’ve compared each institution’s Better Business Bureau score.
The BBB, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, measures businesses based on factors like their responsiveness to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and clarity about business practices. Here is each company’s score:
All of our three picks are rated A+ by the BBB. Keep in mind that a high BBB score does not guarantee a positive relationship with a lender, and that you should continue to do research and talk to others who have used the company to get the most comprehensive information possible.
Protect Your Loan Your Boat & Your Good Name
The world is unpredictable. We know that accidents happen, and illnesses can spring up that can prevent you from working. When the unexpected happens, youll be happy that you have one of these add-on loan protection products from Seattle Credit Union. Ask one of our friendly loan experts about how to add one or both of these products to your loan by calling
The Best Boat Loans Of September 2021
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*With auto-pay discount
The best boat loan depends on your budget, the type of boat youre purchasing, and the age of the boat. From financing for small ski boats to full-size yachts, theres a loan out there for most things that float. But theyre not all the same.
Once youve narrowed down the type of boat youre interested in buying and what model year youre looking for, you can start shopping for a boat loan. Many lenders will only finance certain types of boats, or require a boat to be newer than a certain model year. To make sure you make the most of your shopping, know this going into it.
There arent as many lenders offering boat loans as there are auto loans. But there are still a few to choose from.
Here are Insiders top picks for boat loans in September 2021.
Types of boats financed: LightStream doesnt list any specific requirements
4.29% to 10.39% APR, with auto pay discount
Loan amounts available: $5,000 to $100,000
Watch out for: High credit score requirements. LightStream only works with borrowers with good or better credit, so anyone with a low credit score may not qualify.
LightStream boat loans are a strong option for most borrowers looking for an inexpensive boat and fast funding.
LightStream is an online lender backed by Truist . With a completely online experience, same-day funding available, and many loan types offered, LightStream is one of our picks for the best RV loans and best personal loans.
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How Can I Find A Good Deal
Comparing offers from lenders is the best way to find the best deal you can qualify for. Asking yourself the following questions as you shop around can help:
- What is the APR? This includes interest and fees you pay each year you have your boat loan and is the quickest way to compare costs.
- What kind of APR is it? Is it fixed or variable? Most boat loans are fixed, but theres a chance youll get a variable rate that changes over time.
- Do I need a down payment? Make sure you have enough saved up to meet a lenders minimum down payment requirements.
- How long are the terms? Boat loans can come with terms as long as 20 years, though typically those are only available for the highest loan amounts.
- How much does my boat cost? Make sure the amount you need to finance falls within a lenders range.
- How much will I pay each month? Once you have an idea of the loan amount, APR and term, use a boat loan calculator to learn how much your loan will cost each month.
How We Chose The Best Boat Loans
We researched more than a dozen boat loans before choosing the top six. We reviewed the boat loans based on the types of loans they offer, loan terms, borrower qualifications, total costs, and types of boats they finance. We also considered the companys reputation and customer reviews.
All of our choices had affordable rates, reasonable terms, and are available to a variety of buyers. They also offer financing for multiple types of boats and have good customer reviews.
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Pay Cash For Your Boat
With an excellent credit score, stable income and a significant down payment, you may be able to secure a boat loan with favorable terms and super-low interest rates.
However, if you have enough money to purchase the boat outright, it makes sense to pay cash for your boat and avoid interest costs.
Doing so also lets you choose the types and amounts of boat insurance that fit your budget instead of whatever insurance you need to meet the demands of a lender.
How To Use This Boat Loan Calculator
Not only will our calculator show your monthly repayments, but also how much youll pay in interest over the life of your loan.
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Compare And Shop Financing
It’s a good idea to compare rates and terms offered by several loan sources to determine the financing best suited for the intended purchase. Lenders include:
- Banks – Many local, regional, and national banks offer boat loans directly to their customers. Start with your own bank and call them or check their Website to see if they finance boat purchases. Inquire about rates and how long a loan term is available for the boat you are considering. Some banks advertise in boating magazines and publications. They seek your business and will have boat-savvy people available to address your needs.
- Financial Service Companies – Financial service companies maintain relationships with local, regional, and national lenders, giving them broad access to finance programs. They are experts in the marine lending field. You will see their advertisements in boating publications, so call for rates and terms and get an idea of anticipated application turn around and funding time.
- – If you are a member of a credit union that makes boat loans, be sure to contact them. They usually have attractive rates for their members, and many are interested in making boat loans. If they have marine lending specialists on staff, they should be able to offer a competitive loan.
See What Our Members Have To Say
We have been with GTFCU for over thirty years and obviously have not had a reason to change. I am a financial services professional so I am aware of other options and have easy access to them. But GTFCU is fine for mobile banking and small enough that people take personal ownership of resolving any issues that arise. – Tom C.
Enjoy the credit union difference today and discover how low-interest boat loans provide everything you need to stem the tide and sail into your next adventure.
*Annual Percentage Rate
The APR you receive for the subaccounts will be within the range disclosed above and is based on your credit worthiness. Ask the credit union for the rate you qualify to receive.
**Used RVs and boats can be financed for up to 100% of NADA retail value or BUC price guide. Loans cannot exceed the purchase price. Rate based on credit qualifications and other restrictions may apply. Additional rates and terms available. Subject to credit approval.
***New member applicants may not be eligible for unsecured loan applications for a period of 90 days. All unsecured loan applications may require additional review and verification during the application process. No loan applications will be considered until membership applications have been completed and all information including identification verified.
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Best Unsecured Loan: Lightstream
We chose LightStream as our best unsecured boat loan because their loans require no collateral, they offer a Rate Beat program, and quick funding.
Borrowers with good credit can access a simple loan application, seamless loan process, and rapid funding. It offers same-day approvals and can even fund some loans the same day, although others will be funded in a few days. It offers new and used boat loans nationwide as well as boat refinancing. Loan amounts range from $25,000 to $100,00 and terms range from two and seven years.
Rates start at 4.49% with an applied discount for autopay. There are no processing or prepayment fees and no appraisal fees. Their Rate Beat program offers a rate that is 0.10% lower than the rate offered for the same type of loan from a competitor.
Some customers love the quick application and funding process and the loan knowledge of the agents but others complained about confusion on published rates versus actual rates.
LightStream is an online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, a part of Truist Bank. The company offers boat loans, banking products and services, home improvement loans, swimming pool loans, RV loans, and motorcycle loans. The company was founded in 2014 as a small startup company and has grown into an innovative online lending platform.
No collateral needed for a boat loan
Simple loan application
Are Va Loans Available For Boats Or Rvs
Unfortunately, VA loans for boats-houseboats or otherwise-are not allowed. The reason for this has primarily to do with the fact that a boat cant be considered real property or real estate under the law. The lack of a permanent foundation prevents the boat from being considered under the VA loan program.
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Best Commercial Loan: Coastal Financial
Coastal Financial is our top pick for commercial boat loans because it offers a quick application process, fast funding, and finances new and used boats as well as charter boats. The company will also take care of setting up charter management and boat insurance on your behalf.
The lender offers boat loans from $5,000 to $5 million and approvals take less than 24 hours. You can apply online or over the phone.
Once the borrower and vessel are approved for a charter loan, you put the boat in your companys LLC, and you can enter it into a charter program. You can choose how often you want the boat chartered, and when you want to use it, and the company will handle the rest.
Coastal Financial has mostly positive customer reviews with customers appreciating the marine industry knowledge, easy application process, and fast funding times.
Coastal Financial, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, offers a quick application process and fast funding with some approvals taking less than 24 hours. The company finances new and used boats, as well as charter boats. Coastal also offers refinancing and RV loans.
It offers boat loans from $5,000 to $5 million and approvals take less than 24 hours. You can apply online or over the phone.
Offers boat insurance and charter management
You have to contact the company for borrower requirements
What To Consider For Boat Payments And Affordability
When youre in the market for new or used boats, it can get rather daunting when you have no idea where to start. One of the keys to a successful boat purchase is knowing what you can afford. This boat payment calculator takes all the hard work out of making a sound financial decision. Simply enter in your desired monthly payment or vehicle price and it will return your results.
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Secured Vs Unsecured Boat Loans
Boat loans are typically offered through banks, credit unions and online lenders. The institution you use likely determines the type of boat loan youâll get. For example, banks and credit unions typically offer secured loans, whereas online lenders offer unsecured loans.
Secured loans require collateralâsomething of value to secure the loan. In this case, the collateral is the boat youâre financingâthat the lender can repossess if you fail to meet your payment obligations or default. However, because collateral reduces the risk you pose, the lender usually offers less stringent qualification requirements and lower interest rates. This means secured loans can be a better option for people with lower credit scores .
Unsecured loans, on the other hand, donât require collateral, meaning you donât need to use the boat or any personal assets to back the loan. Online lenders that offer unsecured personal loans typically require minimum credit scores of 670 however, we recommend a score of at least 720 to secure the most favorable terms. Because lenders take on more risk due to the absence of collateral, you may find unsecured loans generally have higher interest rates.
What Is A Boat Loan
A boat loan is a specific type of loan that is used to finance the purchase of a boat. The loan can be used to finance a new or used boat and may include different types of watercraft such as jet boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, and even yachts. Rates and terms vary based on the lender, type of loan, type of boat, and borrower qualifications.
There are different types of boat loans including unsecured and secured loans, loans from online lenders, bank loans, personal loans, commercial loans, and loans that come from marine lending specialists. Boat loans typically range from two to 25 years with longer terms of 10 to 20 years being the most common.
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Down Payment May Be Required
Boat loan lenders often want to see a down payment, generally between 10% and 20%, depending on factors including the lender and the cost of the boat. Some lenders offer 0%-down loans but keep in mind that making a down payment can hedge against the boats depreciation, or loss of value over time, and help prevent a situation where you owe more on your boat loan than the boat is worth. A down payment may also lower your monthly payment and reduce the total amount of interest you pay on the boat loan.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A Boat In Canada
Watercraft come in all shapes, models, and prices, so it can be tough to calculate how much your own vehicle would cost you in the long run. Youll also have to decide whether youd like to purchase a used or new model. Obviously, a full-sized houseboat will end up costing much more than a dinghy with an outboard motor.
For the sake of argument, lets say youre trying to purchase a regular leisure-style motorboat for fishing, water skiing, and other activities. In that case, you would have to consider these kinds of basic costs:
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Can I Lease A Boat
You can lease a boat, but this can be cost-prohibitive depending on what type of boat you rent and for how long. In some cases, a long-term lease on a boat could end up costing you more than buying a boat. If youre thinking about leasing a boat, consider an alternative like chartering or boat sharing.
Can You Refinance A Boat Loan
If you aren’t happy with your current boat loan or you couldnt qualify for the best rates and terms at the time you took out the loan, you may be able to refinance it.
When refinancing a boat loan, watch for fees that can cancel out the money you save from reducing your interest rate.
Before looking into boat loan refinancing, check with your current lender to ensure you won’t be charged prepayment penalties. A loan that includes prepayment penalties may not be worth refinancing the additional costs could offset any savings you’d get with a new loan, even with lower interest rates and fewer fees.
You may be able to save a great deal of money by refinancing a boat loan if you can qualify for lower interest rates than you currently pay. If your credit is worse now than it was when you purchased the boat or if you plan to sell the boat in the near future, it may not be worth the hassle to refinance.
When shopping for a boat refinance loan, watch out for loan origination fees or other costs that could cancel out the lower APR. Look for a loan that helps you reach your goal of making smaller monthly payments or paying off your boat sooner.
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What Do Lenders Look For In A Borrower
Making yourself a good candidate for lenders will go a long way in getting you low-cost financing for your big purchase.
- Steady source of income. You need to show you have enough regular income to afford monthly repayments after bills and debt obligations.
- Low debt-to-income ratio. Your current debts will also play a role. Lenders want to make sure you wont be overextending yourself and putting yourself at risk of default when you borrow a boat loan.
- Liquid assets. Lenders often want to see that you can still handle payments should your employment or income situation change drastically.
- Good to excellent credit. Lenders look for borrowers with good to excellent credit because it shows a history of paying your bills on time.
- Experienced boat owner. Experience with a boat isnt a must, but it may make a lender more confident. Having had a boat in the past means you likely know the ropes.