Thursday, April 25, 2024

Who Has The Best Boat Loan Rates

Streamline Your Boat Financing Process With Southeast Financial

How to Get the Best Boat Loan when Shopping Boats for Sale

Lets face it, theres nothing like being out on the water. Whether you love the spray of the sea in your face or towing a couple of skiers behind you, its hard to beat a day on the lake. Dont let an unreasonable rate or ridiculous terms sink your dream of boat ownership.

Let Southeast Financial help you navigate the tricky waters of boat financing that will put you behind the wheel of the watercraft of your choice.

Bank Of The West Boat Loans

Types of boats financed: Boats must be model year 2001 or newer to be eligible. Bank of the West specifically says that it finances standard or custom power or sailboats, multi-hull boats, pontoon boats, and electric boats. The lender also offers loans for high-performance boats, houseboats, and wood hull boats. However, it does not finance boats that can exceed 99 miles per hour.

Loan amounts available: $10,000 and up for new and used boats, $25,000 and up for live-aboard boats. Loans over $2 million are available.

Watch out for: Credit score requirements. Bank of the West states on its site that it lends only to people with credit scores of 700 or higher.

Boat loans through Bank of the West and its lending division, Essex Credit, are a good option for people planning to get a boat loan of $50,000 or above.

A $10,000 boat loan with Bank of the West would have a starting interest rate of 8.89%, a $15,000 boat loan would start at 8.39%, and a $50,000 loan starts at 4.29%. While their rates for loan amounts over $50,000 are competitive, anyone looking for a smaller loan may find a better rate with LightStream.

It’s worth noting that this lender does have a loan processing fee that could add to your total cost of borrowing. A 10% down payment is also required for loans between $10,000 and $200,000, and percentages increase for higher loan amounts.

4.29% to 11.89%

Loan amounts available: $100,000 to $2 million

Applying For A Boat Loan

There are a few steps youll need to take in order to apply for a boat loan. These include:

  • Whether youre interested in a sailboat, motor boat, or houseboat, what boat you want to purchase will influence what type of loan you need from a lender.
  • Compare rates: When shopping for a loan, you should compare rates from multiple different lenders. This can help to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
  • Review your credit score: Some lenders have minimum credit score requirements, while others reserve the most competitive rates for borrowers with excellent credit. Make sure your score is in a good place before applying.
  • Make sure you have enough for a down payment: Typical down payments range from 10% to 30% of the total loan amount.
  • Complete a loan application: To apply for a loan, youll need to provide information about yourself and the boat you want to buy, including your name, address, social security number.

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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 watercrafts 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 1020 years being the most common.

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Whether Youll Need A Marine Survey

When you apply for a secured boat loan, the boats value will be a factor in how much you can borrow.

If youre not getting a new boat, you should get a marine survey. During a marine survey, an inspector will examine the vessel, engine and trailer, detail the boats condition, note any repairs needed and determine whether its safe to take on the water.

Choose The Best Boat Loan Rates

At J.J. Best Banc & Co., we are proud to offer some of the lowest boat loan rates around. With loans that go as high as $800,000, we can offer you the capital you need with the best rates available, flexible payment plans, and low monthly payments. Our staff is dedicated to helping our customers. Every person on our team is friendly and well qualified. J.J. Best Banc & Co. has over 20 years of experience getting people successful and manageable loans for their niche purchases. We know the industry better than anyone else and can offer you top loans and services. We would love to help you with all of your boat loan needs, so please feel free to give us a call at 872-1965 or shoot us an email today so that we can assess your needs and give you more information. If you are ready to get started, it has never been easier to apply online and get your approval in as little as 5 minutes. Remember to choose J.J. Best Banc & Co. for some of the best boat loan rates available.

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What Is A Good Interest Rate On A Used Boat Loan

While used boat loans can occasionally have rates higher than those offered for new boats, this isnt always the case. In fact, many lenders offer the same competitive rates whether youre buying used, new, or even refinancing. Because of this, applicants can expect to find used boat loans with rates in the 4% to 5% APR range.

For instance, Bank of the West our overall top pickoffers interest rates starting at 3.59% APR for watercraft over $50,000, whether the boat is new or used.

Best For Deferred Payments Southeast Financial

Financing a Boat and What Works Best

Summon your patience, because thanks to COVID-19, same-day approvals are temporarily suspended.

This credit union believes in the finer things in life, offering boat loans of up to $4 million and more. Southeast Financial is one of the best boat lenders in 2020, offering loans of all sizes with generous repayment options. In addition to offering some of the largest loans around, Southeast Financial also has the lowest rates on our list. This means that while you stand to save money on your loan, you could also be able to afford a better boat than you would with another lender.

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How Much Do Boat Loans Cost

The costs of boat loans vary based on several factors including the type of loan, the type and year of the boat, the loan term, the lender, and the borrower qualifications. Typically, the most expensive cost will be the interest you pay over the life of the loan. Boat loan interest rates usually start around 3.74% and go up to 9.99%. Some lenders charge processing fees while others dont charge any additional fees. Down payments are sometimes required, especially on more expensive vessels, and these may range from 10%30% of the cost of the boat.

Some other fees to look out for when purchasing a boat include:

  • Inspection fee
  • Any necessary Coast Guard licenses and fees
  • Title, tax, and registration fees
  • Docking and storage fees

Whats Considered A Good Credit Score For A Boat Loan

As noted, there are many different types of boat loans and different types of lenders that offer them. As a general rule of thumb, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. This means that you will end up paying less over the term of the loan than someone with a lower credit score.

Typically, 700 is considered a good credit score for a boat loan. However, some lenders dont require a minimum credit score or will consider your debt to income ratio, work history, and the cost of the boat alongside your credit score.

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Best Boat Loans For 2021

Editor’s Take

LightStream is part of SunTrust Bank and offers unsecured loans designed specifically for financing boat purchases. Youll need good credit to qualify and can borrow up to $100,000. Loan terms range between two and seven years and interest rates tend to range between 4.29% up to 10.84% when you sign up for AutoPay.

Once approved, you have the flexibility to choose your funding date, which can be as fast as the same day. LightStream also advertises it will beat any other qualifying rate.

Key Features

  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • No collateral required
  • 0.05% rate deduction with AutoPay
  • Fixed rate

Editor’s Take

Essex Credit offers competitive interest rates on loans financing a range of boats, from houseboats to pontoon boats and everything in between. You can apply online to get a rate quote and browse monthly payment amounts using their boat loan calculator.

Key Features

  • Financing for boats 1999 and newer
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $5,000,000
  • Loan term: 4 to 20 years


  • Available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 690
  • No pre-approvals offered

Editor’s Take

BoatUS offers financing options for a range of water vehicles, including powerboats, sailboats, multi hull boats, and pontoon boats. You can borrow anywhere between $15,000 and $350,000 with BoatUS, and sometimes even more. The required down payment depends on things like the age of the boat and the loan amount.

Key Features


User Reviews

If It Floats We Finance It

Find the Best Boat Loan Rates

With repayment terms of up to 15 years for a larger boat, we have leveraged the high volume of financing we do to deliver the perfect watercraft loan for you. Our network of banks and lenders specialize in financing a variety of waterborne vehicles.

We can secure an online boat loan for virtually any type of personal-use vessel that sits in the water. This includes:

  • Bass Boats

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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.

Boat Loans: Questions To Ask Before You Apply

How does the loan fit into my budget? Monthly payments on a boat loan should fit comfortably within a budget that covers all of your needs, wants, debt payments and savings. Use our boat loan calculator to see estimated monthly payments, interest costs and total payments.

Payments toward the boat loan combined with other debt payments shouldnt exceed more than 20% of your income.

What is the true cost of boat ownership? Buying a boat isnt your only new expense. Additional costs include fuel, licenses, insurance, storage, maintenance and repairs. Boats also depreciate over time, just like a car.

Does my boat have resale value? Its smart to buy a boat that is both affordable and popular, as this can attract potential buyers if you decide to sell it and pay off your loan at any point in the future.

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Will Buying Outright Get You The Boat You Want

Financing often allows people to afford things they otherwise couldnt at the time. By financing, you may be able to get a bigger or better boat than you could by paying cash.

Do you need to maintain a cash reserve? Balancing your assets and maintaining a cash reserve could be important to you. Depending on your cash flow, it might make more sense to finance, rather than spend your nest egg on a boat.

Understand The Costs Of Owning A Boat

Marine Financing 101 – What to know before financing your next new or used saltwater boat

Boat loan down payments typically range from 10% to 30%, so make sure you have enough money saved up to cover the cost of the down payment before you apply for a loan. Once you own a boat, youll also have to cover maintenance and related costs. Some of the expenses youll need to cover as a boat owner include:

  • Trailer to transport and store your boat: If you dont plan on storing your boat near the water, youll need a trailer to transport it from your home.
  • Boat insurance: Boat insurance can protect you in the case of an accident or if anything happens to your boat.
  • If you dock your boat at a marina, youll typically have to pay monthly fees for the privilege.
  • Registration: Just like a car, many states require boat owners to register their boat. Costs vary widely from state to state.
  • Winter storage: If you live in an area where weather conditions arent suitable for boating year-round, youll need to store your boat in the winter.
  • Maintenance: Routine maintenance costs include painting, cleaning, and replacing small parts.
  • Gas: If your boat is powered by gas, youll need to fill it up regularly.

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What Is The Best Place To Get A Boat Loan

You have two options on how to search for a boat loan: in person at a boat dealership, or online.

If you’re looking to buy a loan from another individual also called a private party purchase searching for an online boat loan is likely your best bet. Online lenders will often allow borrowers to purchase boats from either a private individual or through a dealership. It’s a more flexible option that may open the possibilities to include more affordable, used boats.

Best Unsecured Loan: Lightstream

Why We Chose It: We chose LightStream as our best unsecured boat loan because their loans require no collateral, they offer a Rate Beat program, and quick funding.

  • No collateral needed for a boat loan

  • Simple loan application

  • No terms over 7 years

  • Loans only go up to $100,000

  • Some negative customer service reviews

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.

LightStream believes in rewarding borrowers with good credit with 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 $5,000$100,00 and terms are between two and seven years.

Rates start at 4.29% 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 experienced confusion on published rates versus actual rates.

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How To Find Your Best Boat Loan Rates

When it comes to finding a quality boat loan rate, it pays to shop around. The terms for boat loans can be quite different between lenders. The only true way to know who can give you your best rate for your specific type of boat is to compare multiple offers. If youre looking for a fast and easy way to compare boat loan offers, you could fill out a single online form at LendingTree and receive offers from up to five different lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

To guide your research, you should determine your top priority for the boat loan. Are you looking for the lowest possible interest rate? A longer loan term? A loan with a smaller down payment? This could influence the type of lender you choose.

If you plan on using the boat for a few years, you might care more about a quick application process than the interest rate. But if you want to keep your boat for 20 years, controlling borrowing costs may be more important. If you arent sure what you want, this calculator lets you experiment with different boat loan terms to see how your payment would change.

Calculate Payments With Our Boat Loans Calculator

Best Boat Loan Rates

Use our boat payment calculator to determine a monthly payment that you can afford when looking to finance a new or used boat.

Simply enter your desired amount, estimated interest rate, and the loan term over which you intend to pay back the loan. Once you’ve input the information, the calculator will generate your estimated monthly payment on your boat loan. Take this number and plug it into your current monthly budget.

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