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Who Has The Best Boat Loans

The Best Boat Loans Of September 2021

How to Get the Best Boat Loan when Shopping Boats for Sale
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*With auto-pay discount

The best boat loan depends on your budget, the type of boat you’re purchasing, and the age of the boat. From financing for small ski boats to full-size yachts, there’s a loan out there for most things that float. But they’re not all the same.

Once you’ve narrowed down the type of boat you’re interested in buying and what model year you’re 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 aren’t as many lenders offering boat loans as there are auto loans. But there are still a few to choose from.

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Here are Insider’s top picks for boat loans in September 2021.

Types of boats financed: LightStream doesn’t 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.

Best For Bad Credit: Southeast Financial

Southeast Financial

For borrowers with bad credit, Southwest 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 4.49% 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 all the way 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 all the way up to 15 years.

Boat Loans At A Glance


USAA wont buy you a yacht, but it will give you up to $35,000 toward your new pleasure cruise.

USAA offers all different kinds of boat loans, but you have to be a member to enjoy the benefits. USAAs military member benefits extend to your new boat, too, giving you up to $35,000 and 10 years to pay it back. Rates begin around 6%, a modest start to a modest loan, but USAA fails to provide the upfront transparency that you see with other lenders.

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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.

Best For Quick Funding: Lightstream

Five Tips for Naming Your Boat


  • Minimum credit score: None, but good credit recommended
  • Loan terms : 24 to 84 months

For borrowers looking for fast funding for a boat loan, LightStream is a great option. The lender offers same-day approval and even same-day funding in some cases.

  • Funds deposited as soon as same-day

  • Rate Beat program

  • No fees or collateral required

  • Available for buying or refinancing a boat

  • Offered in all 50 states

  • Loans cap out at $100,000

  • Maximum rates can be high

As part of the Truist bank family, LightStreamalong with SunTrust and BB& Tprovides a variety of banking products and services to customers across the country. This bank operates in all 50 states, offering loans on new, used, and refinanced boats to qualified applicants ages 18 and over.

We chose LightStream as best for quick funding because this bank offers not only same-day approvals but same-day funding in many cases. You can choose your own funding date once approved for your boat loan, even if its the same day you applied.

Boat loans through LightStream are offered from $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms ranging from 24 to 84 months. Current interest rates range from 4.29% to 11.89% APR with a 0.50% auto-pay discount. They also offer a Rate Beat program, which promises to offer a rate thats 0.10% lower than the rate offered by a competing lender within the last business day.

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Other Places To Look For Boat Loans

Start with your current bank or credit union. However, not all financial institutions offer boat loans, or they may categorize boat loans under their secured or unsecured personal loans, which could mean higher rates and/or lower loan amounts. By comparing rates, youll know youre receiving the best deals for you you could fill out a single form at LendingTree and receive up to five loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

You could also have the option of using a different type of loan to buy a boat, as well discuss below.

How To Find The Best Boat Loan Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

When youre shopping for a boat, your focus might be on the size, year and model of your new watercraft. But before you start seeing whats out there, consider figuring out your boat loan first. While financing is available, qualifying for decent terms can take some research and preparation.

Whether youre buying your very first boat or are an experienced sailor, this guide will help you find your best rates for your upcoming loan. Weve analyzed the different options available and asked for tips from experts at the National Marine Lending Association and the Boat Owners Association of the United States , a national advocacy group for recreational boaters that also offers services such as boat loans, insurance and towing for boats stuck on the water.

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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.

How To Compare Available Options

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Finding the best financing for your future boat purchase is a must.

When making your smart comparison, keep these basic questions in your mind:

What is your interest rate? It may vary based on specific boat loans and their providers, but the rates of secured loans are low, so choose the one that has a competitive rate.

Are there any fixed repayments? Some loans can offer them, so its necessary to decide if you want them or prefer variable options to benefit from possible market fluctuations.

What are loan limits? They may vary from one lender to another, so you need to have an estimate of how much money you will borrow and find the loan that meets this requirement.

What about a loan term? Its length depends on different factors, and some lenders may extend it up to 7 years. Choose the boat loan that provides you with enough time to pay back your debt.

Do you prefer unsecured or secured? Pick the most suitable option that matches your loan needs. Besides, there are boat loans for bad credit designed for consumers with a poor credit score.

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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.

4.29% to 9.99% for both new and used purchases, and 3.59% to 3.94% for live-aboard boats

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.

Boat Loans: Best Ways To Finance A Boat

When looking to finance a boat purchase, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of boat loans and using a boat loan calculatorand how to get a loan through financial institutions likes Wells Fargo, USAA, and Chase.

Cheap fuel, low interest rates, tons of new boat models and lots of lenders add up to this being just about the perfect time to buy a boat. These days, borrowing is increasingly necessary too as boats have grown bigger and more expensive. The average new boat loan today is over $200,000, so theres been an uptick in larger loans. That said, smaller loans are also getting attention since national and local banks, financial services firms and credit unions have returned to marine lending after the recession. It may be time to dive in and get that dream boat.

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How Do I Pre

Southeast Financial is proud to offer quick loan approval not just pre-approval. To apply for a loan, you must be at least 18 years old and be a U.S. citizen. We do not offer financing for commercial use, and the vehicle cannot be salvaged, Lemon Law, flood-, or frame-damaged title. We do not offer financing in Alaska or Hawaii. Credit decisions are given within 24 hours, and sometimes in as little as 3 hours.

Applying For A Boat Loan

Best Boat Loans That Will Have You Smooth Sailing! 2020 ...

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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Are There Any Loan Fees

As a broker rather than a bank, we dont charge upfront loan fees. We receive a commission from the lenders we work with on the loans we secure for our customers. On secured loans, we may charge a broker fee of up to 12.5% of the loan on completion, capped at £3,995. On unsecured loans, we dont charge broker fees.

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.

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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.

The Best Loans Difference

Financing a Boat and What Works Best

PersonalisedWhile we do crunch numbers, youre not one to us. Our clients are more than just customers which is why building and nurturing trusted relationships is at the heart of what we do, and why we have a large base of return-clientele. We provide efficient and effective solutions to satisfy each clients needs.

Fast loansWe understand the sense of urgency and the feeling of staring longingly at your new car or awaiting approval for a personal loan, which is why our fast process can get you a quote within 24 hours.

Flexible solutionsDealing in finance and insurance can be a time-consuming process. We believe you should be able to experience life without feeling restricted, so were here to do the groundwork for you. Less waiting, more living.

Industry connectionsWeve been brokers for more than three decades, so weve had plenty of time to form powerful industry connections. Our vast network of trusted dealerships, lenders and business partner means were able to provide the best outcomes tailored to your situation, giving you greater peace of mind knowing youre making an informed choice.

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Its Smooth Sailing With A Capital City Bank Boat Loan

Features and benefits:

  • Financing for new and used boats, trailers and motors
  • Lower loan rates than unsecured installment loans
  • Quick, hassle-free application process
  • Free automatic payment deduction from your checking account

What youll need to apply:

  • Your mortgage or rent payment
  • Estimated value of the boat
  • Your employment information

How Do I Get Used Boat Financing

Used boats could offer huge savings over new ones. Still, prices can vary considerably, even for similar boat types, model years and history. Use an industry guide like Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides to check a boats value against the sales price to be sure youre getting a good deal. This is our guide on how to get a used boat loan.

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