Buying a boat doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. If you don’t have enough cash to buy a boat, you can finance it through a boat loan. Put simply, a boat loan is an installment loan that requires you to make fixed monthly payments over an agreed upon term. Here’s a closer look at what boat loans are and what to look for when you shop around for one.
Types of boat loans
Boat loans can be secured or unsecured. With a secured boat loan, your boat serves as collateral. This means if you fail to make your payments, the lender has the right to seize your boat. Since they’re less risky for lenders, secured boat loans usually come with lower interest rates and higher loan amounts.
While you don’t have to tie your boat to an unsecured boat loan, an unsecured loan is usually more difficult to obtain. If you don’t have the best credit, you may have to settle for higher rates and less favorable terms. The major benefit of an unsecured boat loan, however, is that you don’t have to risk losing your boat.
How to find the ideal boat loan
Both secured and unsecured boat loans are available at a variety of institutions, like banks, credit unions, and online lenders. To get the right boat loan for your unique situation, shop around and compare the following factors.
Every lender looks for certain criteria when they review applications and approve borrowers. Most will consider your income, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and employment situation. If you don’t have the best credit, rest assured there are lenders with lenient requirements that may be willing to lend you money.
Your interest rate will play a major role in how much you spend on a boat. Loan. In most cases, lenders will disclose their interest rate range on their website. Remember that the lowest rates are reserved for borrowers with the best credit. Fortunately, you may be able to land an interest rate discount if you enroll in autopay.
In addition to interest, some lenders charge fees, which will increase your overall cost of borrowing. The most common types of fees include origination fees, late fees, and prepayment penalties. Make sure you understand all the fees involved before you move forward with a boat loan.
Boats vary in price. If you’re in the market for a smaller, less expensive boat, you won’t have to borrow as much as someone in search for an ultra luxury boat. Most lenders offer boat loans ranging from a few thousand dollars to $50,000 or even more.
Your personal financial situation and preferences will determine the ideal repayment terms. If your goal is to save as much as possible on interest, shorter repayment terms will meet your needs. But if you prefer lower payments, longer repayment terms are a better fit.
Be on the lookout for unique features that make a boat loan more attractive. A boat loan may come with free credit score monitoring, repayment flexibility, and hardship assistance. These extras can help you choose between two similar options.
The Bottom Line
There are countless boat loans available. As long as you do your research and compare your options, you’re sure to find the perfect loan. Best of luck in your search!